Sales and Marketing: A Formidable Alliance
Historically, sales and marketing teams are not always on the same page. For salespeople, their objective is to get their products/services/solutions into the hands of their customers. Marketers, on the other hand, want to get the ‘idea’ of using or adopting the product into the minds of potential customers. You don’t always see these functions working together because their end goals are different; however, when sales and marketing organizations put aside their differences and collaborate, the results can be staggering. Experts report that aligning these functions can result in a 50% bump in your win rate.
To reap the benefits of an ideal Sales/Marketing partnership, you need to agree on some key elements:
The Target Audience and How They Purchase
Agree on who you are targeting and ‘how’ the customer decides to purchase your solution, known as their buying journey. The best way to determine your ideal customer is to map out ideal buyer characteristics. When related to the company, they are known as firmographics and for individuals, personas. Once this is determined, it will make it much easier to target your desired customers—whether they are current customers who could potentially buy more from you, or completely new customers. If your audience is technical, scientific, or engineering inclined, then they likely have some buying behaviors that have moved to the digital realm, while others may still desire a personal touch.
Crafting Relevant Messaging
Marketing and sales teams often see the message differently. Many times, sales teams believe that the messages marketers create won’t work, and marketing thinks sales ignores their approach. For sales to be more open to the marketing message, it would be a good idea for the sales team to test the ‘marketing speak’ in action. The sales teams, while calling on their usual customers, should test some of marketing’s ideas during the sales process. If there are more converts, then it works! If there aren’t, then back to the drawing board. A great example is the subject line of an email—while marketing is looking to attract attention and get the email opened; a technical sales team may be more concerned about accuracy.
Top line growth is the motivation, right? But what are the steps that sales and marketing teams need to take to get to this goal? Both teams should agree on the answers to the following questions:
- What is your company/division/product revenue goal?
- What is your average deal size?
- How many incremental customers do you need, or can you handle?
- What is your typical lead to sales conversion rate?
If you are testing a new solution and only want beta customers, then a controlled release with account-based marketing may be the best approach. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with something you cannot deliver.