Marketing will complain that Sales are squandering the valuable leads that they've provided by not following up on them.
Creating a solid, long lasting partnership between Sales and Marketing should be an essential goal for any business in order to maximise the return on investment from their inbound marketing efforts, but it's particularly important for B2B technology companies.
Most B2B technology sales involve multiple stakeholders, influencers and decision makers. Working as a team, sales and marketing can create direct and indirect approaches to target all the relevant people in their target accounts.
1. AGREEMENT ON STRATEGY
Whilst the overall goal of the business may be a straightforward one, Sales and Marketing often have different objectives and therefore operate via different measurements and goals.
Marketing seeks new sources of leads and create messages to build awareness and spark interest in the company’s products and services, while Sales devise and implement strategies for turning leads into customers.
Alignment of their strategies creates a better understanding of each other’s missions, and allows them to work together better and bring in more sales.
It sounds simple, but Marketing should know what Sales want from them in terms of the leads they need, and Sales should know what Marketing want them to accomplish to ensure those not ready to buy are returned to Marketing for more nurturing.
2. IMPROVED UNDERSTANDING OF THE BUYER
Sales and Marketing generally interact with buyers in different ways and so they each have a different understanding of their customers. Marketing have a fuller understanding of buyer behaviour within their industry, while sales have a more personal knowledge resulting from the greater level of buyer contact.
In technology companies, a clear understanding of the buyer often comes from analysing lengthy sales cycles, but all too often that valuable information is kept to the sales team when it should be shared with marketing.
Likewise, we often see leads from marketing that contain the minimum information when, in fact, they have a lot of extra information about page visits, social likes and more that could provide vital clues to sales.
Aligning Sales and Marketing can improve the level and range of knowledge held by both Sales and Marketing, making the company as a whole better equipped to obtain customers.
3. ENHANCED ENGAGEMENT WITH THE BUYER
Having the right content available ensures that prospects will be continued to be educated throughout the buying process. Irrelevant content and messages that don’t relate to the particular stage of the process the buyer is at are guaranteed to turn buyers off.
With full Marketing and Sales alignment, their mutual and complete understanding of the buyer allows them to agree on the necessary messages and communicate with their buyer accordingly, sending only the most relevant and valuable material.
4. BETTER QUALIFIED LEADS
Technology marketing sees a higher customer abandonment rate than most other industries – this is due to the greater investment required as well as the uncertainty and length involved in the buying process. An aligned Marketing and Sales system will allow a bidirectional flow of information so that Sales can return to Marketing leads that aren’t yet sales-ready and require more nurturing. This results in leads that are ultimately better qualified and reduces the risk of customer abandonment.
5. MORE LEADS FOLLOWED UP
Aligning Sales and Marketing ensures that Marketing sends valuable leads across to Sales and that Sales fully address them all so that none get wasted. This saves time and resources previously wasted on dead-end leads, thereby increasing sales productivity and ultimately revenue.
6. LESS LEADS LOST
We've witnessed situations where leads are passed to Sales at too early a stage in the buyer journey. It's all too easy then for Sales to mark them as a Loss or "Maybe later" and stop working on that lead in favour of others more likely to close.
Good sales and marketing alignment ensures that a) leads are properly qualified before being handed over and b) leads are actually handed back to Marketing if there is no immediate opportunity.
To sum up, alignment between sales and marketing will result in continual communication and feedback between the two departments, which ultimately leads to both departments performing better and more efficiently, generating significant financial benefits for your company.
We were delighted that Dan Tyre Executive Director at HubSpot - Pioneer of the "Smarketing" concept joined us to deliver the keynote presentation. Dan is a regular speaker, writer, and coach to those who yearn for inbound success. His favourite topic is the importance of attitude, and he's been known to bring the house down when speaking on this topic to groups.