Alignment between marketing and sales is critical – But it’s not easy.
Sales professionals aren’t always keen on taking time out of their day to interview marketing. After all, the job of the sales team is to sell. An extra hour per week means fewer calls and fewer deals.
Marketing teams, for their part, often focus on tasks that may seem abstract and far from sales. Brand awareness and traffic are great, but sales and revenue are what keep the business growing.
To keep revenue flowing into the company, marketing can produce sales enablement materials to educate potential customers and speed up the sales cycle. This can include videos, buyer guides, articles, and other content that can be used in the selling process.
Sales enablement materials are both a cause and a product of Sales and Marketing Alignment.
In order to provide the sales force with the materials it needs, marketers must be well versed in the selling process, including the questions buyers ask, the objections they raise, and the reasons they say yes or no.
At IMPACT, we conduct bi-weekly mixed sales and marketing meetings for team members to brainstorm content and plan for future needs. The most valuable part of the meeting, though, involves the salespeople describing one recent deal. They explain the background and then delve into the questions, objections, and comments they have heard from the possibility.
The marketing team gets an up-to-date example of what works with customers – this tells them their messages.
Below, we’ll cover five basic questions that marketers need to ask their sales force on a regular basis, whether in a meeting like the one you described or more informally:
- What does the sale look like now?
- What are the qualities that make a potential customer “sales-qualified”?
- Are potential customers’ expectations too high or too low for what they buy?
- What are the most common objections you hear?
- What do potential customers say about the competition?
Next, we’ll explain exactly why these questions are important in creating the sales enabling content your company needs.
The power of internal marketing
When done right, inbound marketing can produce a steady stream of high-quality leads for your organization.
Helpful educational content can help your customers move more smoothly through the entire customer experience. This content can drive traffic, help attract qualified leads, and enable the right leads to move quickly through the buying process.
By the time the salespeople speak with a qualified lead, most of their deliberations should already be complete.
However, getting the right content to fully complete the customer journey doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months of collaboration between marketing and sales to make sure messages are consistent, all content needs are met, and that Every question purchased is answered honestly and honestly.
We call this method of internal marketing They ask, you answerWe found it to be the fastest and most effective way to convert website visitors into customers.
To get your marketing and sales teams on the same page and on Creating a Sales Empowerment CultureMake sure your marketers are asking the right questions so they can fully understand the selling process.
Here are five of the most important ones.
Question #1: What does the sale look like now?
Your marketing team may have a general idea of your company’s sales process. If so, they need to know more.
Ask a salesperson to walk them through the top three common buying scenarios, step-by-step.
Make sure it covers:
- How do sales conversations usually start?
- How long does the whole process take?
- What does the sales presentation look like?
As they learn about the sales process, marketers should look for any insights they can use to better prepare potential customers in the future. What questions can they answer up front in the content that can speed up the conversation that follows?
Keep in mind that your selling process is always subject to change. If you launch a new product or renew a service, the nature of your customers and their questions may change.
Factors outside of your business can also have an impact. During a recession, for example, there may be more focus on price-related issues.
Question 2: What Makes Sales Leads Qualified?
It’s easy to get leads through inbound marketing – the challenge generates a large number of Qualified potential customers for sales.
This is a question you will want to revisit with your sales team regularly.
Marketers will be able to use the information they get from this question to modify the way they score leads – and improve Performs the upbringing process.
Without an effective lead nurturing strategy, it is extremely difficult to generate qualified sales leads in a predictable manner.
There will always be sales qualified leads who discover your content and reach out to you themselves, but the majority of leads will be marketing qualified and require sponsorship to become sales qualified.
Question 3: Are potential customers’ expectations too high or too low for what they buy?
marketers Believe in the products and services they promote. After all, it’s their job. They want the world to know how amazing your business options are.
At the same time, marketers need to set realistic expectations. When you exaggerate or give false hope, you are creating the potential for great disappointment.
Disappointment is a tough challenge for salespeople to overcome. A potential customer often feels betrayed and refuses to deal with you out of resentment, even if your product is good.
Remember, all purchases, Even B2B Purchases, we are passionate decisions. Your job as a marketer is to play on the potential customer’s feelings, not manipulate them.
However, you also don’t want to set expectations too low, or you will fail to generate as many leads as possible. You still have to give people reasons to be interested.
Marketing and sales teams need to agree on the right balance. You want to set expectations as high as possible, while keeping them realistic.
Question 4: What are the most common objections you hear?
in the ideal Marketing to Sales Inbound ScenarioAll major objections of a potential customer have been addressed Before They talk to sales.
At this point, they are just looking to review the details and ensure the proper fit.
Clients prefer to do their own research before speaking with the salesperson, and the easier this process is for them, the more relevant and trustworthy your company will appear.
However, customers will enter the selling process with questions and concerns. Sales enablement materials that directly address these matters will help potential customers feel validated and understood.
The fifth question: What do potential customers say about the competition?
At the end of the sale, the customer must finally say “yes” or “no.” Yes, they choose you — or no, they go a different route, whether that means they choose a direct competitor or they choose to wait six months.
Those potential customers who answer “no” are a rich source for your marketing team.
Was it their decision on the price? about features? About company culture and “fitness”?
Effective brand positioning requires you to Distinguish yourself from the competition. You don’t want to do everything they do – it makes you look unoriginal, and it’s likely that not everything they do is good for you.
However, if a large number of leads come up with something specific that the competition marketing team does, it is worth taking a look at.
For example, let’s say you’re a SaaS brand, and many of your top competitors have created a series of videos detailing the most important features of their software and how to use them. Your brand only has blog posts with screenshots. When salespeople introduce the program to potential clients, they often comment that they would like videos they can watch.
This is a clear sign that your competitors are doing something successful and potentially losing sales.
Whatever your business, information directly from a potential customer about why they chose someone else instead of you (or vice versa) can give your marketing team a body of information they can use to produce better sales-enabling materials for future prospects.
Sales enablement content can have an immediate impact on revenue
Many marketing initiatives can take a long time to generate a return, but with sales enablement materials, marketers can have a direct and immediate impact on a company’s revenue.
But effective sales empowerment cannot happen without aligning sales and marketing.
by search Recently made by MarketoHowever, companies with healthy sales and marketing alignment see conversion rates around 70% higher. This translates to a revenue increase of approximately 200%.
Marketers must work with the sales team to become familiar with the entire sales process. When they cannot meet with salespeople directly, they must watch recorded sales calls to capture every bit of information they can get.
Then, whether they’re producing buyer guides, videos, or sponsorship emails, they know they’re hitting the mark and speaking directly to customers.
The key is to ask the right questions.
When marketers assume they know everything they need to know about the sales process, they are almost certainly wrong.