Though marketing and sales often have the same objective, they still tend to operate in separate departments, disconnected from one another. But the marketing team is the first step in the funnel of consumer impression with the brand to a closed sale. It is their job to create the desire for your product or service. If they effectively fulfill this objective, the sales team can then take the ball and convert gross margin to the bottom line. They are essentially an assembly line for revenue; one cannot be successful without the other.
It all starts with marketing. If your marketing team is not generating quality leads for your sales team, your bottom line will not reach its full potential and your sales team members may become demoralized, which can lead to turnover (a costly loss). Luckily, there are plenty of ways your marketing and sales teams can synchronize and provide each other crucial information that will help both teams be more successful in their jobs.
Here are several ways you can help to sync up your sales and marketing team to ensure profitable business growth.
More Qualified Leads
First and foremost, the sales team likely has valuable input for the marketing team in terms of who is following through with conversions. It is a drain on your business’s resources if the leads your marketing team is generating aren’t converting at an appreciable rate. And who better to give the marketing team feedback then the people who’s very job is to push the ball through the hoop? Join forces and discover what the ideal buyer or user persona is in the eyes of the sales team to better identify who to market to and improve the quality of the leads.
If you have a team, or even one person, touch base with them and ask: Who is the kind of person you want to see walk through the door (or to call, or however your sales team converts leads)? With all the options available online for meticulously targeted audiences, understanding the ideal lead from the point of view of your sales teams can help marketers target that audience and generate more leads. If more of the right people are contacting your business, your conversion rates should see a nice boost, as should your profitability.
In addition to understanding the type of lead that is most likely to convert, it is critical that your sales team understands what is being marketed to the consumers that are contacting your business. That will help them address specific questions and overcome objections. Nothing turns a consumer off more than a company that seems disorganized or worse, that they are trying to lure people in with false promises. If your sales team is unaware of marketing initiatives, they can quickly lose both rapport and credibility and lose potential sales.
Get Above the Competition
A second advantage of syncing your sales and marketing teams’ agendas is simply that most other companies (smaller ones especially) don’t. That means your direct competition might be taking advantage of this critical information regarding your target audience while your company is falling behind. It’s a resource that is often left on the table. But ultimately, their loss is your gain: You can come up with a sales and digital marketing strategy that makes sense for your business and is more comprehensive and higher level than that of your competitors.
Remarketing is one such way to get ahead of the curve. This tool is surprisingly underutilized, so it is an opportunity to edge ahead of the competition. Remarketing is when businesses track who comes to their website, then markets specifically to these users as they surf the internet. This can be done through the simple act of syncing up your Google AdWords account with keywords. If a customer gets pretty close to buying your product or service, have the final stage be a unique URL. If they back out at this stage, then your AdWords account can continue to market to them as they visit other sites, giving them a friendly (but consistent) reminder that they were serious and interested in the product or service your company offers.
Though it may seem like outbound campaigns place the whole sales funnel in the hands of the sales teams, most of the time, a marketing team (a digital marketing team in particular) is often still generating quality leads via an email or call list. The marketing team is still creating the first impression on the user that the sales team then needs to convert.
If your marketing time is doing a great job generating an email or phone number lists for the sales team, they can take it one step further by helping sift through the leads. They can rate and prioritize them, and if need be, optimize their own strategy to generate more quality leads. The time of the sales team is valuable: Time spent on a sale that isn’t closed is a drain on the company’s resources. By taking this extra step, your business can effectively utilize their resources in the best possible way and continue to improve the sales funnel.
Another way in which marketing can assist the sales teams and free them up to concentrate on converting more qualified leads is to take some smaller tasks off their plates. With outbound campaigns, it is possible to automate follow-up emails that don’t necessarily require in-person interaction. For example, they can use customizable (to give it a personal touch, such as addressing the email to the name of the recipient, rather than a generic and impersonal email) templates to follow-up with customers about routine questions or information. If the customer responds to the automated email, then the lead can be prioritized, because they have again shown interest and are worth the sales reps’ bandwidth. Another positive side effect? It can cut down on the “no’s” your sales team is hearing, which can erode morale over time. With automation canceling out lower quality leads, they will get to experience a higher frequency of sweet, sweet closes.
Aside from converting leads and closing sales (well, not completely aside, but we digress), building out a brand is largely about consistency and reputation. If the voice, look, and presentation aren’t collaborated on between marketing and sales, there is a blind spot in which inconsistencies can be created and reinforced. This blind spot can be dangerous and have potentially disastrous consequences.
It has probably happened to you before in a time that you were ready to engage with a business. You saw the ads, maybe did some research, and decided to take the next step in the process. But when you call or go into the store to talk to someone, you come to understand that what you understood from the online marketing materials and what is actually being sold is not quite what you expected. Now you feel mislead and disappointed; basically, the worst possible feelings you can generate in a potential client. As you could assume, these customers will not be willing to give you a second chance in the future.
Today, with various consumer review sites like Yelp! and Google Reviews, word gets out quick. In reality, even if you’re converting thousands of leads, a few bad reviews can really put a dent in your business’s credibility and brand reputation. Even if ninety-nine of every hundred of people who do business with you leave happy, that one percent can be enough to sink the ship over time. After all, people are more likely to leave a review of a bad experience than a good one. Take the time to ensure your sales team is on the same page as the marketing department, not only in their promises, but in their style, voice, and messaging. Branding 101: unintentional inconsistency is unprofessional; unprofessional is not a good reputation to have for any business.
Your marketing team and sales teams play a crucial role in your business’s viability. Marketing casts the net, but sales reels in the bites. The marketing team can assist the sales teams by helping refine and prioritize the leads they generate so that the sales team can allocate their time to leads that are likely to convert. It might even be helpful to visually map out how far the marketing needs to take the buck before the sales team takes over, making it part of their responsibilities to sift through leads. This process can actually help the marketing team in the long run, as they will get valuable insight into what’s converting and who they should be targeting when generating leads. If both teams work together effectively, your business and your brand can scale to its greatest potential.