The purpose of brand communication, whether in content marketing or advertising, is not limited to making the public think about it. To have results, the goal must be to generate real business opportunities. But without uniting Marketing and Sales, this task becomes much more complicated than it should be.
Uniting the processes of the two sectors not only simplifies the company’s day-to-day activities, but also has a positive impact on sales. Check out how this is possible and start making the most of your leads.
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You will read about:
- What’s keeping your company from getting the most out of your leads?
- 5 Steps to Unite Marketing and Sales
- Smarketing: the way to generate real business opportunities
What’s keeping your company from getting the most out of your leads?
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Let’s imagine two situations:
- Marketing sends leads to the Sales team, but salespeople simply ignore them and spend more time on prospecting themselves.
- Salespeople go after the leads generated by Marketing and discover that they were not real business opportunities.
Have any of these cases already happened in your company? Well know that this is closer than you think.
According to a survey by Marketo and ReachForce, 80% of Marketing leads are ignored by sellers. A study by MarketingSherpa points out that 79% of leads are never converted to Sales, even when approached.
No wonder Aberdeen puts failure to unite Marketing and Sales as the number one reason a company’s annual revenue stagnates. If these two sectors are not going together, your business may not move. That is why it is so important to propose a union between them.
In fact, this integration is one of the best strategies to increase sales.
How to unite Marketing and Sales?
Making the most of the leads coming from Marketing to Sales involves five steps, as shown below.
1) Bring together Marketing and Sales to discuss the personas
Having a single buyer persona to base your communication on may not be enough, considering that in B2B sales there are, on average, 6.8 people involved in decision making, as reported by the Harvard Business Review.
They are even at different levels of hierarchy and work in different areas.
Pre-Sales and Sales teams, as they have direct contact with these specific people, can help create personas that better resonate with their challenges and needs.
This will play a fundamental role when creating content with greater acceptance for each moment of a negotiation.
2) Have an ongoing process
The second step is to define a flow in which sales are natural consequences of the Marketing strategy. You don’t want to continue with the sales pipeline here and the sales funnel there. Not just Marketing or just Sales, but smarketing (or venderketing).
A curious word at first sight, smarketing refers to the act of uniting Marketing and Sales in a continuous process. For this, it will be necessary to use another term that is still new to many people: Service Level Agreement (SLA).
The Service Level Agreement, a translation of the SLA, is a contract between the Marketing team and the Sales team that establishes precise goals, responsibilities and tasks for each of them. Basically, it is the marriage contract between the sectors.
3) Create content with sellers
Among the factors that most negatively affect conversions by the sales team are the low qualification of leads and the lack of investment in qualification processes. If contacts do not arrive ready for the business approach, with clear recognition of the problem and interest in a solution, salespeople will lose precious time.
In addition to debating the buyer personas, the marketing sector must bring them to the creation of specific content, anticipating sales objections, and to define more precise qualifying parameters, along with Pre-sales. Then, when they reach sellers, you can make the most of the leads.
4) Hold regular meetings between teams
Just as it is recommended to hold Sales team meetings to present results, share strategies and identify objections, Smarketing depends on a lot of collaboration between the Marketing and Sales people.
5) Have key indicators in common
This is an ongoing process, but also circular: Marketing performance affects Sales and vice versa.
Putting common goals for the company is a way of clarifying the role of salespeople in generating insights into the type of leads being sought, as well as demonstrating the impact of the marketing effort on revenue.
In a longer sales cycle, it can be difficult to see the return on that investment without looking at the big picture.
Smarketing: the way to generate real business opportunities
These were the five steps showing how to bring Marketing and Sales together to make the most of leads. In practice, they help businesses move forward on the path to desired results.
To complete, data from Aberdeen show that this integration of Smarketing can bring up to 32% growth in annual revenue for companies.
That’s great, isn’t it?
Now find out more about how the stages of the lead relationship with your company work in the e-book “From prospect to customer”, made in partnership with NSC’s Branded Content Studio. This must-have content shows you how to gain more control over your sales funnel, identify leads, and sell more.
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