Getting Sales and Marketing to Play Well Together
Get ready because here comes a pretty radical concept. Content shouldn’t be created in a vacuum.
OK so its not that radical and we have been talking about it for a while but it still amazes me how many organisations still are not aligned between sales and marketing.
Marketing content strategists and creators can learn a lot from engaging with the company’s Sales department. Discussions and content related to brand, as well as general corporate content might be acceptable to release without sales collaboration, but Account and Sales Reps on the front line with customers every day know what is important to them and what they want—and need—to hear from your company.
B2B organisations that align their sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster 3 year revenue growth and 27% faster 3 year profit Source (SiriusDecisions)
It just makes good business sense that Marketing and Sales should capitalise on a synergistic relationship. Because when they play well together in the content sandbox, everybody wins.
Great thought starters can come from customer questions that are fielded by your Sales team and can be converted into great content for different channels. On-point videos, webinars, podcasts, infographics, etc. gain more relevance when based in information that customers want to know.
Why should marketers try to speculate and create content ideas that sound good but may not be relevant when they can remove a lot of doubt by asking Sales what customers are talking about. Ask first, then start thinking about your content plan.
One critical component that many companies miss when developing content is determining their buyer personas. A persona is the culmination of things that a buyer wants and needs. Determining buyer personas in conjunction with Sales knowledge will help the Marketing department develop content that is more appropriately targeted. The resulting content will be more authentic and more likely to encourage engagement
In too many companies, the Sales team is designated for first contact and then to negotiations and deal closes, typically the very beginning and very ending of the customer engagement process. Sales reps have a lot of invaluable information related to prospect and customer accounts and Marketing should tap into what they know.
Treat them as well-informed advisers and an integral part of the content team. Sales will be pleased that they are appreciated for their knowledge and Marketing wins because they will have a firm foundation on which to build a great content plan.
So, how to bring Sales into the content marketing fold?
Ensure that Marketing and Sales goals align with corporate goals. Develop work processes and information sharing so that members of both teams can contribute appropriately and share what they know and learn. Identify the critical steps in the marketing and sales process so that roles are clear. When the Sales and Marketing dynamic is strong, it will also strengthen the relationship the company has with prospects and customers. That’s the objective. Sales may have a one-on-one strategy while Marketing has a one-to-many perspective, but as long as the overall objective is kept top-of-mind, authentic, relevant content can be created so that the customer and the company both win.
So, a word to the wise folks in Marketing. Engage the Sales team and leverage what they know about customers, prospects, and the marketplace. There’s plenty of room for everyone in the sandbox and it’s definitely more effective if everyone works together.