Aligning Marketing and Sales
Here's an all too familiar scenario, its the end of the quarter and sales and marketing are reporting on their KPI's. But no one can ever agree who is responsible for revenue creation, is it marketing or the sales department?
The sales department isn't happy with the leads coming through from marketing, they complain the leads are not the right fit and so sales cant close them. But marketing rebuttal they are bringing in the leads and its not their responsibility to close deals that a sales function.
My, oh my, whats a Chief Revenue Officer to do.....well for starters let work on aligning the sales and marketing team with an approach that will enable the departments to collaborate and drive revenue growth.
When last did you hear of a meeting with marketing asking sales what their take on the landscape was? I know crazy to even imagine such a day because it doesn't happen often enough. Yet as a digital marketer we create our buying personas and run off with our campaigns across multiple platforms reaching all the buying personas we can reach but then sales messes up the close. Or did they....
Maybe marketing was just focusing on a client that sales simply cant relate the product to effectively close.
So here' s where an Account Based Marketing play takes over and you are no longer fishing with a net to get leads in and hope they close, but now you fish with a spear that purposefully selects your future clients in line with the sales teams objective.
This precision based approach will enable the digital marketing team to create compelling and relevant content and campaigns that meet the needs of these pre-selected accounts.
Now when the leads come in everyone knows why, because everyone worked on defining the accounts the business should focus on to close. Now the sales team is on board and ready to close those leads with an aligned pitch to the original marketing campaign that brought the lead in.
Reach all the Decision Makers
Has anyone ever hired a "Lead Manager" for a sales role in their business, well I doubt it. Because we don't sell to a lead we sell to an account.
As an experienced sales person you know that the process of a sale involves a number of different people from different roles in the company that require buy in to the process. You pitch the lead, but the leads speak with their manager who then needs to understand the service, if you win the manager over you wait for procurement and finance to sign off, if you get that right well now all that's left is legal. Shew what a hard days work.
With an Account Based Marketing play you can be in a position that will prepare and enable you for these circumstances. Your marketing team becomes an asset to sales not a cost center anymore.
Why you ask... because you can arm yourself with material from blogs, eBooks and brochure ware that is specific for each one of these individuals. As each individual in the sales process will have different and relevant objections and expected outcomes.
For example when you get to the finance stage have your sales collateral geared to deal with ROI and payment terms right up front so the finance department can quickly be put to rest and you can rapidly move closer to closing your deal.
The digital marketing team can help sales close on these accounts quickly by marketing to the decision makers effectively across the web and social media. In addition providing them with relevant content based on their role in the company.
It takes between 3- 5 pieces of content before a purchase decision is made, with industry and role based content in front of your future customer the sales process can be radically improved.
Target Valuable Accounts First
Now that your marketing team has developed an aligned strategy with your sales team you can really prioritize which accounts to target first and spend more time and financial resources on.
I would suggest working on a 80/20 rule. Allocate 80% of your budget and resources to the most valuable accounts. Create the best digital marketing campaigns, exceptional content, events, socials and direct mail pieces to pitch to these accounts and their decision makers.
This will give you the best chance of catching the whale while you don't neglect the smaller fish opportunities.