Guest post by Kenneth Theriot, TheRiot Agency
We bet you know your overall sales targets and marketing themes. But does your marketing team know what the sales team is up to, and vice versa?
A global print and packaging company has a robust team of sales representatives trekking across the world to connect with clients. That same global print and packaging company has a marketing department stationed at their headquarters, and the marketing department manages all the company’s advertising, content creation, website, and sales collateral.
When we ask the sales team, “What kinds of campaigns are your marketing team leveraging right now?” they typically respond “I’m not sure, I don’t even know what the marketing team does.”
When we ask the marketing team, “How are your sales reps communicating with their customers?” they typically respond “No idea, that’s their business.”
We hear about scenarios like this, where a company’s sales and marketing teams are working in complete silos, all too often. A system like this is inefficient and altogether archaic.
In today’s world, sales and marketing alignment is paramount. Here’s why:
Customers hold more power than ever.
In the past, marketing teams were tasked with promoting a product and generating leads, and sales teams were responsible for following-up on those leads, closing deals, and maintaining customer relationships. However, today’s customer is proactive. They are searching for answers to their problems, and making decisions based upon their personal research.
Customers want to be educated, not sold.
Again, customers are savvy. They have access to a LOT of information, right at their fingertips. They don’t want to hear a full-fledged sales pitch from someone after they’ve already researched your product. And they definitely don’t want to receive calls and emails simply asking whether they’re ready to purchase.
What they DO want is content relevant to their questions or problems. They want interesting, meaningful, and straightforward information presented to them in a way that is educational, not pushy or sales-y.
Customers expect a personalized experience.
Admit it, there was a time when you were surprised that when you opened your social media feed, you saw an ad for a product you had just been viewing online. Now, customers expect that kind of targeted messaging. What’s more, they appreciate it. If your marketing team is sending out a targeted email message to a select group of clients, your sales team should be aware of this and following up with that customer with a message relevant to that which they just received.
You have access to the data. Use it.
Today’s sales and marketing teams have more access to data than ever before. We can leverage a customer’s social media profiles to learn about their demographics and behaviors. What’s more, with platforms like Hubspot and Pardot, we can track a customer’s every interaction with our content, then use that information to continue to serve relevant information to that customer.
The most successful sales and marketing teams are the ones that regularly communicate with each other regarding things like:
- What are our customers looking for right now and how can we help them better prepare for their next quarter?
- Who are our sales reps trying to connect with next, and how can we leverage our content to start those conversations?
- Which clients have not been opening up our marketing emails lately and what kind of information will make them reengage?
- Where in the sales process is Sales Rep A with Customer B and what kind of content can we serve to Customer B to continue to move that conversation along?
As you can see, the sales and marketing process is all about what the customer wants and needs.
At your next sales and marketing meeting, spark up a conversation about what your company’s current goals and initiatives are, and whether your sales and marketing tactics are aligned with those goals.
Kenneth Theriot’s tenured experience in Strategic Brand Marketing and Engagement activities in the print and packaging space, in both B2B and B2C roles, has provided him the opportunity to approach each challenge with unique solutions that only come with his unique background. A self-described Brand Engagement Fanatic, his desire to find new ways to create emotional attachment of managed brands is evident in every one of his client projects.