Ideally, businesses are structured to function efficiently. Their sales and marketing divisions are often key parts of this structure. They are responsible for attracting leads and converting them into paying customers.
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These divisions operate at different ends of the customer journey. When they work together, they are better able to bring in customers—and guarantee revenues –for a business. But if they aren’t in sync, they’ll struggle to keep prospects.
Many companies are failing in this respect. They haven’t managed to marry both these aspects of their organizations. It shows in the disjointed signals they put out to leads along the path to conversion. Ultimately, it’s evident in the subpar revenues they record, despite significant sales and marketing budgets.
If you would like to harmonize your sales and marketing efforts, you’ll find this article useful. Here, we’ll share the important points on which these divisions should collaborate to grow your company’s revenues.
First, let’s clarify the difference between sales and marketing.
Sales Versus Marketing
As we’ve already pointed out, sales and marketing handle different stages of the lead conversion process.
Marketing is about getting people interested in a brand, product, or service. It’s the first part of lead conversion. Marketing campaigns and content use messaging that tells the audience what the brand (and its product) is about.
Sales involve nurturing the interest that’s generated by marketing. It takes prospects through the journey to becoming a paying customer, with messaging that addresses the concerns they may have along the way.
Now that we’re clear about the difference between sales and marketing, let’s talk about how to align them for revenue growth.
Points On Which Sales And Marketing Must Align
Here are the key things on which sales and marketing must agree if you’re going to increase your revenues.
The buyer persona is a description of what the typical, ideal lead for a business looks like. This includes their demographic (age, gender, location, income, etc), lifestyle, pain points, and goals. Companies create a buyer persona to understand the kind of people (or businesses) they’re targeting.
Sales and marketing should both be involved in drawing up this persona. That’s because they’ll both be interacting with leads, and will have different (but equally valuable) insights into those individuals.
Journey To Purchase
There needs to be agreement on what the process leading up to purchase will look like. Things to be ironed out include the buyer’s motivations, the kind of information they will need at each step of the way, and the appropriate means of communicating with them.
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When sales and marketing teams have this information at their disposal, they’re better able to plan and coordinate their interaction and content delivery all through the customer journey.
Let’s put some flesh on that reference to content delivery.
Both sales and marketing will leverage content to deliver useful information to their prospects and leads. If they plan their content together, they can unite their content strategies so that each content flows on to the next. This seamless flow is vital for easing leads through the sales funnel to conversion.
Sales teams often complain about the quality of leads they get from marketing. And marketing teams may think that their company’s sales department isn’t doing enough with the leads sent to them.
To remedy this problem, both teams should agree on what constitutes a qualified lead. The definition should be clear, and in line with the ultimate aim of gaining customers who fit the company’s buyer persona.
Service Level Agreement
In this context, a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a statement detailing what sales and marketing will do to enable each other to achieve more. This may include the number of leads marketing will generate in a given timeframe and the speed with which sales follows up those leads.
These SLAs are easier to follow if the targets they list are measurable. It’s also important that sales and marketing plan what these metrics will be together so that the lead generation and conversion processes are in sync.
As we’ve already emphasized, constant communication between both teams is vital to achieving alignment.
Establish a reporting scheme, in which sales and marketing continually share relevant feedback from the lead generation and conversion process with each other. The information they share will help the other to decide what their next steps should be. It improves lead-tracking and engagement and boosts the company’s chances of turning prospects into buyers.
Taken together, these steps should help your sales and marketing teams work with a unity of purpose and strategy that drives lead generation and sales. Ultimately, it’ll enable you to increase revenues and move up the business growth ladder.
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