Marketing and sales teams have, traditionally, been completely separate entities. Communication between the two departments has been less than award-winning. I’ve talked about it in the past, from a sales person’s perspective. In this post, I’ll take a deeper dive into the marketing team’s point of view.
Sales and Marketing Today
You see, the lines between sales and marketing are blurring...which is a really good thing. While sales have always had performance goals that they are measured against, marketing? Not so much. In the world of marketing, today, we’re held to the same standards as our sales counterparts. And, with the tools we have at our disposal, why shouldn’t we be held to those same standards?
Achieving Performance Goals
As a marketer, when you are held accountable to performance goals, you’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure you achieve (and even surpass) those goals, right? (I’m pretty stinkin’ competitive, so maybe the whole fighting tooth and nail thing was a little overdramatic?) Well, in order to reach our performance goals, there are several key pieces that all need to work together.
This post, from The Moz Blog, describes it incredibly well (and for our medical manufacturers and distributors customers, this is something we can really relate to):
The anatomy of a robust inbound marketing campaign has similarities to the human spine. The human spine has five ordered sections – cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx – all of which are required to be in working order to live a pain-free, normal and productive life....
An inbound marketing strategy has five ordered sections, too – owned and earned media, landing pages, lead nurturing, sales interaction and retention.
Notice that final piece? Let me say it again: Sales interaction and retention. Without our sales team counterparts we’re nothing more than a team of marketing geeks, who want to be understood and appreciated.
Through sales and marketing working together, we’re an unstoppable team that is changing the way both roles are perceived.
Who’s with me?
Marketing and Sales: Here’s How to Communicate
As marketers, it’s our responsibility to equip our sales teams with tools that will “widen the sales funnel, create acceleration through it and to optimize Marketing’s impact on revenue.” That said, we need to educate them on the tools that we’ve created and continually communicate the importance of these tools.
Create Smart Lists: List segmentation is vitally important to the efficiency and effectiveness of both sales and marketing. Smart lists are a way to group contacts, to prepare them for a marketing action, whether it’s for email marketing, territory segmentation, product segmentation, lifecycle stage, contact behavior, or more (we can customize contact properties to create segmented lists, so the possibilities are really endless). Communicate with your sales team to see what types of lists will be useful for them; then create the smart lists and keep your sales team apprised of the lists and how you’re using them.
Internal Emails: I recently presented in a HubSpot Webinar and shared how we use internal emails to keep our clients’ sales teams involved. Here’s how we do it:
Each week, we develop a “Smarketing” email. This email details that week’s company blog posts and resources (eBooks, Whitepapers, Webinars, etc.). Included in the email are “share” links. These share links allow the sales teams to share the blog posts or resources, with the click of a button. We also include “blurbs,” or short suggestions for how to share the blog posts or resources, in an email or phone conversation with their customers.
We send an email report to the sales team manager, so he/she can hold their team accountable. If a salesperson isn’t opening the email or clicking on the links, the manager can see why and council where necessary.
Password Protected Pages: We also link the email to a special, sales-team-only password protected webpage. On that page, we include similar information as to what was in the email -- blog posts, resources, as well as internal forms that we know they need to access on a frequent basis. The sales team can access this page at any time -- it’s an online library, of sorts, for them.
Personas: This is such an important piece. HubSpot describes the importance of personas best, …”Personas are archetypes that describe the various goals and observed behavior patterns among your potential users and customers. Personas help us all -- Marketing, Sales, Product -- internalize the ideal customer we're trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans. Understanding your buyer persona is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.” Need I say more? Marketing must create the personas (with sales’ and other departments’ input) and share it with your entire organization.
Encourage Guest Blogging: Your marketing team doesn’t have to be the only content creators. Encourage your sales team to share the questions they answer in the field, in the form of a blog. This will help the feel like they own and contribute to the success of marketing.