Despite being so often lumped together, companies’ sales and marketing teams are typically found working in silos. It isn’t too hard to see how this happens as each team has different roles and responsibilities. Sales teams are comprised of individuals who are driven toward making connections and closing sales, while marketing team members are likely more introspective and creative – working to draw people in through a story and generate leads.
However, the unfortunate reality is that B2B brands suffer if their sales and marketing teams aren’t working together. This is the basis of account-based marketing (ABM), which is a strategic approach that targets specific accounts (both existing customers and leads), and personalizes content and marketing tools to address the needs of that audience. This methodology provides the customer with the best possible experience with the brand, which is as important as a company’s products or services according to 85% of B2B buyers.
Not only does ABM give buyers an improved brand experience, it also pays off for those that use it. According to Marketo, ABM results in higher revenue — generating 208% more in companies that have aligned their sales and marketing teams.
How can you get your sales and marketing teams aligned and working together? We’ve got tips to help you bridge the gap.
Listen and Learn from Sales
B2B buyers prefer to be self-informed about a topic, which opens a window to create tailored content for your customers’ specific needs. In fact, 70% of B2B buyers said that relevant content that speaks directly to their company is very important in the final decision. Producing valuable content and delivering it to your customer at the right point on their buyer’s journey can help drive them toward a decision.
How do you personalize content for each customer? This is where collaboration between the sales and marketing teams is especially valuable. Members of the sales team are in regular contact with customers, giving them firsthand knowledge of issues customers are facing. This information may or may not be cycled through to the marketing team, and some information might be lost in translation during the process. The best practice is to appoint a liaison from the marketing team to work directly with sales and have them sit in on client calls or join on-site meetings so they can digest customer pain points. Knowing the unique challenges and pain points of your customers allows the marketing team to position your product as the best solution.
Additionally, with in-person trade shows slowly returning, it’s highly beneficial for your marketing liaison to attend with sales to visit with (and learn from) prospects that may be in attendance.
Overcome the Tendency for Communication Breakdowns
Most likely the biggest disconnect between sales and marketing teams is a breakdown of regular communication. It’s easy for people to get too busy and with salespeople traveling and rarely being available at the same time, communication between the teams takes a back seat. However, no matter how difficult, scheduling recurring regular meetings with the sales and marketing teams can realign people to targeted goals and share vital information. These meetings don’t need to be complex or long but give each team the opportunity to share updates and collaboration opportunities. The marketing team can learn what content is working well and what new challenges customers may be facing. Understanding what a salesperson needs and where their prospect may be on their buyer’s journey can help the marketing team create personalized content for them.
Gain Buy-in From Both Teams
Part of bridging the disconnect between sales and marketing requires gaining consensus from each team on goals and targets. While sales and marketing may have different functions, they should both be working to help the company reach a certain objective. Sales and marketing should set realistic goals and agree on specific targets. Examples of measurable goals the teams could focus on are increasing qualified leads and reducing close time. Having specific objectives helps sales and marketing direct their efforts to achieving those goals.
Additionally, utilizing a customer relationship management system (CRM) can empower both sales and marketing by providing a visual database to store clients and track lead progress. CRM systems play an important role in enabling the marketing team to track leads through the pipeline and create more intentional content to help achieve the agreed-upon goals of both sales and marketing.
In the end, sales and marketing are in the same boat. They can either row together in sync and streamline the process to help the organization more quickly reach its goals, or they can paddle at will, making the buyer’s journey choppy and slowing down the process. If you’d like help getting your sales and marketing teams rowing together on marketing campaigns, let’s chat.