“Sales teams value your companies marketing staff for far more than just getting them lots of good leads!”
Even though the main aim of the two departments is the same, being to get new business, the tasks of the two teams are quite different. The marketing department should bring in leads to the business, make sure there is a good ROI of marketing expenditures and to control the businesses cost per lead. The Sales department on the other hand converts these leads into customers as soon as possible.
The marketing staff have invaluable industry expertise, blog content, lead intel & analytics, which can be used by sales department to arm themselves for selling out in the field.
Below are a few key areas to look at, to explain a bit more about what the opening statement in this blog really means:
Generating ‘good’ leads for your Sales team means finding the right sort of customer that enables the Sales team to have higher conversion rates and sell products/services that have the most profit margins for your business.
Put simply would you like to get 100 leads and close just a couple or would you like to get 5 great profitable leads that you can close 4 of? Clearly you would want less leads that have a better conversion rate and that gain the business the most profit. This will not only save you time, but also attract the right sort customers that you would like to do business with.
Knowing Your Customer
Questions often asked to Sales staff by prospective customers can often include such things as:
-Do you have any case studies of work that you have done previously?
-What makes you different from your competitors?
-Do you have a ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI) reports?
Sales staff are expected to provide concise and consistent answers to these questions every time they are asked and if they do not have the correct answers, they are less likely to close the deal.
I suggest coming up with some questions to ask the Sales department to enable you to gain an understanding of what the prospective customers are asking. That way you can provide those answers and reports to the Sales teams, ahead of them being asked. You could even write a blog post of the most common questions that your customers ask!
It makes the Sales teams jobs so much easier when they have as much information as possible about a potential customer.
The sorts of questions that a Sales staff would like answered are: Where did this lead come from? Who have they spoken to so far and what was said? What pieces of information are important to this lead? How do they prefer to be contacted?
The information found from these questions allows the sales teams to follow the sales process and to help increase conversion rates.
When to call the lead, is a key element that also needs to be considered. The Sales teams need to know when the lead is hot and act accordingly.
Campaign Creation & Marketing Plans
The sales department should always have an eye on the marketing calendar. Knowing the reason why these leads have come in in the first place is crucial for the Sales staff to angle their pitches accordingly to help them close their deals effectively.
The interaction of the two teams in the creation of campaigns is also a good practice. Both parties have invaluable information about their prospective customers and what they want, that collaboratively will help make the campaign a great success!
Take the time to educate sales teams about your new campaigns & key product/service details, branding elements and your target markets, to enable them to be the most effective when speaking to prospective customers.
Sales Staff & Their Follow Up Procedures
If every deal could be closed at the first point of contact that would be an ideal world. However, any person in Sales would agree that following up on customers is a critical part of the role in closing deals for your company, both in the short term and long term.
The managing of this process could be done much more efficiently if the Marketing department could directly market to prospects that are future closing deals, to keep your leads ‘warm’. This is invaluable to the Sales teams to give them time back in their diary to put more of a focus on the deals that could be closed more imminently.
Additionally, the marketing department could target customers to create urgency in their purchase decisions. An example of this would be to give the next 10 customers a discount on certain products/services that you offer.
Ongoing Competitor Research
Sales staff often do not have time to go digging around all the competitors’ websites to see if they have changed their competitive angle.
This is where the marketing department can keep an eye on this and in the event of any changes, to let the Sales department know, so they can change their pitches, deals & prices.
In conclusion, I think you can now see why the two departments are very closely intertwined. In short, the great integration of the two teams will result in a well followed sales process, that is efficient and helps leads to be converted that are the most profitable for the business. By aligning the two departments in campaign creation & marketing plans, it allows the Sales teams to sell more effectively. Marketing teams can save time for your sales teams by using tactics such as direct marketing to keep leads warm, by keeping their eye on the ever-changing markets, and simply giving the Sales teams ‘good’ leads. All of these are invaluable time savers that would normally have to be spent by Sales teams if the marketing team were not there to help.
Ultimately, the marketing department can help the Sales departments is to arm them with great leads, lots of great analysis and content, and help to save them time so they can get on with what they do best, which is closing deals for your business!