In far too many businesses, radio silence is the status quo between marketing and sales team members. Even progressive startup organizations can fall into this trap of siloed operation.
That's a shame, because everyone in those companies suffers as a consequence. After all, corporations that align their marketing and sales processes report doubling their revenue and closing nearly 40% more deals.
In other words, if Marketing and Sales would communicate and collaborate, there would be less wheel-spinning and more success.
It's time for marketers and salespeople to tune in to one another, ultimately forging a partnership that garners serious profits and stellar performance.
The Advantages of Marketing and Sales Cross-Pollination
Marketing and sales teams have plenty to offer one another, especially content-wise.
Marketers drive interest in the product or service through the content they produce and publish; salespeople nurture the would-be clients through the educational content and sales materials they share. If the content coming from Marketing and Sales is disjointed, however, prospective clients can quickly lose trust.
Unfortunately, marketing content is often shelved after one use, which can make it a costly investment. If that content could have a second life—or third, fourth, and more—its ROI would soar.
How might that happen? Sales reps could repurpose the marketing content ad infinitum by offering it to potential clients, sending it as a touchpoint to current customers, and adding it to their professional LinkedIn portfolios.
By offering their insider knowledge, members of the sales team could help Marketing generate smarter, more relevant content. Marketing team members often struggle to come up with new concepts, sometimes aiming in the dark. Salespeople could become their link to finding out what topics are hottest. The resulting content would then be shared as needed for the benefit of all parties.
Crushing Goals Together
Many businesses are doing OK despite having a Sales Island separate from their Marketing Island. Yours might be one of them. But if you want to move your company to the next level, you need to build a bridge between the two. You can start by initiating one or more of the following strategies to foster two-way communication and the creation of tactical, winning sales enablement content.
1. Brainstorm regularly
Choose a few of your strongest marketers and salespeople to meet on a regular basis. They should be colleagues who are on board with the idea of working together, not lone wolves who prefer DIY approaches. During the meetings, outline shared marketing/sales goals. Then use those goals as springboards for collaborative content. Devise an ongoing list of possible topics and authors to create a content calendar and start pushing out material.
2. Give everyone Slack
Slack and similar platforms make it simpler for sales and marketing team members to talk in real time. As they grow accustomed to communicating, they can send ideas and ask questions about content they should use in different parts of the sales cycle. For instance, a salesperson visiting a customer might use Slack to find out whether content exists on a certain subject. A marketer can easily direct him or her to the relevant piece of content or add the content topic to a running list of future ideas. The salesperson can email the content immediately to the customer or show it on a device to enrich the conversation.
3. Conduct a content survey
It doesn't take much time or effort to create an online survey. Google Forms is a free resource that takes minutes to set up. Send your sales team members a short questionnaire of the content they would find most helpful. Ask whether they currently rely upon any particular content, from your company or an outside source, to help nail down deals. You may get some surprising—even troubling—answers, such as learning that a sales representative consistently sends prospects to a marketing blog post written eons ago. You can use the information you get back to generate more appropriate content that the sales team will appreciate and actually use.
4. Send marketers on sales calls
Many marketers have never been privy to sales calls and could benefit from seeing a significant chunk of the process. Nothing is better than for a marketing team member to observe firsthand what happens in the field. Have one or two leading marketers listen in on sales calls or actually visit a would-be client with a sales representative. They can then take their newfound knowledge back to their colleagues to brainstorm novel content.
5. Develop a sales resource bank
Even if you have only a few choice content pieces relevant to sales team members and their buyers, house those pieces in a place accessible to everyone who sells. You don't need to invest in fancy software. In fact, a shared Google doc or spreadsheet can be a way to store your library.
As you continue to produce content, add pertinent titles and their drive locations to the list. Over time, your curated knowledge bank will become a rich source of material that salespeople can find whenever they need it.
* * *
Sales and Marketing work for the same outcome: bringing in new clients. Bringing the departments together closes selling gaps and builds much-needed internal camaraderie. Plus, it can lead to powerful content that neither team would have produced on its own.
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