The modern approach to marketing requires working hand-in-hand with sales and there is a good reason for that. Businesses see measurably better ROI when these two areas (and teams) are orchestrated – 36% higher customer retention rates, 38% higher win rates and 208% more revenue from marketing efforts, according to Wheelhouse Advisors. This research reflects trends we see on LinkedIn: prospects are 1.38 times more likely to respond to direct sales messages on LinkedIn if marketing has first influenced them.
Even so, most marketing and sales organizations remain siloed. In the US alone, businesses waste an estimated $1 trillion per year due to lack of sales and marketing coordination. This misalignment impacts not just productivity, but also the customer experience.
You can close this gap and deliver more personalized, seamless experiences by coordinating your efforts to engage the most promising prospects throughout the buying cycle. Here are 3 ways you can make the change.
1) Reach out together
Potential customers view their buying experience as a journey, not a marketing funnel or sales pipeline. Moreover, an individual prospect might not be involved from beginning to end – in a complex B2B purchase, different decision-makers are involved at various stages. To meet prospects where they are, it is essential to move beyond the classic paradigm separating the buying process into a marketing funnel and a sales pipeline. This means working closely with sales team throughout the full customer lifecycle, spanning all buyer stages from initial awareness to purchase and advocacy.
With coordinated outreach through this journey, both teams are engaging customers at the right time with the right content. The purpose of working with sales is to define messages and execute on campaigns designed to trigger and encourage engagement with everyone on the buying committee. For example, if a sales rep is engaged with a prospective account’s procurement team, marketing can share targeted content that resonates with the procurement persona and prompts the buying team to close the deal more quickly.
2) Target the same audience
You’ll better engage potential customers – and pave the way for higher conversion rates – by building a shared understanding of whom you’re trying to reach. Research from Join the Dots and LinkedIn shows that on average, marketing influences only 23 % of sales relationships, even though prospects nurtured by marketing are significantly more receptive to sales reps. Meanwhile, sales reps ignore about half of marketing-generated leads because they lack confidence in their marketing colleagues’ methods and information.
Aligned teams make it a priority to build and share a full view of their prospects and customers. Marketing will naturally cast a wider net because you’re thinking about awareness and lead generation, but ideally, sales’ target list will fall squarely inside the audience you’re reaching. Keep in mind that both marketing and sales gather relevant knowledge about prospects as they interact with and observe them on their buying journeys. By sharing these insights about buyer behaviors, preferences, interests, pains, and even opinions, you’ll position your team to identify and engage the most promising potential customers.
3) Analyze the data
Orchestrating marketing campaigns in concert with sales works like a flywheel. You learn a lot about your target audience as you go through the conversion phase. For instance, you figure out who’s responding to awareness campaigns, which type of content pushes them forward in the buying journey and at what points they engage with your content. This data is directly applicable to the planning phase to create more sophisticated and fruitful marketing experiences.
Figure out who from your target audience is responding to awareness campaigns and inject this insight into the planning process. Double down on the content that engages prospective customers who convert to buyers. You can also use insights gleaned from the conversion phase to refine your audience. Once you understand the kinds of companies that respond well to your orchestration efforts, identify new targets through similar processes.
A lack of marketing and sales alignment is derailing far too many buying experiences – limiting the potential impact of marketing efforts and alienating potential buyers. By moving beyond this siloed approach to marketing, you stand to improve the ROI of your efforts while evolving your organization. Ensure you’re deliberately working with sales to deliver an engaging buyer experience, drive results and build lasting customer relationships.
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