These days, nearly all the information your prospects need in the procurement process can be found online. At the moment, about 60% of all sales in B2B takes place online and, as a consequence, prospects are in contact with the sales department much later in the process. Therefore, the roles of the marketing and sales departments towards the customer change. In the article below, I’ll give you 5 smart tips how to align your marketing and sales departments and deal with this phenomenon.
1. Chart the customer’s journey
Do you know how your customers buy? By charting the customer’s journey, you get a clear view of the procurement process in your market. To be able to chart the journey, you have to dissect the different phases of the procurement process. So you know what online or offline channels the customer uses to obtaintheir information. For this, you can use the knowledge the sales department has onthe customer.
By joining forces with the sales department in determining the customer’s journey, you elicit commitment from Sales and create a common vision. By sharing knowledge and awareness, both departments will get inspired to come up with successful marketing strategies. Is it conducive to organize webinars or is it better to send out the true and trusted newsletters? And, if so, which subjects would be desirable in that case? The answers to these pivotal questions can be found in the information you gathered during the procurement process of your prospects.
2. Provide the right content every step of the way
Almost 95% of all B2B buyers choose their supplier based on the content the seller presents. That means they choose the supplier who furnishes the right content at the right time in the procurement process. When you’ve charted the customer journey, you have to then give the right information at every step of the process. Also at this stage, the sales department can provide crucial information about your customers to help you optimize your online and offline content. This is because sales representatives need to have every tool and all information at their disposal to serve the client well when visiting.
3. Define a good lead
What do the marketing and sales department mean by a qualified lead (Marketing Qualified Leads vs. Sales Qualified Leads)? When does Marketing think it’s appropriate to turn over a lead to Sales? As it turns out, marketeers and sellers answer this question very differently. And, what’s more, this difference causes Sales to waste 50% of their time following up on leads that ‘lead’ nowhere. The sole fact that someone subscribes to a newsletter, shares an infographic, or downloads a whitepaper doesn’t mean the sales department should immediately contact that person. So instead, have the two departments compare notes on what makes a good lead.
A clear definition of a good lead admittedly leads to fewer but in the end certainly better leads, which eventually makes it possible for the sales department to gain better results. But the most important outcome is that the customer gets served better. This what you call a win-win situation.
4. Review all results
Review the results of all the marketing activities and the followed-up leads in close cooperation with the sales department (and all other sales channels). For instance, what were the conversion rates of the most recent marketing activities? And, how many of the leads were actually contacted and what were the results? Keep in mind, however, that it remains important to keep an eye on the non-productive leads as well. This way, a marketing team will not only be more motivated but will also see the different problems the sales department is faced with and vice versa.
5. Involve Sales in developing marketing plans
Due to the changing procurement behavior, it is important that Marketing and Sales cooperate well nowadays. So, let Marketing and Sales synchronize their activities at monthly meetings. Consult with Sales in all phases of the planning of campaigns, and discuss ideas, goals, and needs of future as well as existing customers. This way, you create a shared vision and common goals. This results in more commitment and trust between Marketing and Sales, and, with that, in improved cooperation, which in turn leads to better company results.
With the tips listed above, you can easily align your marketing and sales department and have them cooperate better. And the results? Companies that show good cooperation and close alignment between the marketing and sales departments have a higher turnover, a better team spirit, achieve better customer satisfaction, and manage to attract more customers. The result, therefore, is not only better cooperation between Marketing and Sales but also better (company) results and more customer satisfaction. And all that merely because of joining forces!
Need help with this kind of project? Contact Winger, and we’ll help you strategize.