Marketing: “We create all this great content for Sales, and they never use it!”
Sales: “Marketing has no idea what selling is like!”
These types of statements and conversations are still so commonplace at companies everywhere. Consequently, you can’t pull up an article about sales or marketing best practices without hearing about sales and marketing alignment. Don’t get me wrong—we agree that Sales and Marketing need to be on the same page, and that service level agreements (SLAs) can be a great place to create shared understanding. But sometimes, you just need to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” And that's what this post is intended to help Marketing do.
So let's get started! Read on for three important reasons why your marketing team should sit in on your organization's next sales call with a prospect, and why this will make both your marketing and selling more effective.
Of course, sales reps and managers can (and should) meet with the marketing team and tell them what their buyers are most concerned about. Providing this ongoing feedback is critical. But unless Marketing is able to really listen to a prospect discuss their business challenges, their needs, and what keeps them up at night, they simply won’t have the same appreciation for a potential customer's goals. Listening to a business owner talk about their concerns around meeting payroll, for example, is going to have a greater impact on Marketing than a salesperson telling them, “payroll is a concern.”
When Marketing has a deeper understanding of the people in the sales pipeline, their pain points, and the buying process, they can do a much better job of creating content and facilitating a user experience that successfully ushers a prospect towards a sale. In fact, SalesHub reports that 95% of buyers make a purchase from a company who gave them content at each stage of the buyer's journey. Know that sitting in on sales calls will help inform how Marketing maps out these stages and what content is needed to fill in any existing gaps.
Sales answers the same questions almost every day, but they're not all related to process and price. When salespeople sell, they tell stories, they share examples, they brainstorm solutions. The questions being frequently asked—and more importantly, the answers to them—can help Marketing identify areas where their efforts could be improved, create sales collateral that saves reps a ton of time, pinpoint holes in the website's messaging, and truly grasp the practical application of the company's offerings.
Listening to prospect questions is helpful for gathering information, but there's also great value in hearing any objections or concerns voiced during a sales call. When Marketing participates in these meetings, they come to understand more about the challenges of selling their organization's products/services and what else is happening in the marketplace.
Hopefully, your company has a consistent unique selling proposition with which everyone agrees. But when Sales is on the front lines fielding questions and building rapport, they are testing messages to see what resonates with a prospect. They are constantly learning and iterating, and from this process come "nuggets of wisdom" that should be worked into the company’s overall positioning and shared with others in the organization.
When Marketing is exposed to sales conversations, they become privy to exactly how Sales is talking about the company’s offerings—and what your prospects respond to. First-hand knowledge of what excites buyers the most is a catalyst for new content creation, and also helps Marketing continually refine the messages they promote. It's this clarity from the field, rather than the boardroom, that gives marketers the language they need to be more persuasive.
Marketing plays a vital role in every organization, but it's so important that they work together with Sales. The more connected they are to the sales process (and the delivery process), the more effective they'll be at generating more of the right leads for Sales to close.
Is your marketing program currently producing the number of website visits and leads your Sales team needs in order to hit their revenue goals? Try out our free calculator here!
Susan LaPlante-Dube created PMG in 2002 and acts as one of PMG’s Principals. As a jack-of-all-trades in marketing, she loves digging deep on a topic and finding new ways to spin old ideas. While she would prefer having some high-tech voice software to record all of her blog thoughts instead of having to write them down, she loves the satisfaction of helping her readers learn something new.
Tags: Sales Enablement