Sales and Marketing Alignment: How Your Sales Team Can Leverage Marketing’s Content
Read Time: 7 Minutes
It is imperative for Sales Representatives and Sales Leaders to recognize and be familiar with every step of their buyer’s journey in order to guarantee Sales and Marketing alignment. If they are not, it’s hard to have an accurate view into why buyer’s aren’t biting and deals aren’t closing.
By aligning Sales with Marketing and the content Marketing produces, Sales also aligns itself with the process buyers go through during the first 60% of their journey. That’s 60% – meaning if Sales waits for a buyer to get to them, they have control over less than half of a buyer’s decision making process and will have to cross their fingers Marketing’s content is leading buyers to the ideal conclusion—purchasing.
Sales and Marketing Alignment = 67% Better at Closing Deals
Buyers read on average 5 pieces of content about a business before connecting with a Sales Rep. They’ll derive their questions from it, their likes and dislikes, and their knowledge about who a company is and what they can offer. Buyers no longer need to get on a call with Sales to find out what they want to know. At least, not at first, and in many cases, ever.
When business’s align their Sales & Marketing professionals and make marketing content easily accessible for Sales, they become 67% better at closing deals. There are a number of ways Sales Reps can actively work Marketing’s content into their selling process, and we challenge your teams to get creative in ways that make sense for your business. If you’re at a loss for where to start here are 5 tips to get you started.
5 Tips for How Sales Can Leverage Marketing’s Content
1. Marketing builds promotions around events, deals, and new campaigns and sends them out. They can also provide Sales with supplemental content and talking points to follow up.
Let’s say a lead that has previously downloaded content now lands on a free trial landing page but does not convert. Marketing will continue to retarget them with ads, but Sales can also personally reach out to the lead and follow up with specific questions around what they are looking for in your product that has yet to be answered by leveraging what they previously downloaded.
Example: Hi John, I see you’ve been gathering information about our product and seem to have questions about XX. If you’re not quite ready to test the software for yourself with a free trial (no credit card required), is there anything I can answer for you or help you learn more about? A quick demo may also help you decide if a free trial is a good next step. Let me know how I can help. – Jane
2. Marketing just did a big push on social and people are actively commenting on posts. Sales should watch how people engage with this content to know when to make their move.
Yes, there are auto-replies and bots that can reply to buyers on social media in real-time, but this is also your chance to enter the conversation in a way that bots can’t, and direct people to (1) more content, (2) a quick phone call, (3) free trials and current promotions.
Example: Someone asks a question directly on a post–maybe directly to Sales or other buyers on the page. Reply back (1-2 sentences) with something of value.
- An answer to their likely next question before they ask it. – Hey Marisa! We are not currently offering XX, but we do XX that can help you achieve the same thing.
- A link to more information. – Great question! We do integrate with XX. Here is a link to more details on how it works: URL
- Attach a resource (hint hint: this is another place where Sales can leverage the content Marketing produces) – We’re glad you like our XX! Did you also know we recently updated our software to also XX? I’ve attached a PDF of our new features.
- Bonus tip: Reply to comment with no mention of your product as a fun test – Amazing insight there, Todd. I personally find it fascinating when XX occurs while thinking about XX. Love your thought process here.
Note: When you answer questions and provide resources on social media, other people can see and read these resources as well, and in turn, influence their opinion about your company and products.
3. Another great way to leverage Marketing’s social media content is to repost, retweet, and copy it to your own pages.
The Sales game and building buyer relationships is personal, and keeping our professional and personal pages separate is no longer a best practice on certain platforms. Reposting is one of the fastest and easiest ways to leverage Marketing’s content. It can take 5 minutes or less.
Example: A buyer gives a shoutout on your company page about a product they just purchased, or their experience of the selling process. Repost it to your page and add a comment about how you love working for a company that provides XYZ to buyers and can make a significant impact in their business.
Note: We love this practice and encourage Sales teams across the world to promote the content their Marketing team has worked hard on – however – encourage your teams not to overdo it or you run the risk of Bob from Sales becoming your biggest cheerleader and lowest earner. Salespeople should always be adding value to the conversation of their reposts and retweets, check out Jake Dunlap’s LinkedIn check-list to see if your Sales team’s profiles stack up.
4. Keep Marketing’s content in your back pocket at all times.
95% of buyers buy from the person or company that gave them valuable content at every stage of their buyer journey. As a seasoned Sales professional you know what your buyers are going to ask for during and after your demos and conversations. Sending supplemental materials to prospects the moment you get off a demo or call will keep the information fresh in their mind and help them overcome friction points known to come up in the buyer journey—faster. Speed and the buying experience will always be driving factors for buying decisions.
Example: During your demo a prospect brings up one of your competitors. You explain the differences on the call, but what are the chances that they took note of everything you said and will be able to relay it back to their boss? However, you don’t need to rely on those odds because you have a comprehensive competitor sheet you can email them directly after the demo that they’ll be able to share with other decision makers.
5. Follow the data and analytics Marketing has set up around their content.
CRMs, Marketing Automation, and analytics tools like Google Analytics can provide mountains of data about what your buyer is doing online. What they are interested in, actions they take, and where they are in their journey. If Marketing has done their job correctly, they’ve set up engagements and interactions with their content to be trackable. This is another way for Sales to enter the conversation without waiting for the golden “Contact Me”, “Request a Demo”, “Request Assessment”, or “Get Pricing”.
Example (User has visited your pricing page multiple times in the last week but hasn’t moved forward with your team): Becki – it seems as though pricing might be a deal-breaker for you. Let’s hop on the line and discuss what current promotions we have running or where I can reduce any confusion around our pricing models. Are you available tomorrow at 3:00 PM?
Or (User has downloaded a number of your content resources, and has revisited them many times) : Nate – I noticed you downloaded our Guide to XX. Based on the services your company provides, I think you’ll find value in the XX attached. Let me know how else I can help.
Sales and Marketing alignment doesn’t happen overnight or over lunch – it takes months of dedicated effort to get the two speaking the same language and feeling like a unified team. However, you can start making micro movements by getting the two using the same content immediately. This will help Marketing feel reassured that the way they are spending their time is both beneficial and profitable, and will help Sales feel armed and ready to tackle the leads that are coming their way.
If Sales and Marketing Alignment is a constant struggle in your business, check out our other article Smarketing: How to Get Sales & Marketing Talking to Close More Deals.
At Skaled, we pride ourselves on aligning these teams from the top down. We’ve worked with hundreds of companies and know that this misalignment is not a problem unique to one company – it’s found somewhere in most. With top talent, pulled directly from the field, our Consultants have found the solution to these problems dozens of times.
We align sales and marketing with modern technology and processes that drive sustainable results. Getting these two teams talking can be a challenge, but that’s where Skaled takes the reins. It just takes 20 seconds to reach out and take the first step in solving your organization’s biggest challenge. Start today.