4. Roles should be well-defined and agreed upon
What should each department be doing? Each department needs to know specifically what is required of them. Marketing roles can be split up into three levels:
- The first is generating demand via the use of marketing content.
- The second is the marketing of products.
- The third is building relationships with the customers
Once these duties have been fulfilled, the sales department takes over:
- Their first task is determining the priority of the lead and categorizing them.
- And the second is to initiate the first contact.
This is how the roles should be defined and should be put down in black and white in a service-level agreement. By making it official and binding, there is a level of accountability that gets injected into the process.
5. Marketing content should be created by consulting with salespeople
Marketing content is what draws customers and potential buyers. It acts as the first point of contact long before a salesperson steps in. But, it is not only used by the marketing department. Salespeople utilize the marketing content as they go about their business.
“B2B buyers are 5X more likely to engage with a sales professional who provides new insights into their business or industry.” – LinkedIn survey.
However, studies found that many sales departments would just create their own marketing content if they could not find what they were looking for or if the content they were given was insufficient.
A content audit at SAP showed that almost 60% of the marketing content which was created for one product area alone, never came into force as it was inaccessible to the sales team.
The big questions to ask
During this time, every piece of marketing material needs to be evaluated.
- What content is available?
- Who is using the content?
- What is being completely left untouched?
- Why is this content not being used?
By finding honest and accurate answers to these questions, a company can streamline their content.
So, how can content sharing be encouraged?
Once an audit is done, it is time to create new content. This is where the sales team can provide insight into what works well with the customers.
By bringing them in on the creative process, a company can decrease the money that is wasted and work on producing content that is highly effective. The marketing department also needs to consider the funnel that the sales team works with.
Marketing and sales funnels are different and need to be treated as such. By producing content that lends itself to both the sales and marketing funnel and by establishing a content sharing schedule between the two departments, a company can ensure that they are fully equipped to deal with the conversion process.
6. Content must be available and customizable
Brilliant sales-targeted content is less than useless if it is not made readily available to the salespeople themselves. Information, as well as content, needs to flow freely between the two departments.
Optimal use of technology is the key
By setting up a platform which allows the effortless sharing of content such as this, you can ensure that the people that need the content have access to it. Furthermore, this content needs to be presented in such a way that it can be customized to the individual.
Salespeople know how to appeal to the individuals. They know how to deal with their customers, and they need content which can help them finally make the sale. The simple solution is to create some content that can be tweaked and changed as needed. This will allow for targeted selling.
Another approach can be to create interactive content such as personality quizzes, calculators or assessments, which provide a more personalized experience from the get-go.
Marketing and sales departments should also have software platforms that are compatible with one another. Nothing is more frustrating than two systems that can’t integrate and transfer data. This leads to inaccurate and messy data in an organization’s CRM software platform, ultimately leading to a mishandling of customer relationships.