Not sure why your deals aren’t closing? Your problem might be at the beginning of your sales process.
Before we jump too far into the answer, we need to set some definitions. We are going to talk about marketing and sales, so we need to understand the role each plays in order to orchestrate the final solution to this problem.
Marketing vs. Sales – End the Battle
The age-old battle of marketing vs. sales comes from a lack of understanding on the role each one plays in an organization. They are truly peers, sitting at the same table with the same goal. This goal is to move the right product to the right consumer at the right price.
The goal is to move the right product to the right consumer at the right price
The way you define all of those “rights” in that last sentence determines how you shape each role. Marketing defines what is the “right” product through market research around what is needed in the market to solve a problem. Marketing also helps determine the right audience; that’s the intent of the brainstorms and research.
Sales comes into the picture to help shape that “right consumer” as well, because they possess most of the feedback loops in the process. They are talking to customers in the field and seeing how things are received. They also help shape the “right price” as they are able to navigate the space to see what kind of value and packaging they can use to move that product to the right consumer.
It’s a teamwork-driven, collaborative engagement – and the teams that do it right, win big.
Sales Gets the Tough End of the Stick
Once we understand this relationship, we can see how marketing sets the pace and can create a lot of challenges to the overall sales process.
Don’t get me wrong, you might be a bad sales person. I can’t fix that.
But you might also be trying to sell “sand in the desert”, as they say.
If you have that challenge, marketing and sales need to have better alignment to get the right product into the market. Rather than taking the bad end of the stick, give the proper feedback on the product or service so that you can change the downstream outcomes.
Here are some ways to change that outcome.
Setting Up Success In the Sales Process
Have a Great Website. That does not mean a pretty website; it means an accurate one. It means having the right messaging and content on the site that helps engage and educate the right customer for your sales process. When they get to your site, you should be explaining your services and the process to buy them, making conversion very easy.
Promote the Right Message. What you are doing in social media and email marketing matter to your sales process. If you are off topic, you are giving your audience the wrong impression of what you do. Having a few key social media message points and topics for email blasts can change your outcome downstream because they will have greater alignment to your value.
Have a Defined Sales Process. This process should be outlined on the website, but also through your presentations and calls. Unless it’s a system, its not measurable or repeatable. With a defined sales process, you can deliver nicer presentations and information in logical ways that help shape the outcomes. Your marketing team can help you with those presentations so you can work clearly into the client’s needs without having to be a repository of product information and case studies.
Nurture Your Prospects Well. One of the hardest things to spend time on is “working” cold leads. How much time do you spend working on emails that could be automated? This is a simple function of marketing automation that can give better outcomes and deliver more in far less time.
Next Steps to Change in Your Culture
So, you’re ready to drive this change in your organization? Here are some things you can do today to start this process.
First, meet with your sales leader or CEO to talk about the alignment issues you are feeling in your marketing and sales. This discussion will open up a dialog, and you can suggest some next steps.
If you have a marketing team, treat them as that – your team. Don’t point fingers or push blame. Find a way to come to the table over the unified goals.
Second, set up a shared scorecard. Marketing would like to have some idea of the results they are getting. A shared score card is the right kind of communication and feedback loop that both groups need to measure success. If you don’t have one, suggest one.
Part of that might mean creating a meeting where the two teams can sit and talk about how to move the needle on those scores.
Third, celebrate and encourage. Marketing works in a bubble sometimes, so it’s hard to know what is working. Simply by encouraging and thanking the team for marketing that seems to be working well on your end is key. You’ll find you get more of what you praise, and you might even open up the conversation in more detail.
Communication is what we are selling in this article. Go make it happen. Be the change in your organization. You’ll find your effort in this relationship will help you downstream and you’ll be getting more of the right leads.
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