The B2B digital landscape gets more complex to navigate every day. Sales teams are challenged, now more than ever, to establish trust and create value quickly, which is not an easy feat considering that almost all sales conversations are now conducted digitally. This makes breaking down the sales and marketing silos essential because marketing teams can play a vital role in sales enablement. Maintaining brand integrity throughout the sales cycle, ensuring that the target audience is educated upon handoff to sales, and providing creative content to help salespeople seamlessly transform leads into customers, are just a few ways that marketing can support the goals of sales teams. Let’s take a closer look at 3 specific sales goals and how marketing can impact them.
Goal #1: More Inbound Web Leads
More leads is the number one request of sales teams and it is a valid one. There could be multiple things at play here from a marketing perspective:
- Minimal-to-no external conversation, resulting in no audience and a pitiful digital presence
- External messaging (website, social media, etc.) is misaligned with the audience’s challenges, concerns, or goals, resulting in visibility without conversions
- You are not providing value with nurturing activities for current leads and customers, resulting in missed opportunities to educate and convert your existing audience
- Lack of high-value lead magnets that will attract your ideal customer and establish your brand as an authority, resulting in fewer leads in the pipeline
Inbound website leads should not encompass your entire sales funnel, but by collaborating with marketing to make sure that the activities above are in alignment with the sales process and accurately represent how the company does business will go a long way to achieve the goal of increasing web leads. Specifically, the website can play a huge role in making things easier for your sales reps. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are the result of a prospect consuming the information on your website and then opting in to learn more. The biggest tell-tale sign that the website is a problem is when the sales team doesn’t share links to any of the content it provides.
Sit down and review your website content, including the sales content and latest thought leadership topics. Analyze the gaps in your sales and marketing content in order to create a plan to fill them. Make sure your web content synchronizes with your buyer personas and their expected buyer journey so that sales processes can focus on more qualified leads.
Goal #2: Higher Quality Leads
There is nothing more demotivating than spending too much time on unqualified prospects. A common blocker for B2B sales teams is leads who cite lack of budget or authority to make the purchase. This is the product of inaccurate prospect data and can be detrimental to your sales pipeline. Unqualified prospects show up in many ways but here are two examples:
- Lack of Budget: Reps end up trying to compete on price by negotiating internally, instead of with the client, which isn’t scalable or desirable.
- Lack of Authority: Reps discover in the final stages of the deal that their prospects really don’t have the power to make a final purchasing decision
Including qualifying questions on forms such as job title, annual revenue, and services they’re interested in, as well as covertly utilizing FAQs to guide users to self-qualification, can ensure that your sales team is exerting their energy where it matters.
Additionally, ensure that your marketing team is very familiar with your ideal buyer personas so they can craft hyper-targeted content for each persona. As we said before, the website should offer free resources (high-value lead magnets), such as case studies, white papers, worksheets, templates, how-to videos, etc. to keep prospects coming back to you for answers to their immediate questions. Lastly, set up automations that track and act upon user behavior. Customization even at the level of browsing behavior can go a long way to move prospects down the funnel.
Goal #3: Engaged Prospects Throughout the Sales Process
The specific way you move prospects through the process of becoming a customer is unique to your company, but does it lend itself to engagement? As you build trust and rapport by adding value at every stage, you keep the lead’s attention by striking a balance between thorough communication and timeliness. If you don’t feel aligned with that statement it may be time to review your processes and bring in some creative support from marketing. Engagement is the product of tactful, effective communication that adds value by solving problems, guiding decision-making, and creating ease in the buying process while still keeping pace. The “balance” lies in learning how to keep them aware without annoying them.
Prospects dragging their feet can be a sign that their apprehensions are not being addressed properly. Your marketing team must know about the most common questions, concerns, and dealbreakers your sales team comes across. Collaborate and create sales tools to better equip the sales team to navigate these obstacles, such as:
- FAQs: Answer common questions and allow prospects to self-qualify by reverse engineering qualification criteria into FAQ questions.
- Case Studies: Provide detailed answers to “Have you successfully solved my problem before?”
- Checklists, Templates, Worksheets: Can ease the internal friction.
- Persona-Specific Flyers: Equip your prospect to garner buy-in with collateral to support their internal conversations.
Collaborating with marketers that are both creative and strategic can make a world of difference for your sales department. Every sales activity is an opportunity to bring the full force of your brand and communications capabilities. The only thing in the way are the silos. If you would like support in bringing your sales and marketing teams together, Gladiator is ready and willing to help. Happy selling!