It can often be difficult to bridge the gap between sales and marketing teams. The two areas are involved in different stages of the customer journey, but ultimately their goal is the same.
This is why instead of working separately, they should work hand-in-hand to turn leads into paying customers.
So, here are four ways to close the gap between sales and marketing.
1. Invest in marketing & sales enablement software
Over the last few years a wide variety of marketing and sales software have become available, making it easier for different departments to communicate. From lead scoring, automated communications to workflow and collaboration tools, technological processes have helped companies in many ways.
Tools like these allow marketing departments to see how their content can help sales reps and in return, sales reps can identify any problems in the pipeline and communicate them early to the marketing team.
Five of the most essential sales enablement benefits are:
- Giving reps a toolset to make business decisions
- Helping target the right accounts
- Content is used more effectively in context
- Lead to more quality conversations
- Offers more transparency in the company
However, using this technology isn’t going to close the gap on its own and both teams need to work together in other ways to achieve synergy.
2. Share content with the sales team
The marketing team is responsible for producing the content that highlights why potential customers should work with you or buy from your company, over other competitors. So why not share this collateral with your sales team?
Sales reps deal with potential customers on a daily basis and will come up against all sorts of challenges, such as questions they may not immediately know the answer to. But if they had access to some key pieces of content that answers these questions, they’ll be more prepared when they arise. Some useful pieces of content your sales team should have at their disposal might include:
- Case studies to illustrate how your company is effective
- Competitor comparison charts to show why your company is the right choice
- ROI calculators to show the benefit of investment
On the other hand, it’s just as important that the sales team share their experiences with the marketing department.
They should report back on any challenges they are facing and which pieces of content have been invaluable for closing a sale. Then, your marketing team can optimise the content they are producing based on this feedback, making future pieces more useful to your sales team.
3. Streamline content via your CRM
Whether you’re using Salesforce or Zoho, or another CRM system, you need to make sure that your sales team has access to all the relevant content being produced by your marketing team.
During the process of turning someone into a prospect and then into a customer, it isn’t good practice to keep these leads waiting for content, during this crucial time any hiccups in the process could lead to them becoming disinterested and going cold. This is why it is vital that sales reps are never left in the position where they have to ask marketing for a piece of content, or have to go searching for it.
Many of the CRM systems available already have pre-defined templates in place, however for a more efficient and effective system you’ll want the content to already be placed ready at each stage in the funnel, allowing sales reps to share the correct material with prospects in a timely manner.
Sales enablement software can give your reps this access and freedom. Sales enablement software from providers such as Data Dwell can be integrated in a CRM system, meaning your content and lead information is all in the same place, making it easier to optimise the sales process.
It also allows marketing to upload new content or existing content that has been updated into specific areas of your pipeline, carefully crafted to address concerns or answer questions at each given stage. Sales reps then have the ability to send the right content, to the right segments, at the right time.
4. Personalise content at every stage
In an ideal situation, the content produced by the marketing team would line up perfectly with the sales team. However, no matter how much you plan, not every prospect will be the same. The pre-planned stages are likely to differ slightly for each client and it is essential that the content created is tailored to each of them.
This is only achievable if the sales and marketing teams work together and share key information, such as:
- Sales reps create different buyer personas, based on the characteristics of the potential customer and the way they behave.
- Marketing can use this information to create and personalise content specifically for these buyers, making sure it’s relevant and targeted to these individuals.
If marketing lacks the time to personalise every piece of content, sales enablement software, would enable sales reps to create and edit their own content.
This way they still have the tailored content and are able to make any changes they feel are fitting for each potential customer.
Content, collaboration & communication
Closing the gap between sales and marketing has always been a challenge, but by working together companies can achieve some fantastic results. The customer journey becomes more streamlined, leading to a higher success rate and smoother processes.
This is easily achievable for any company through investment in sales enablement techniques and will help transform the content, collaboration and communication within your workplace. Closing the gap between sales and marketing teams, could mean the difference between potential customers and paying customers, so investing in new software could prove very beneficial.