Too often sales and marketing are seen as isolated teams. Truth is, taking small and concrete steps to put sales enablement best practice into action can lead to some big wins for your business. When Sales and Marketing collaborate, that’s when the smarketing magic begins!
Simple ways to begin sales and marketing integration
Team up sales and marketing under the same cause
The best way to team up Marketing and Sales? Make alignment a priority. Smarketing can’t be an initiative that sits with executives behind closed doors — bring it to the floor and keep it top of mind with your teams.
Regular meetings between Sales and Marketing are essential, in order to ask the important questions: What is sales hearing on the phone? Should marketing change their positioning? Is Sales telling the right stories on the phone? You can even encourage Marketing to shadow some Sales call, in order to gain valuable buyer persona insights and close the loop on campaigns.
At the end of the day, the secret sauce to success is some Negotiation 101 that begins with two easy but foundational steps:
- Make sure both teams come to the table and agree that they have the same goal.
- Become maniacal about those goals.
How you fet from establishing to reaching these goals relies on your team's ability to bi-directionally communicate, ensure buyer personas are rock solid, and supplement the sales process with relevant and tailored content. Keep reading for some best practices around this, but do not forget to start with the foundation of agreement between your teams. Soon you'll be able to celebrate these wins together as one team!
Approach your prospects
Come to your conversation with prospects with something helpful and valuable - not use a canned product pitch. The key to differentiate yourself, which you can do in a number of ways: with how you position your product's value, your brand, your culture, your focus on customer success, etc. In fact the easiest thing Sales can do is differentiate themselves by being helpful. That’s when the truly valuable conversations the move the sale forward begin to flow.
The first step is always to deliver some value through content that answers the questions your prospects are asking. Help them solve their problem first, and you’ll have established trust — this trust goes a long way in encouraging future sales conversations. Sales enablement teams should focus not only on creating helpful content, but making it easy for Sales Teams to find and utilise the right content, for the right prospects at the right time.
Become and extension of your brand or business
When it’s a team effort, Sales and Marketing can ensure a customer’s experience of your brand is brilliant from first contact to sale and beyond to brand advocacy. Simply put, Smarketing should become an extension of your brand or business.
Marketing has already done work to understand your buyer. Your persona. Your go-to market strategy. Therefore, Sales doesn’t need to re-invent the wheel with new positioning. If you don’t find the positioning from marketing to be effective, do not have fear (they don't bite!). Talk to them. Work with them. This is often an opportunity to further solidify your brand’s messaging, that’ll only serve to bring long term rewards.
Often the experience can become hampered by a sales pitch too early in the process. Most of the time, buyers are simply looking for answers to questions that they've already begun searching for online - especially if they’ve yet to fully identify their problem and discover solutions. The best approach is to continue the educational experience through the sales process, where the sales rep acts as curator of resources that marketing has created with tailored sales enablement content and a helpful educator.
Add value and be consultative
The only way you can better convince and convert customers is by knowing them in and out. Before joining the conversations, explore their industries, businesses, challenges and goals. You have to understand your prospect’s day to day pain points — and often the best ways to do this are to talk to current prospects and interview former customers. Sales Enablement marketers should help in this mission by conducting win/loss interviews themselves, and ensuring they've properly documented and trained their Sales Teams on their buyer personas.
Furthermore, sales can build upon the proven positioning marketing has created, and use their creative selling super power to bring personalised conversations to the table. Just as every person is different, every pitch should be a human conversation catering for unique situations. The better your sales team knows their buyer, the easier they can tailor these conversations without slowing down or diminishing the efficiency of their sales process.
Over to you
These actionable ways of bringing your Smarketing alignment up to scratch are only just the beginning, but will set the foundation for ongoing Sales and Marketing integration that will help in bringing in big future wins. What’s more you’re better equipped for converting customers AND creating loyal brand advocates when all of your pre-sale initiatives are in line with one another, delivering a consistent and helpful experience.
If you're a business with a big vision, then you've got long term goals in sight. For building a stronger brand, the inbound methodology is your best bet — the approach that's all about giving value before asking for it, to help convince customers and create brand advocates. We've compiled the ultimate goal setting calculator to unite your sales and marketing team - simply give it a go here.