Sales teams manage a lot of different factors these days. Some are new, fresh challenges, and some old, but all part of a pretty delicate balancing act they’ve got to keep afloat to make the sale. But they’re not alone in this “battle” — marketing should be fighting right alongside them, with just as much of a stake in each sale.
It’s tough, though, when each team has their own set of concerns and issues. The ultimate goal could be lost in the daily duties, and even more so when they don’t understand the other’s needs.
No one wins in a silo, so that’s why it’s important for marketing to support sales in any way they can.
Here are six things you as a marketer can do to help:
1. Eavesdrop on Your Sales Team
What’s your sales team hearing every day? What objections and concerns do prospects have, and what can marketing do to assuage those concerns? Similarly, what positive feedback are they hearing that you could better use in the future?
The only way to know any of the above is to actually get to know your sales reps. Chat with them about what they’re seeing from customers and prospects. Better yet, hang out on their phone calls and listen for yourself. You’ll get key insights the sales folks get daily, but ones that don’t typically come from your marketing experience.
This helps you direct and control the flow of information away from the individual silos. Marketing and sales might see each others’ metrics, sure, but without communication about these numbers, they might come up with the wrong solutions.
If you as a marketer build a campaign around a new product or service based solely on metrics, and see prospects dropping out when the topic of pricing comes in, you might attribute the lost sale to poor pricing. The reality could be, though, that customers just might not know what the product or service accomplishes. This is a reality only sales teams would know, and without communicating, it’s lost on marketing to find a new way to engage prospects with messaging.
2. Give Your Sales Teams (the Right) Target Account Priorities
Sales reps only have so much time in their day. They need to know which accounts to best place their energy for the most likely sale, and which of those sales will be sustaining customers.
You as a marketer have already likely organized your target lists by priority, industry, vertical, and other useful characteristics. If not, doing this should your No. 1 move after reading this blog post, to help your organization set the foundation for a successful go-to-market campaign.
An ABM platform like Terminus can help you make these key determinations, and once that list is created, communicate it in the best way possible to your sales team. (Have you started noticing the common thread of “communicate more!” coming through this list?)
You might not have identified the right accounts first, and that’s okay. You’ll be able to adjust your targeting to your results, gaining more accuracy as time goes on. To be clear: More isn’t always better. The more accounts you’re going after at the same time, the harder it is to personalize each. Work with sales to find a balance between volume and personalization.
3. Offer Consistent, Easy-to-Digest Messaging
There’s the word again: Communication.
You’ve got your organization’s messaging down pat. It exists on your site, your ads, and all your content, but how well does your sales team know that messaging? A better question: How easy is it for your sales reps to relay that message?
Your high level brand promise, tagline, elevator pitch, positioning statement, and boilerplate might all be things they have access to, but is sales able to articulate each campaign?
Once that message is driven down to more niche areas like industry trends, who you are, what you do and offer, and who we serve, sales might use that messaging for everyday communications with customers and prospects.
Even further down, campaigns and individual pieces of content might be vital for sales, but how are they receiving that information? It’s likely they’re not going to take the time to read your entire campaign brief or ebook. That’s why developing an established process to create consistency across your entire organization, not just sales and marketing, is so important.
So, make it easy on them: Deliver the newest message in an easy-to-digest summary or bulleted list. The more time you put into enablement, the more comfortable sales reps will be in relaying that message to prospects.
4. Create Useful Content, Obviously, but It Might Not Be What You Think (Right Now)
Continuing on that easy-to-digest information track, it’s really important to think about what content will have the most impact so you can put your energy into that first. This is where you slide/pitch decks and customer stories come in.
Sure, ebooks, white papers, videos, infographics, blog posts, etc., all are important to helping others learn more about your products and services, but those all can’t be done right now.
Creating decks with templated styles that your sales team can customize for each call will make things easier on both you and your sales team. But it’s more than the call deck — create slides for certain situations, objections, product features, personas, and more. Manage expectations and remember that each prospect and call will be different, so it’s impossible to create a deck that applies to each buyer. Instead, develop a set of options for reps to pick and choose from, depending on their circumstances.
Your next priority: customer stories. And we’re not just talking blocks of text (though those have their place, too)—relay these stories to your audience in the best, most engaging way. This means slides, quotes, testimonials, reviews, audio, and video.
The more options for both your sales team and your audience, the better.
5. Get All the Data
It’s no secret that we love, love, loooooooooove data, and with good reason. Data tells you everything you need to know about your marketing and sales successes/failures—and it lets you fail quickly and pick yourself up just as quickly to try again.
Finding and knowing how to use intent data makes your sales team more efficient and shortens the sales cycles while consuming fewer resources. This ultimately gives your buyers a more personalized (and better) experience.
There are tons of great sources for data, like product reviews, data, technographic intent data, hiring intent data, research intent data, engagement intent data, and more, but how you gather it is just as important.
Whether you’re working with observed data gathered straight from the target account or inferred data interpreted based on online behavior, it all comes down to the right fit, intent, and engagement.
6. Wrap It up in a Neat Package, With or Without a Bow
There’s no better excuse for a sales rep to reach out to a prospect than to come armed with a great message in a slick, well-branded package.
So, give them that reason.
A set of resources like a case study on how similar industries use your product, or a neatly bulleted list of data and success stories that speak directly to a specific audience segment can turn a regular call into a sale.
Include a product overview and demonstrate how your service can alleviate each of the prospect’s pain points, and you’ve just turned a sales rep into a trusted advisor.