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Coordinating Sales and Marketing: Key Benefits

Coordinating Sales and Marketing: Key Benefits

Organizational alignment (or a lack thereof) has a massive impact on the overall success of a business. Coordinating your sales and marketing activities is a crucial step in achieving full-business alignment.

In the simplest terms, business alignment is twofold. First, there is the cultural aspect wherein every employee at all levels of your company subscribes to and promotes your core values and mission statement. Second, there is a procedural component wherein everyone within the business understands the interconnectedness of their work.

The overall theme of business alignment is togetherness and the reason why is not surprising: when our goals and values are shared and our individual work has a clear impact, we are better able to collaborate towards success.

Often, the term organizational alignment is thought of as existing between leadership and employees or between IT and non-tech departments. The reality is that true organizational alignment must exist between all possible combinations of departments and individuals, so that each one's work is both informed by and contributes to the others'.

Coordinating Sales and Marketing: Key Benefits
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When it comes to closing more deals and driving in more revenue, two of the biggest factors are going to be your marketing and sales teams. Overall alignment between these departments, as well as interpersonal alignment between the individuals, is necessary to reach either of the department's full potential.

As you begin the process of aligning your sales and marketing activities, a great place to start is to schedule alignment meetings. One of the central themes throughout those meetings and the entire process should be collaborating on content.

The sales team has invaluable firsthand information on your clients' pain points and can share their experiences of what has worked to close deals in the past. The marketing team provides insights on how to best convey and organize that information to make it as compelling as possible. Together, you will be able to produce stronger, more relevant content that can be used both to market your company as well as to close deals.

Here are some areas to explore as you get started.

The Advanced Guide To Sales & Marketing

Build Your Ideal Conversion Path

One common obstacle to organizational alignment, particularly between your sales and marketing activities, is that there is no agreed upon conversion path. Instead, a large net is cast with multiple conversion opportunities all seemingly weighted equally and in no particular order. In the pursuit of gaining the most leads possible, there is no concerted effort being made to adequately and consistently nurture and qualify leads in a scalable way.

Here are three steps to resolve this challenge:

  1. List all possible conversions. That list may initially look something like this:

    • Submit a form

    • Book a consultation/ meeting

    • Download a content offer

    • Schedule a demo

    • Phone Calls

    • Live Chat

  2. Dissect those conversions into the most specific actions possible. For example:

    • Submit a form

      1. Submit contact us form

      2. Subscribe to newsletter

      3. Request a free quote

    • Book a consultation/ meeting

    • Download a content offer

      1. Download one content offer

      2. Download multiple content offers

    • Schedule a demo

    • Phone Calls

    • Live Chat

      1. Live human

      2. Chatbot

  3. Arrange the conversions into the ideal order.

    • Subscribe to newsletter

    • Download one content offer

    • Download multiple content offers

    • Book a consultation

    • Schedule a demo

    • Request a free quote

    • ETC.

Ask your sales team which conversions hold the most value, as well as what information they would like leads to know before entering each step. For example, booking a consultation may be a pivotal point in the sales process that can be made more effective if the leads have an understanding of “X” before getting on the consultation call with us. Content can be used to educate and qualify leads as they move through the conversion path so that by the time they interact directly with the sales team, they have the necessary foundation of knowledge to make the sales process more effective.

Identify Your Lifecycle Stages

A major factor in achieving alignment across your sales and marketing activities is defining the lifecycle stages of your customers. Content can play a pivotal role in moving a prospect from one lifecycle stage to the next, as well as clarifying where the marketing-sales handoff occurs. This is important to identify before content is written to ensure that your content provides a clear conversion path for the reader that leads them to the sales team.

Use your ideal conversion path to identify what action or quality differentiates a lead at each of the different deal stages. Here is an example:

  • Leads: Contacts that have not opted into marketing communications

  • Marketing Qualified Leads: Contacts that have opted into marketing communications

  • Sales Qualified Leads: Contacts that have downloaded multiple content offers

  • Opportunities: Contacts that have booked a consultation

The specific qualifications for each lifecycle stage, as well as the overall number of different stages, may vary from company to company, but the overall goal is to identify how and why leads move through them.

A different iteration of a sales qualified lead may be a contact that has filled out a specific form on the website or one who has viewed a particular page, such as a pricing page, multiple times within a given timeframe. However you define each lifecycle stage, it should be clear and consistent throughout the organization.

Once there is a confirmed definition for each lifecycle stage, the content team should collaborate with the sales reps to identify how the lead's needs change as they progress through the stages.

At a minimum, the content produced will become more thorough and bottom-of-the-funnel as the lead moves throughout the process since they are gathering more information at each step. The marketing team will also be able to use common questions or objections raised by leads in each lifecycle stage to develop tailored content to address the specific needs present at each stage.

The language used for calls-to-action may also vary between lifecycle stages as they are steered toward each successive conversion. Armed with this information, the marketing team will be better able to bridge the gaps between each conversion with compelling content.

Coordinate Marketing and Sales Content

Content creation is a continuous process that will require consistent communication between the marketing and sales teams. It's important to continue to hold regular alignment meetings and to foster a company culture of collaboration and shared goals in order to keep the content relevant and effective.

Ask your marketing team which types of content have seen the most traction, and ask your sales team where they regularly see leads fall off. This will allow you to promote compelling sales and marketing activities that can be used t prevent common objections that would otherwise result in lost deals.

Here are some examples of sales content to help you close more deals:

  • Blogs and pillar pages are ungated pieces of content that are SEO-driven, which means they are heavily based on phrases and keywords that your audience is actually typing into search engines. Take inspiration from actual questions leads have asked your sales team to use as titles and topics for blogs that can be shared throughout the sales process to answer those common objections.

  • Content offers such as eBooks and case studies have long been used for lead generation, but they also serve the additional purpose of lead qualification. Consider creating a guide or whitepaper to share with leads that have booked a consultation to explain what to expect during and after the meeting.

  • Sales PDFs and one-pagers are a great tool that can easily be attached or embedded into an email. Collaborate on a clear and compelling one-pager to send to leads after completing a demo that summarizes the features and benefits demonstrated during the meeting.

The great thing about collaborating on content in this way is that the results can often be used for all your sales and marketing activities. For example, a case study can be shared during the sales process to nurture a lead or gated and shared through social media or newsletters to attract new leads. Ultimately, the goal is to align sales and marketing in order to produce the best content possible to close the most deals possible.

The Advanced Guide To Sales & Marketing

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