Over the years, history has given us pretty powerful dynamic duos. Think Batman and Robin, Mario and Luigi, or even Peanut Butter & Jelly—all perfect examples of how two is indeed, better than one. Yet, when it comes to creating dynamic duos within an organization, many companies fall short, siloing their departments under complex organizational structures, limiting the fantastic opportunity for cross-channel engagement. When it comes to winning new business, marketing and sales alignment might be the most amazing strategic alignment a company can embrace.
Before joining Marketo as a sales development representative, I was working in the marketing department of a small FinTech start-up. From collateral creation to brand messaging and advertising, I was able to get a taste of the full spectrum of marketing efforts that go into building a brand and establishing a marketing presence. As I reflect on my time in marketing, I want to share the key takeaways I have learned from being on the other side of the conversation.
In this blog, I am going to tell you the top three things any marketer can learn from their sales team.
Build Your Arsenal of Collateral
After plenty of phone calls, you can typically hear someone on our team say, “let me send you some follow-up material to show you the power of our platform,” obligating us to send relevant and engaging content to help persuade our potential buyer to take a more in-depth look into our platform. It’s at this specific point that I am relying on our marketing department to have built out a case study, webinar, one-pager, etc. dedicated to the exact needs of my lead. The best is when I can send material in different mediums (think word documents vs. videos and webinars) to help you diversify your offerings, so it is not death by whitepaper.
Especially in selling software, having documents that show the inside of your product, as well as documents that detail the technical aspects of your solution, are invaluable resources for providing a foundational product knowledge.
Having a library of organized, up-to-date, and diverse collateral will give your sales team the ammo they need to help persuade a company to begin the evaluation process. This will help them, at least on a surface level, understand your product, the value of your product, and relevant examples of your product being put to the test.
Not all Talk Tracks are Created Equal
During my time as a marketing assistant, we were creating messaging that was inclusive of a wide audience, which was understandable for a small start-up with limited resources. But, it is important to remember that messages created with an overarching theme don’t always resonate in a conversation with a potential customer. All too often, I run into companies who have elaborate and trendy company descriptions, but I am still left confused on what the company or their product actually does. That is why, when creating a strong sales and marketing alignment, understanding the messaging that lands with customers is crucial.
In the sales process, you can quickly gauge when a prospect is absorbing your value propositions or when they need more tangle examples. We’re able to understand their needs because they directly tell us the inefficiencies in our explanation. In marketing, there can be a delay in feedback, or even none at all, when it comes to the messaging put in front of a potential customer. Gaining an understanding of the narrative that is promulgated by the first point of contact in the sales process is essential to create brand consistency and a compelling long-term marketing strategy.
We’re All in This Together
One of the most predominant differentiators between marketing and sales is their compensation structure. Most marketing positions are salaried, while sales is typically commission based, at least partially. So, when executing your marketing campaigns, it is essential to consider the impact marketing can have on a sales representative’s success in their position.
For example, our sales strategy is predominantly inside/inbound sales—that is because our marketing team has created compelling campaigns that drive interested customers to our website. However, when a company has poor campaign execution, this can decrease the number of inbound leads a sales representative can engage; forcing them to pivot to an outbound strategy which generally has a more extended courting period. An essential job for marketing is to fill the funnel with qualified leads. Their successful execution is crucial to supporting the wellbeing of the other departments.
Building strong sales and marketing alignment is the dynamic duo your company needs when it comes to creating your brand, generating quality leads, and driving new business. When marketing and sales work as a team, amazing things can happen! So, to all of you marketers out there, I hope I’ve inspired you to grab your chair and head over to your sales department for a quick conversation to see what’s working and what’s not.
What have you as a marketer learned from your sales team? What have they helped you understand? I’d love to hear about your discoveries in the comments.