I don't think anyone reading this would disagree with me when I say that the sales and marketing teams in B2B companies NEED each other.
I also don't think anyone would disagree with me when I say that the synergy between the two is rarely seen.
So, why is that? Well, sales and marketing certainly are different departments, but their goal is the same. The goal structures for sales and marketing teams are, more often than not, completely different. This shouldn't be the case. So, what do we do? How do we change this age-old “silo” structure and bring the marketing and sales teams all together like kids around the campfire? Here are some guidelines and tools to create a Kumbaya situation with your B2B sales/marketing teams.
When you start thinking about how the sales and marketing teams can help each other, you should start by considering what they NEED from each other. In general, when you're looking at the level of influence each department has, the marketing department has REACH, and the sales team has TARGETS. In order for these two strengths to blend, your sales and marketing teams need to use the same marketing automation system. Step one would be to invest in one of these systems, so both sales and marketing teams are connected every day for everything they do.
Sales/marketing teams can work together without these combined systems, but one of the primary reasons that you don't see these sales/marketing synergies very often is because most B2B sales/marketing organizations haven't fully adopted these tools. Watermark partners with both Hubspot and Sharpspring, but there are many other options available. This is a crucial step to allow your sales/marketing teams to communicate by sharing and understanding each other's data and the patterns and analytics created through this information.
Analytics are key to defining whether or not progress is being made. One of the great opportunities marketing automation software creates is the ability to take the guesswork out of which campaigns are working and which aren't, and why. For instance, maybe the leads are flooding in, but they're just not converting, or the number of leads isn't enough to hit the level of conversations/proposals/sales you've defined in order to achieve your goal. This detailed tracking is one of the KEY components to every Watermark partnership. The ability to adjust the messaging itself and the channels where this messaging is sent will almost certainly be needed at some point in the campaign to create better results and hit targets. Know what you want to achieve with every single marketing campaign you build and track it from the beginning.
Let's take a step back to before a digital marketing campaign launches. With most companies, the marketing department is solely responsible for conceiving, building and launching these campaigns (either themselves, or with the help of a professional third party agency). If this is how your company works, change it immediately. Again, the marketing department has the strength of scale, but the sales team's TARGETS need to be understood from the campaign’s inception. The sales team can get much more granular with details of these personas you're building the campaign around.
The sales team can also help the marketing team better understand these personas from multiple conversations they have with potential and current clients every day. And the great thing is, with a marketing automation platform, all of this information will be right there in the same system! The marketing team will now have all of this very detailed customer information at their fingertips, saving many long meetings, data entry, and TIME to get these campaigns built and out the door. This newfound efficiency will allow for multiple campaigns to be built and running concurrently, as opposed to only having one campaign per quarter or less. This means leads are up, and pipelines are stacked. Your sales team is spending more time responding to pre-qualified leads, and revenues are up.
The end result is not just more sales = more revenue. In fact, one of the long term results that these sales/marketing team synergies create is the ability for more precise forecasting, which is key to: Better understanding your business; Creating more predictable sales goals; and becoming more confident with your communication to invested parties outside of the company.