Marketing and sales are sometimes at odds in a lot of businesses. It’s not because they’re working towards separate goals— it’s because it’s hard to say where one stops and the other begins.
To work together, they need a clear distinction between them. And if you can’t pinpoint it in your overall business plan, it’s easy for one team to step on the other’s toes.
You can make sure that doesn’t happen in your company by defining the separation between your departments so they can work together.
The basic relationship between marketing and sales
In any B2B company, the roles of marketing and sales break down to this:
- Marketing attracts potential customers to the business
- Sales closes deals to create paying customers
Understanding this relationship is so important that it’s actually one of the best strategies to help your marketing and sales teams work together. It focuses on the customer buying process and assigns specific tasks to both departments to make sure they don’t overlap.
The tasks you want your different departments to perform are ultimately up to you, but there are a handful of marketing and sales strategies that can get you some outstanding results when you use them together. The key to success is making sure marketing attracts new leads and sales converts them into customers.
Tasks for marketing teams
Marketing is a key part of moving customers through the sales funnel, and it commonly deals with the top (TOFU) and middle (MOFU) of the funnel. Before the Internet, marketing focused on advertising and word-of-mouth recommendations. Today, it’s almost laser-focused on the Internet because of how many people it reaches, how little it costs, and the incredible ROI potential. And you can do all of it right from your website.
Content marketing involves publishing valuable information on your site in any medium you want, including blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, and more. Content is valuable to marketing because it offers something to your potential customers. Content that’s designed to be helpful or informative is the most successful, and it’s a great way to draw potential customers to your business.
After you have your content, you need to make sure people can find it on search engines. That’s where SEO becomes important. SEO means your site’s pages have all of the elements they need to compete online, including title tags, headings, in-text keywords, and other ranking factors. Once your content is optimized, people can find it in Google searches so you passively start earning more traffic.
PPC is a great supplement to SEO since it allows you to pay for good placement in Google and other search engines. That means more people will see your name, but you’ll only have to pay if they come to your site. Either way, PPC is a major ingredient in any digital marketing strategy because it lets you get new leads while you’re still building your website.
Social media marketing
You can also promote your website and content on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. This option gives you the chance to connect to your customer base and share valuable information with them. If they like it, they’ll share it as well, and that’ll help you spread brand awareness to attract even more potential customers. Social media marketing is pretty much the new form of word-of-mouth advertising.
Calls to action
A call to action is a critical part of any marketing strategy since it tells customers what they can do next. Whether you’re posting a billboard or creating a video online, you should end it with information on how your customers can come closer to becoming customers. Typically, blogs and articles do this by providing contact information for a prospect and requesting that they get in touch. It may not sound like much, but calls to action are actually incredibly effective.
In a nutshell
One of the biggest reasons these marketing strategies are so successful is that they continue to generate leads over time. The only ways for you to lose your work are to either delete it yourself or forget to renew your domain, which is basically a tragedy for any recognizable business. When you create your content, optimize it, and make sure people can see it, you’re passively attracting customers to your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week with your marketing department.
Tasks for sales teams
Once your marketing team has acquired your prospects, it’s time for your sales team to turn them into customers. Your sales staff takes over after prospects have chosen to contact you since that shows that they’re seriously interested in your business. After that contact, your sales team should be able to give prospects the information they want and close the deal.
Speak to the decision-maker
When you’re closing a sale, it’s critical to talk to the final decision-maker from the start. Otherwise, you’re talking to them through the grapevine of their employees who may not relay all of your information accurately. That means they won’t know everything they need to know, which risks a lost sale.
Consider the client’s research
Before someone contacts you, you can bet that they’ve done some thorough research on your industry and competition. In fact, you’re probably not the only potential partner that they’ve contacted. Your customers are looking at you against a lineup of all your competitors — and that means you have to stick out in the best way possible.
Know your competition
One of the ways for you to stick out is to know your big competitors. Research their plans, prices, and policies so you can talk about competing services before your potential client has a chance to ask about them. Once you do that, you show that you’re truly an authority in your industry, and that kind of expertise brings a lot of trust with it.
Be honest, but assertive
If a competitor has a service that’s more affordable than yours, be honest about it — but don’t give them an endorsement. No matter what your competition does, you do something (or several things) better. Highlight those as you talk with your prospective clients and make sure they know you’re the best deal on the market — even if your services cost more.
Create a sense of urgency
No sales pitch is complete without a sense of urgency. Urgency makes potential clients feel like the sooner they work with you, the sooner they’ll experience the payoff, which minimizes the downtime and work that goes into converting a new client. The faster they pay, the faster your company can grow.
In a nutshell
Sell to your customers after they contact you directly. That shows you that they’re definitely interested in what you offer, and they’re interested in hearing more. And when you get the chance to tell them more, your sales team can turn any qualified lead into a paying customer.
Using marketing and sales together
These are only a few examples of how your marketing and sales team can work together. The point of division between both fields is when a customer contacts your business. Before that, your marketing team is on the job. And after that, your sales team is wrapping it up.
With that kind of clear, segmented setup, your marketing and sales teams won’t overlap — they’ll synergize like never before.
Have you improved the relationship between marketing and sales before? How did you segment their responsibilities? Let me know in the comments!