How well does your company share data between sales and marketing? Here we have gathered the most important reasons sales and marketing should work in integrated systems.
- Do your marketers know what constitutes a good sales lead?
- Do your sales department actively use your content to create value for customers and help them on their buying journey?
- And, in both sales and marketing, how is a lead best guided further on the buying journey? For example, can your sales see which of your website pages a lead has visited and can your marketers keep track of the status of a lead?
If the answer to several of the questions above are no - then you probably need a comprehensive platform for working with your leads. Without such a system, you will have a hard time executing effectively on an overall digital strategy for leads from your sales and marketing. This is an unnecessary waste of both resources and money. For many companies, it can be difficult to see where to start to get sales and marketing to work together. How well does your company collaborate? Find out here?
Modern times with new methods
Customers have started to act differently. Nowadays, people educate themselves to a much higher level before making a purchase or decision. Therefore you need to be able to answer a wide range of questions - even before anyone in your business is in personal contact with a lead. Therefore, marketing and sales play a far greater role than traditionally.
This also changes the demands on sales to collaborate with marketing. Fortunately, developments in customer behaviour have also given rise to new methods that can be used - and to systems that support these methods. One of the important ones is working with data driven business and growth, where your sales and marketing people should have access to the same data.
Now you might be thinking: 'Well we do not have any agreements that sales and marketing should work together'. You might have to think again! We are big proponents of having a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between sales and marketing, so both teams are going in the same direction.
Use data of content to target and provide value in sales dialogues
You can use content marketing to support the changing buying behaviour of your customers. If you want to get the most out of your content marketing, then you should use a system where you can target the content to the audience, based on data about the individual recipient. We use Hubspot - a marketing automation system which enables us to do just that.
Imagine that one of your salespersons is in contact with a lead. Now imagine that this seller knows exactly which pages on your website the lead has seen and which of your videos he or she has seen. This knowledge can enable your salespersons to ask the right questions in the conversations with a lead. But, it is not certain that the lead has seen all the relevant pages on the site. This is knowledge that sales can use to create value for the customer.
During a conversation your salespersons will typically find out what his or her plans and goals are. If any of your digital content can help a prospect meet any goals or targets, sales can provide links to that lead, in order to make a lead remember you.
In many sales organisations, content is not used enough in the dialogue with the customers. One of the reasons for this may be that the sellers have no knowledge at all of what content the company has prepared. If sales and marketing uses the same system, sales will have an easy overview of what content is available and the marketing will be able to see how much the different content is used. This can create the right foundation for a collaboration between sales and marketing on what content the company should have prepared.
Use data to assess the maturity of leads
When is a lead hot, and not just a contact who receives a newsletter once in a while? How do you ensure that a lead is treated personally, and not just become another phone number that your salespeople just “need to call”?
If your sales and marketing people have access to the same data, the above questions may be much easier for you to answer. Traditionally, leads have been generated by calling more or less randomly selected companies (cold canvas). Attempts have also been made to generate leads by attending trade fairs or buying speaking time at conferences. These have been good and proven methods for many years, but they do not match the modern customer's behaviour.
This in turn enables lead generation using digital content served in a relevant context for the right user. Or to put it another way: let the customers find your content on their terms, and make it probable on the basis of their behaviour and profiles - whether they are potential customers or not.
If this is your approach to lead generation, you will be able to reap the great benefits of having your salespersons and marketers work in the same systems. Together you will be able to analyse the same data and use this data to determine which contacts you consider to be mature enough to be contacted personally.
Your sales will therefore be able to give reasoned feedback to your marketers about why a lead might be right or not, and your marketers will be able to follow up whether the created leads are contacted at the right time. They can also make sure that the follow-up takes place according to the agreements that are set internally.
Collective platform constitutes common ground to stand on
At Avidly, we adhere to the principle that data must be gathered in one place. Marketing should gather knowledge about your leads in the system as sales. We at Avidly use HubSpot for this - but of course there are a lot of other systems as well.
When your systems are integrated and your data is gathered, you ensure that sales and marketing stand on the same solid ground - a great foundation for a collaboration between two of the most important departments in your company.
Want to know more about how you can use integrated system to give your marketing and sales superpowers? Feel free to contact us, we are happy to help!