B2B businesses consistently struggle to align their sales and marketing teams and yet, it is imperative these two groups work in tandem to ensure the core business model succeeds.
Otherwise, a continued disconnect between sales and marketing could impede your long-term growth or worse, result in the shuttering of your organization.
When marketing turns it back on sales
An increasing number of businesses today are making significant investments in social media and content for their owned and earned media channels; others are investing in SEO and lead generation campaigns. But one thing is for certain; most companies do not have a sound plan for integrating the efforts of a marketing campaign with their sales team.
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For instance, the content created by the marketing team may work wonders for drawing prospects in through the first few levels of the sales funnel, but what happens as they travel down the funnel? What happens when they reach the point of closing a long-term sale? Is the content created complimentary to what the sales team might need to close the sale? Not always. This is where the disconnect between the marketing team and sales team become apparent.
The sales team has first-hand knowledge about existing customers and prospects. The sales team knows what kind of leads to look for, what their pain points are and/or what attracts them to particular products and services. These are rich insights that can help the marketing team create content that is fine-tuned to catch current -- as well as prospective -- customers’ eyes.
When sales gives marketing the cold shoulder
Recently, I worked with a company that collected 1,200 leads through their web campaigns. However, when I spoke with their sales team, they had no idea what happened to the leads. Exploring the situation further, I found out that this wasn’t really a rare occurrence. It is unfortunately very common, especially in smaller businesses, for web leads to be mishandled as they are passed from person to person or department to department. If they’re even passed on at all!
According to recent lead nurturing statistics, 79 percent of marketing leads go without a response from sales. This is due to poor communication between teams, and cliquish “hoarding of information” — holdovers from another era of marketing and sales. Why work hard to bring in leads if there won't be a substantial effort to manage them? It’s not unusual for the marketing teams to transfer leads that aren’t sales-ready, forcing the sales people to find their own leads; it’s equally common for the sales teams to disregard marketing sourced leads.
When these problems surface, customers and prospects feel lost and turn to a competitor who they feel can do a better job of listening and catering to their needs.
Integrating marketing and sales may seem like a difficult task at first, but trust me, it’s worth every effort. Strategic planning, creating scope for open dialogue between both teams, building an environment of mutual trust, and encouraging your organization’s departments to make customer satisfaction their common goal are strategies that will help you break down the silos holding back your business