Marketing and Sales are two different pieces of the same puzzle. However, at times, companies have a hard time successfully putting them together.
Standing Partnership’s Growth Marketing Expert Andrea Shea sat down with Agribusiness Sales Coach Greg Martinelli recently to talk about how to align marketing and sales. Listen to the podcast Sales and Marketing Alignment (11 minutes).
Some of the practical steps they discuss include:
1. Agree on buyer personas to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Ask Sales and Marketing what an ideal prospect or customer looks like. Are the answers the same?
Aligning Marketing and Sales means agreeing on exactly who you are targeting and how the prospect shops. This includes where they look for information, what information they need to compare options and make a buying decision, how much they’re willing to spend, and so on.
This allows Marketing to develop content that truly supports the Sales team’s efforts to move a lead along from prospect to buyer, and turn them into happy and engaged long-term customers.
2. Use “sit withs” and “ride alongs” to improve communication between Sales and Marketing.
What’s a “sit with”? It’s a “ride along” in reverse. Both work to get the lines of communication flowing.
How physically far apart are your Marketing and Sales teams? In some organizations, they’re separated by other departments (we often see Sales closer to Customer Service), or by locations. The majority of Sales departments have at least part of its team working remotely. Just how much communication can happen when there’s a big distance between the two groups?
Sit withs bring members of the Sales team who know the most about the market in from the field to sit with Marketing staff for the day. Ride alongs help Marketing understand what Sales is up against when they meet with prospects and customers.
Both teams can gain a lot of insight into what a great prospect looks like, and what customers are interested in, all while developing a better relationship between the departments. Regular conference calls between Sales and Marketing also keep the lines of communication open.
3. Use common tools like CRM systems to capture information in one place and keep everyone in the loop.
We often hear that Marketing doesn’t know what happened to the leads they passed on to Sales. Sales doesn’t know how marketing contributed to their pipeline. There’s no excuse for this to still be a challenge given the reasonably priced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions available today that capture all information in a single location.
The next step is to hold regular Sales and Marketing meetings to review the pipeline, so everyone feels responsible for meeting the revenue goals.
More tips on aligning Marketing and Sales
Read Greg Martinelli’s Ag Sales Professional blog “Who’s In Your Corner?”