Sales and marketing are both responsible for attracting and serving customers. Ideally, these departments work closely together. Unfortunately, that is not always the case in practice. And that costs money. Better alignment between sales and marketing can lead to a 32% increase in revenue, as well as 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales figures. So, get started with our practical tips.
In one-third of companies, there is no fixed communication structure between the sales and marketing departments. In about a quarter of companies, marketing and sales operate completely independently. The core of the problem is that both departments have a different focus. While sales is focused on short-term targets, marketing focuses on the bigger picture and works more on long-term goals. As a result, sales complains about unclear marketing ROI, and marketing is dissatisfied with the follow-up of leads in the longer term. Therefore, ensure agreement on objectives, KPIs, and horizons.
Today, prospects have already completed 85% of the buyer's journey before the first contact. The sales cycle, therefore, largely falls to marketing. At the same time, marketing needs sales more than ever. Specific content based on customer needs is crucial for lead generation and content. And that specific knowledge mainly comes through sales. The need for collaboration is growing in both departments.
The way to get both departments to work together is by having them create plans together. First, it is important to agree on the ideal prospect. How does this prospect behave, which industry does he work in, and in what role? Based on this ideal prospect, create personas together so that everyone knows exactly who to target and what triggers each persona has. Then, together, map out the buyer journey in as much detail as possible and develop highly specific content for each persona and touchpoint, working on 6 to 8 touchpoints per lead. Research shows that almost 95% of B2B buyers choose their supplier based on the content offered. Due to information overload, the prospect will look for increasingly specific content because he feels it is about him. Let sales contribute to personas, journeys, content, and marketing campaigns so that they seamlessly fit with customers and the follow-up process. The ultimate goal of providing relevance with content is to address specific questions, expectations, and concerns.
The integration between marketing and sales can be accelerated by hiring people who combine both functions. Sales marketers, that is. Sales marketers are the new version of inside sales and focus on inbound marketing. They work in both online and offline marketing and sales tools, CRM, and marketing automation software. They are also active on social media. They push content, create content, and analyze what the recipient does with it. They focus on the conversion of individual online and offline contacts. The knowledge they gain from data analysis and contact with customers and prospects is translated by the sales marketer into highly targeted SEO techniques, SEA campaigns, and new content items. In short, the sales marketer supports both marketing and sales teams. Essential in the integration of marketing and sales.
Where CRM used to be primarily an internal knowledge source for sales, it is now the digital heart of both sales and marketing, connected to all communication channels. In addition to phone calls and emails, visits to the website, customer portals, and social media are also logged and tracked in the CRM system through marketing automation. You know exactly when a prospect opens a quote and how often. You measure which videos have been viewed and how far. You see which social posts a prospect sees or 'likes'. Based on observable behavior, the right follow-up message is sent each time. Still not convinced? Then an convincing customer case follows. Already working on the quote? Then, for example, an advice call follows. This way, you serve prospects tailored to their needs.
Collaboration between marketing and sales not only makes your commercial success 30% larger but also more predictable and stable. Sales has a cyclical nature. Depending on the average lead time of your proposition, it is either rush or standstill. Sales (e.g., contacting potential customers by phone) also has more short-term effects. With marketing, you steadily build up effectiveness per touchpoint and stack effectiveness. Moreover, the quality of a lead generated by marketing is often high. Inbound marketing allows the right customers to select themselves based on specific content. When they subsequently make contact based on this, the most important foundation has already been laid. By letting marketing and sales work together, you can achieve short and long-term results. It also levels out the peaks and troughs because you steadily build a stable sales funnel.
Sales marketing is a strategic approach where marketing and sales activities are integrated to improve sales results. It involves using marketing techniques and channels to reach potential customers, generate leads, and nurture the sales pipeline. Some key aspects include:
Marketing and sales are two related but different functions within an organization. The main difference between marketing and sales is their focus and objectives. Marketing focuses on building brand awareness and creating interest, while sales is more about converting interest into sales. Some differences include:
Despite their differences, marketing and sales also have many similarities. They work together to promote an organization's success. Some similarities include:
Integrating marketing and sales is essential for a successful business strategy. Some ways to achieve this include:
By effectively integrating marketing and sales, companies can benefit from synergies and maximize their sales results.