Unicorns and Bigfoot. These mythical creatures are often talked about and sought after, but elusive. The same applies to sales and marketing alignment and even sales enablement. This often talked about and sought after alliance is difficult to obtain.
While it’s the marketing team’s job to generate leads, it’s the sales team’s job to turn those leads into customers. But obtaining this dynamic can be challenging. One way to get there is to build a digital marketing strategy that supports your sales team through sales enablement and sales and marketing alignment. Here’s a look at how to do just that.
Consider this: companies with supportive sales and marketing practices in place see 208 percent more revenue from their marketing efforts. But if your company is like most, its departments are probably operating in silos, which usually means departments like marketing and sales don’t regularly communicate and don’t have access to each other’s data.
Start by meeting with department heads — or if your departments are small enough, the entire department — and find out their needs.
This is the first step to understanding the ideal company your sales team wants to target. These profiles are similar to buyer personas, but focus instead on the company rather than the individual inside that company. When creating these profiles, consider the following:
Once you have your ideal buyer profiles established, now it’s time to create those buyer personas. Focus on people who are the gatekeepers or decision makers inside the organization. This will allow you to create a content marketing strategy that engages someone at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Creating effective and meaningful buyer personas involves going beyond the basic demographic information of your ideal buyers. You need to discover their pain points, where they get their information, if and where they spend their time online and more. Keep these items in mind when creating your buyer personas:
When you have your buyer personas established, the sales team should work with marketing to rank the ideal buyer profiles and personas by priority. Once marketing knows which profiles and personas hold the most weight, they can create content strategies to engage each persona. When fleshing out your strategies, ask yourself:
You know who you want to target, you know you’ll need content to do that, and you’ve answered the above questions. But before you get started creating stellar content, do a content audit first. A content audit gives you a good idea of the content you already have available, how to better optimize that content, and lets you know of any holes you could fill.
Ask your sales team what content they use most during the sales process and figure out how to improve it. This could be anything from one-sheeters and slide decks to case studies and spec sheets, which have the ultimate goal of engagement, not conversion.
Take your content creation a step further and ask your sales team the topics they always address on sales calls and create content around them.
Another idea is to create a buyer’s guide that includes answers to common questions your sales team fields. Then, when someone fills out a form for a consultation or more information, a link to the buyer’s guide can be included in the autoreply. Now the prospect has answers to commonly asked questions, which can help not only further engage them but also help prepare them for the sales call, making it more productive.
Chances are your sales team sends a lot of email, and most of the time the emails they send have similar elements. Have your sales team send you examples of frequently sent emails and offer to help update the copy or add relevant links.
Note: If you are a HubSpot Sales Pro user, the Template tool can help organize this for you and your teams.
Great content is useless unless it gets to the right people. Make sure your sales team has easy access to your content library by using a centralized database. If you’re a HubSpot user, you can use HubSpot’s Documents sales tool as a content repository for your sales team. The tool allows sales professionals to easily add content into emails and gives them metrics on who clicks on that content and even how long they spend reading it.
If you are not a HubSpot user, make sure the database of your choice allows your marketing team to easily add content and allows your sales team to easily attach documents to emails.
Do this by creating a document similar to a service-level agreement (SLA). It can be as simple as something like: "The marketing team will provide X number of leads per months, and the sales team will provide feedback on those leads that lets marketing continue to optimize its efforts." A closed-loop reporting system also helps hold both teams accountable. Closed-loop reporting helps the marketing and sales teams work more efficiently together, gives marketing a way to prove the value of its efforts and gives you a 360-degree view of your sales cycle.
Creating a digital strategy that promotes sales enablement doesn’t have to be as elusive as a mythical being. Keeping open lines of communication between teams, creating accountability and housing your data and content assets in a centralized database can get your teams on the road to sales and marketing alignment.
Need even more inspiration? Get actionable advice about sales enablement and successful CRM strategies from seven CMOs at top companies in this eBook.
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