Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016 - (Page 26)

SALES & MARKETING MARCHING TOGETHER By Paul Bilodeau IT USED TO BE THAT THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT LIVED IN THE WORLD OF BRANDING AND BROCHURES, AND THE SALES DEPARTMENT OPERATED IN A SILO WITH LITTLE TO NO CONTACT WITH MARKETING. HOWEVER, THINGS HAVE CHANGED. Prospects and customers with limitless access to information are more in control of the sale than ever before, and that increased level of buyer sophistication requires a tight alignment between the sales and marketing departments. According to a 2013 study by Marketo, when sales and marketing teams are in sync, companies increase closed deals by 67 percent. Alignment can be an ambiguous term, but the bottom line is that if you have a sales process and you're not ensuring that your marketing efforts are linked with that process, you're letting valuable opportunities pass you by. While every business is different, most follow a progression with comparable sales stages. Here's how to get sales and marketing in sync at every stage of the sales process. STAGE 1 | PRE-SALES CALL The first question to answer is whom your sales team is targeting. It may sound 26 obvious, but this crucial starting point is often overlooked. For instance, a sales team may be putting its efforts into targeting CFOs, because that's where the real opportunities lie, while marketing is focused on lead generation to help salespeople meet accountants. Once both teams agree on who their prospects are, you can begin to identify the target market's specific wants and needs and how to acknowledge them through marketing. Marketing can research the drivers and challenges of the ideal customer and develop content that resonates with the right people. STAGE 2 | EARLY DISCUSSIONS A salesperson's personal positioning can actually supersede the positioning of an organization in the eyes of a prospect, so the marketing team should place a heavy emphasis on how salespeople are perceived. When salespeople are positioned as strategic advisors, prospects see them as valuable resources contributing essential expertise. The marketing team can assist with this positioning by writing blog posts for salespeople, helping them craft questions that will act as a catalyst for meaningful business dialogue and developing resources to support sales reps in this probing stage. STAGE 3 | BUILDING VALUE It's common for marketing to arm sales with plenty of product information that communicates to the buyer, "Here's our product, and here are the reasons why it's great!" But an effective marketing department that is in line with the buyer's needs and the sales process will produce collateral that demonstrates how a product or service will solve a buyer's challenges (and how it has solved similar challenges for similar buyers in the past). That type of information is enormously valuable for building credibility, not only because it's

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016

Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016
Perspectives on Sales Training
Table of Contents
Four Ways to Increase the Impact of Sales Coaching
Sales Training: Is It Worth It?
Trust Is Dead. Long Live Trust!
The Salesperson's Most Valuable Portfolio: Aligning with What Matters Most to Your Customer
Great Selling Today: Navigating Change
Big Data-Driven Sales Training
Designing an Effective Sales Training Program
Putting the Cart Before the Horse?
Helping Sales and Marketing March Together
Modern Sales Management
What Sets High-Performing Teams Apart
Four Keys to Rapid Behavior Change
Do Your Salespeople Know Where They're Struggling
Banish the Other Four Lettered F-Word
The Secret of Sales Enablement
What's Online
Company News

Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016