Look around. Do you see what's happening here? The digital landscape is providing tools and strategies to understand the marketplace better. So B2B and B2C enterprises are sharpening their focus and driving more sales, right? Not always. Sales and marketing teams continue to compete over the same leads. A major step towards successfully implementing the available tools that can help improve sales is to tear down the wall that separates the two disciplines.
The first step is to have the sales team examine data that marketing has generated to understand who their prospects are. One of the purposes of the marketing discipline is to establish whether a market exists; those who practice marketing spend time learning about buyer behavior. What better means does sales have to understand their prospects better than by examining how market messaging impacts behavior.
For many in sales a prospect represents a means to an end, a contact who can buy so a commission can be paid. But there are layers within that prospect that, if clearly understood, could make closing the deal more likely. This is where the marketing assets that generate engagement with sales leads can be beneficial.
There are three marketing components your sales team can look at that reveal buying triggers which may lead to better sales productivity:
- Lead acquisition vector. Which marketing asset (display ad, blog post, email message) was the first touch point? If the first point came through a search, was the asset a paid link or organic search phrase? Examine both the type of asset and the message delivered to estimate what factors may have led to a sales inquiry. Understanding what led a prospect to your enterprise can reveal where she is in the buying cycle.
- Lead scoring. Companies that deploy marketing automation and/or a CRM platform may be able to indicate how sales-ready leads are through scoring models. These models establish suitability according to lead attributes and intention according to digital behaviors that have manifested during the buying cycle. The sales team should review a lead score thoroughly for factors that signal where that lead is in the buying process.
- Marketing engagement activities. Sales can look at the ways in which a prospect has connected with your brand through its marketing assets. Have they exclusively used search engines to research a solution? Did they attend a recent webinar? Was there a connection with a call center? The manner in which a prospect moves toward a buying decision can indicate buying triggers that help sales convert faster.
Sales reps who are the most informed about prospects typically close quicker and more often. Sharing marketing practices with sales is a good start toward blending sales and marketing and, ultimately, generating higher sales productivity.