Sales and Marketing functions are often grouped together as though one. However, in reality, in many organisations there is no culture of sales and marketing working together on a regular basis.
While the Marketing team provides much of the collateral required to manage a prospect through the sales process, Marketing often don’t have any direct contact with prospects and so are often somewhat removed from their concerns and priorities.
Building a closer relationship between Sales and Marketing
By working more closely together, Marketing and Sales team can identify the exact needs and questions prospective customers have. This then enables them to create better, more targeted content that truly responds to these and that can really drive the sales process forward.
Sales team insight can help marketing teams understand clients’ needs
Sales people are in regular conversation with their prospects and so get to hear and recognise the words, phrases and any jargon customers use to describe their situation and requirements. They also hear first-hand the real issues facing customers and so gain a better understanding of their genuine motivations and concerns. A good sales person will then empathise appropriately, using phrases that resonate and illustrating points effectively to get the message across.
If Marketing engages regularly with the Sales team, they can develop a much better idea of what a potential customer really ‘looks like’, how they make their buying decisions – and what Marketing can do to help progress the sale.
How can Sales teams help drive marketing content?
So, how can Sales and Marketing best work together to better engage with, and win, prospective customers, as well as nurturing existing ones?
Compelling sales and marketing content is the key. Relevant, targeted and up-to-date content plays a key role at every stage in the customer’s sales journey:
- Identifying or creating a need
- Persuading that your product or service meets that need
- Demonstrating the results that can be obtained
- Providing relevant supporting data and examples
All of these stages benefit from content and supporting evidence that is relevant, appropriate to the prospect and tailored to their needs.
The Sales team can play a clear role here by giving the Marketing team insight into prospects’ concerns, objectives and ‘top of mind’ issues.
Then – crucially – once this content is created, it needs to be accessible. The majority of sales people want to spend their time actively selling, not wasting precious hours hunting for the right content to support their business development activities.
If Sales teams are trying to save time when up against a deadline, are they able to find the content they need to support their pitch – whether this is brochures, whitepapers, articles or simply the corporate data and brand assets they need to use. As a business, can you be sure the most current material is being used? Has all content been compliance approved? Or is the temptation just to rely on whatever is to hand?
Sales presentations and supporting material might comprise a whole host of content. There is always a chance that vital information might not be compliant:
- Is corporate information, like the regulated office address or assets under management information, correct – or has it been copied and pasted from an old document without being verified?
- Are the correct disclaimers being used? This can be a minefield, particularly in firms operating across jurisdictions or with a wide range of business streams.
- Is your branding correct? Inconsistent branding devalues your message and damages your corporate messages. Are logos correctly positioned and sized? Are images and fonts in line with your brand guidelines?
Aside from compliance considerations, you also need to make sure you’re exploiting all the valuable content available to you as a Sales team:
- Is the most current content being used? Marketing teams produce a wealth of material to support the business in winning work. If Sales teams don’t use it, it’s being wasted. Making sure Sales teams can easily access the most up to date thought leadership is vital.
- Do you know what content wins work – and can you re-use it? What happens to successful sales presentations in your firm? Are they analysed to see what content they have in common, and is that text shared as best practice to save other business developers reinventing the wheel? Collaboration within the Sales team, as well as with Marketing and others, can save time and dramatically increase your ROI. Successful content should be reused.
However you manage it – via an online content library, which can remove a lot of the work required to maintain up-to-date content manually, or via your own manual approach – ensuring your Sales team has access to content that can support their work is essential.
By working together, Marketing and Sales teams can ensure that:
- Sales content is up-to-date and compliant
- Content produced by the marketing team is optimised and used to support sales
- Sales teams are aware of the content available, and how they can easily access it
- Relevant content is always available to support every stage of a customers’ journey
If you would like to learn more about how you can transform the sales process and drastically reduce the time you spend producing business documents, then download our client case study. Find out how AIG took a new approach to creating professional, brand-consistent, customer-facing documents and transformed their business.