Marketing has two roles:
- To develop the leads your business needs to grow.
- To help your sales team close the deal.
Let’s talk about the latter.
Once your Sales team takes on a lead, they have one goal: to close the deal. To do this, they must convince the prospect that your business can deliver on the promises the sales person makes. To do that they must do X things:
- Demonstrate that they understand the issues and problems they are trying to resolve.
- Show you, as a business, has the knowledge and expertise to resolve the issues and problems.
- Prove it.
- Help time the conversations.
Understanding their issues
Every business has one or more Ideal Clients. To develop a marketing plan to target the Ideal Client, they will have developed a clear picture of the issues that Ideal Client faces. This information will most likely come from two sources:
- Previous experience dealing with similar companies
- Market research
The development of the needs and issues should involve Sales when possible, but if not, this picture has to be shared with Sales. Without the knowledge, they are at a disadvantage.
Showing you have the knowledge
The next stage, once you listed the needs and issues faced by your Ideal Client, it to match your solutions to their issues.
A sales person who can confidently explain how your business can resolve specific issues will be well on their way to closing the deal.
But a savvy buyer will accept that they can talk the talk. Now they expect them to prove that your company can walk the walk. They want evidence that you can deliver.
The evidence can be produced in many ways. It is the role of Marketing to collate and to share this information in a way that supports the Sales team.
- Case studies on the website or gathered together for use in proposals.
- Video or written testimonials shared through automated emails, based on pipeline progress.
- Stories the sales team can use during sales meetings or networking events.
To do this, Marketing needs to liaise with both Sales and Operations to understand who the happiest clients are, what projects have gone particularly well and what the results have been. Marketing can then work with the client to produce a picture of what happened, what the results were and how happy the client was.
Helping Time the Conversations
Imagine, as a sales person, being able to time your next call to your prospects when you know they are ready to move through the pipeline. Although not strictly a Marketing function, web analytics products are often pitched at Marketing as a way of showing the performance of marketing campaigns. Web analytics will do that, but it will also tell your Sales team exactly how their prospects are engaging. Our personal preference is a product called CANDDi, but there are many others out there.
Imagine knowing WHO is visiting your website, what they are looking at on your website and when they come back? Would that help your Sales team?
I hope this helps explain how Marketing sits alongside Sales. If your business is Sales-led, a Marketing function can help Sales work more effectively. If you have the age-old issue with Marketing and Sales trying to compete, bang their heads together and talk to them about how they should be working together.
I hope this helps.