Good salespeople know the importance of relationships and how key they are to sales and long term success. Good marketers know the importance of messaging and the brand that supports that message.
There is a reason it’s called marketing AND sales. They are two different things. Marketing needs to create a message Sales believes in. Furthermore, Sales should convey to the market the message that is reflected in Marketing. In addition, Sales needs to have input in what the marketing message is, so that they can reinforce the message. Each department needs buy in and internal marketing needs to occur to get company-wide buy in. When the system is working correctly, Marketing generates leads and Sales follows up and closes.
With a cohesive email marketing campaign and marketing automation tools, B2B companies can close the gap between marketing and sales by consistently nurturing prospects with helpful content and creative, concise branding.
Buyer behaviors are changing. B2B marketers have to communicate with buyers in new ways and create content marketing that answers questions, provides market insight, and is personalized to the customer’s role, needs, level of interest and state in the problem-solving.
One major change is that buyers do more research on their own. They investigate solutions on their own and discuss with peers before engaging vendor sales reps. The sales cycle starts with the email campaign of the marketing department, and the message is KEY. The marketing team is tasked with developing a message and content that educates while it sells.
Too many times, marketers use existing content to power lead-nurturing campaigns but find that the content consists mainly of product brochures, technical white papers, and press releases. Pushing this kind of technical content that does not have an underlying message pushes prospective clients away. Buyers have a low tolerance for commercial messages and ones that SELL FIRST. The key is to ENGAGE buyers with a creative, cohesive message before selling your wares.
Marketers need to create a relationship, just like sales, between their brand and the leads they want to nurture. They need to create email campaigns that encourage and entice the clients to open and click-through to learn more information. New, educational content of these marketing campaigns can usually be culled through resources within the company. Sales, engineers, estimators, and customer service personnel can all add valuable, raw content for marketing to craft into a cohesive message.
Another major change is that more stakeholders are involved in the buying decisions. More people affect the purchase decision than in the past, including, line-of-business managers, IT, finance, and procurement. Marketing needs to cater educational information to each sector, as they relate to the particular interests and concerns of each buyer.
Once the brand and message has been established, sales can use this as a starting point, engage these nurtured leads, and continue the relationship and sales cycle. One needs the other. Neither sales nor marketing should be operating alone. When married, the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” When marketing and sales are working in tandem towards the same goal, that synergy drives motivation, company culture, and overall sales and revenue. It also increases more than the bottom line. It creates a culture of customer service, client relationship and education, and client loyalty. The marriage of both departments proves that while every company needs sales to drive revenue, they need marketing TOO!