I feel sorry for salespeople that get no support from marketing…
I talk to plenty of them who are relegated to sending out emails and pounding on the phones because they have no other choice-they’re not getting any leads or intelligence from marketing.
I guess I should also feel sorry for the business leaders that are identifying and employing these hunter-type sales people because they are going to lose them, but I don’t. They’ve had plenty of warning about how sales and marketing has changed and have chosen to do nothing about it.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to spin the same old yarn about cold outreach being dead. It still works, it should just fall last in the category of call prioritization. In other words, cold outreach activity should only be conducted once a sales person has exhausted their marketing qualified leads, referrals, and other opportunities where they’ve developed some lead intelligence.
So congratulations if you’ve found a motivated, hard-working, hungry sales prospector, but don’t get used to them being around for the long term if you’re not doing anything to support that person on the marketing front.
Personally, I would never take a sales job that does not offer some form of lead generation assistance (unless I’m in a position to affect and create that demand generation function in conjunction with my sales process).
For a B2B company with an outside salesforce, content marketing is the only option. That means developing content that engages an audience, providing thought leadership, creating experience, and adding value.
A top producer can use marketing qualified leads to supplement their prospecting efforts, which is what will enable them to make and exceed quota in 2017.
So how can you shift your marketing efforts to fully support sales?
• Marketing needs to operate like a media company.
• Develop the appropriate technology stack.
• Marketing and sales must work horizontally, not in vertical silos.
• Website and digital marketing must focus on demand generation.
• Content should be developed in tandem with the sales process.
The Case for Content
It is now marketing’s burden to build as much trust online as possible by providing thought leadership and other forms of engaging content that creates a unique experience for the consumer.
It starts with the creation of content that is going to identify some lead intelligence on a prospect when they interact with it, which is why the content strategy and mapping to the sales process is so important.
When marketing produces great content such as a compelling white paper, it can replace some of what the traditional sales professional used to be able to do on their own by knocking on doors, making cold calls, and attending networking events and conferences.
Getting to Know Your Customer
Before you start pumping out blogs and buying marketing automation systems, you need to get to know your audience. Involve every part of your team, from customer service, to account leads, to executives. They all know something about the customer that you don’t.
The hard truth for many business owners is that no one cares about you. They care about their own problems, and if you have something that can solve it, they’ll be all ears.
For a step-by-step guide on creating a content strategy, download our workbook.
Sales and Marketing Unite
A good sales prospector should be able to use marketing’s support in the digital world to prioritize his or her prospecting efforts.
Content marketing programs done in conjunction with sales creates significant lead intelligence to warm up calls and help the salesperson to prioritize their efforts.
So if you’re having trouble selling, make these adjustments to your marketing team. If your sales and marketing teams work hand-in-hand with a heavy focus on content, you sales team will surely thank you.