Marketing and sales: how to create a joint strategy?

Marketing y ventas
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It is clear that companies whose marketing and sales departments work together are much more effective. However, to date, only around 30% of European companies have a good alignment between the two departments.

This may not seem like a very serious situation, as for a long time the two departments have worked independently. The problem is that, nowadays, new user and customer habits as well as extremely high levels of competition require companies to question their internal processes in order to develop more effective business strategies in the digital age.

In this respect, it is of vital importance that marketing and sales departments support each other. It is clear that both departments have the same goal: to increase sales and improve the company’s bottom line!

In this article we explain how to transfer all the power of the digital channel to the sales department. This way you can create a digital strategy that integrates the best of each team.

Marketing and sales: commonalities and differences between the two departments

For most customers, the experience they get when they come into contact with a company is equally or more important than the products or services it offers. That’s according to State of the Connected Customer de Salesforce, the 2019 report published by Selesforce. For this reason, companies must offer unified and more coordinated experiences, regardless of the departments involved.

To achieve this, it is vital that you identify both the points that differentiate and unite your marketing and sales teams. Only in this way can the two departments exploit not only their individual skills, but also those that can be achieved by working together.

In the end, in your market as in sports, games are won as a team.

What is the role of the marketing department?

The marketing team is responsible for getting information about your products or services and your brand to potential customers. In this sense, current digital marketing strategies are based on attracting people possibly interested in what you offer to your digital assets. To do this, the marketing department has to design and execute the right communication strategies that allow you to provide value and educate your potential customers.

By “education” we mean helping potential customers understand why they need your product or service.

What are the functions of the marketing department?

Some of the functions of the marketing team are:

  • Designing the buyer persona(s) for your brand in general or for each of your products or services separately. A buyer persona is a fictitious representation of our ideal customer based on demographic information, behaviour, needs and motivations. In the end, it is about personifying our target audience to fully understand what they need from our company.
  • Plan and execute the entire marketing strategy. This involves:
    • Defining your brand’s value proposition and developing the tactics needed to convey that proposition to your market.
    • Designing the action plan to transmit it to the market effectively. To do this, the market must be perfectly identified, the most appropriate channels to attack it must be detected and the resources to be allocated to it must be defined, among many other things.
    • Establish the business objectives to be achieved through the strategy and define a good measurement plan to control whether these are achieved through its KPIs.
  • Define the communication plan for the company and thus identify the best way to transmit the value proposition within the market, creating business opportunities that allow the previously established objectives to be achieved.

What is the role of the sales department?

The sales team is the one that guides potential customers through the buying process, with the objective of making the decision to buy. To this end, sales strategies focus on optimising sales cycles and buying cycles.

Sales departments are often one of the largest teams in a company. However, the true effectiveness of this department is not based on the number of salespeople, but on their ability to take advantage of the opportunities generated by the marketing department.

Thus, the efforts of the sales team can be focused on the potential customers previously acquired by the marketing team.

What are the functions of the sales department?

Some of the functions of the sales team are:

  • Drawing up the strategic sales plan. This includes everything from pricing strategies and policies (aligned with the company’s profitability objectives) to customer negotiation protocols.
  • Closing the sales process as successful. To this end, the sales department provides all the necessary advice to potential customers until they decide to buy.
  • To increase the volume of purchases and consumption by those who have already become customers.
  • Maintain a good relationship with customers by using different techniques to improve levels of trust in order to build customer loyalty and increase WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing) or recommendations.
  • Measure and analyse customer satisfaction through different techniques such as NPS that allow us to know their opinion about the product, the service provided, the purchase experience and other indicators.
  • Collect market information and generate insights for the business and for the marketing department that allow threats to be converted into opportunities or what is commonly known as “opportunities and threats”.

Commonalities between marketing and sales

As we have already explained, by defining the roles and functions of both departments, we can easily identify the need for collaboration between the two departments. But this synergy is only achieved when the two teams work together in an open and unbiased way. This alliance is known as “SMarketing” (Sales + Marketing).

In this context, the objective of marketing and sales has been, is and always will be the commercial success of the company. In order to achieve this, dealing and interacting with potential and existing customers is essential. From marketing, which initiates the process, to sales, which closes it.

Thus, communication and support between the two departments is key to convincing potential customers. Often, the customer journey is not as linear as we think. Often, a potential customer jumps directly from the marketing to the sales phase. Or, on the contrary, sometimes they go backwards from one of the sales stages to marketing.

Digital strategy for sales: What is it and what does it consist of?

Today, marketing managers are increasingly focusing on supporting other departments within their company. For them, it is more important to deliver unified customer experiences across the organisation rather than focusing solely on their own departmental functions.

Here are some market insights:

  • 50% of marketing teams share objectives and metrics with commercial teams.
  • 53% share with service teams.
  • 61% with advertising teams.
  • And, in B2B business, 52% with sales teams.

In this way, marketing strategies are adapted to the strategies of other departments to unify efforts and provide much more valuable experiences. An example of this is inbound sales, a sales strategy that results from the adaptation of inbound marketing to the commercial strategy.

Inbound sales, despite being a sales strategy, focuses on the buying process, as the intention is not to “sell a product” but to help people find a solution that satisfies them.

In this way, marketing and sales processes are no longer invasive and focus on customer needs, rather than just on product features.

Keys to implementing inbound sales

As you already know, marketing and sales strategies in the digital era focus on educating and providing value to potential customers. Therefore, your sales team, through an inbound sales strategy, must disseminate and promote a series of content that is interesting to your users or potential customers.

In doing so, these potential customers are the ones who will come to search for your products or services on their own, more and more towards a positive buying decision. In this way, your most effective marketers will be your own content along with your sales team who will use it as a resource.

To properly implement an efficient inbound sales strategy, your team must take a number of actions:

  • Respond very quickly to your prospects’ queries, even before they ask them. This allows you to speed up the buying process enormously.
  • Provide various informative content and resources on how your products or services help solve your potential customers’ problems.
  • Nurture the conversion funnel with enough leads to ensure a continuous workflow. This also improves the chances of conversion.
  • Automate some repetitive tasks that do not require special attention from the sales team. This way your team can focus and be more productive.
  • Establish a sales enablement strategy. It is based on three aspects: processes, content and technologies.
    • Some techniques within this strategy are:
      • Provide sales teams with the most appropriate content to provide value to each of your buyer personas.
      • Train the sales team in techniques such as assertive communication, the “customer centric” approach or the novelties of your products or services, among others.
      • Use technological tools to optimise the efficiency of sales processes.

3 keys to creating an effective marketing and sales strategy

Several companies we have worked with have improved their traffic, conversion and sales levels by up to 20 times with digital strategies. In many cases we have even managed to double and even triple the results on a monthly basis.

There is no doubt that the digital channel brings amazing benefits, but even better is when these strategies converge with sales and marketing efforts.

You need to consider at least three key factors to create a joint strategy between marketing and sales.

These factors are:

  1. Define the “pain points” or friction points of your ideal customers or buyer persona.
  2. Properly prepare content for your sales team.
  3. Use a Marketing Automation tool or sequences to distribute the content.

1. Define the pain points of your ideal customers

Buyer personas are not only the ideal customers for the marketing department or the ideal customers for sales, they are those of the entire company. Therefore, the definition of their pain points must be jointly defined by both teams.

To do so, a good methodology to apply in your organisation is the following:

a) Hold a design thinking or brainstorming session with the participation of both teams.

In the execution of the session, aspects such as the following should be discussed and analysed:

    • The most common questions and comments the sales team receives from customers.
    • Questions about whether potential customers really know what their needs or wants are.

b) Relate possible pain points to your products or services.

In other words, you need to know whether your products or services solve your prospects’ sticking points. To do this, your marketing and sales teams have to ask themselves a series of questions such as:

    • What needs or problems do our products or services satisfy?
    • Why should your potential customers choose your product or service over your competitors’?
    • How long does your product or service satisfy the needs of your customers?

2. Prepare the right content for your sales team

Depending on the friction points of your prospects, your teams should work together to identify and create valuable content to be distributed. However, beyond the content itself, one of the keys is to be able to detect where a prospect is in the buying process.

This identification is made possible by knowing the types of content in which the prospect is interested.

For example, if your sales team identifies that a user who is already in the conversion funnel is looking at your pricing pages, this is a clear indicator that this user is at an advanced stage of the buying process, as the information they are looking at has to do with payment options.

To take advantage of this strategic knowledge, marketing automation tools such as HubSpot or other CRMs allow you to create dynamic lists of contacts based on the content they have consulted.

3. Use a Marketing Automation tool or sequences to distribute content.

These CRM tools allow your sales team to automate certain repetitive tasks in order to speed up the buying process. One of these tasks is sending personalised content based on identified interests.

Continuing with the previous example, for a user who visits your pricing page, you can automate a sequence of emails with content that deals with pricing, payment methods, guarantees or returns.

We understand the challenges that your marketing and sales departments face on a daily basis, but with the right strategic alignment, both teams can become true experts in lead generation and customer conversion.

We know what we’re talking about because we’ve seen it many times before.

Nowadays, the problem between sales and marketing must be left in the past, as the increasingly competitive market does not forgive companies that are anchored to archaic and misaligned paradigms.

So, if you are interested in getting the most out of your sales and marketing teams or if you have any doubts about how to do it, click on the blue button below. Click on the blue button to your left and get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

What should I do now?

If you have more questions and want to know how we work, contact us and one of our consultants will contact you for advice.

For further information on this and many other topics you can check out other articles in our blog where you will find references on this, and many more topics.

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Eduard Vivar Mompel co fundador CRONUTS DIGITAL

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