article | September 4, 2012
How Marketing can Partner with Sales to Drive Results
The days of “spray & pray” are long over; campaigns must now show results in the form of qualified leads and most importantly, new customers.
Under mounting pressure to perform, how is a marketing leader going to show results when they are frequently understaffed and often budget-constrained?
Answer: Partner with Sales.
Here are two ways marketing leaders with limited resources and small budgets can partner with sales to generate results.
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Understanding the Buyer
Unlike the marketing department, the sales reps spend time each day interacting with prospects and customers. Whether face to face, on the phone or exchanging emails, this level of interaction produces incredible insight into what prospects and customers expect and value in their journey to purchase.
One way to leverage the customer knowledge of your sales force is to convene an “Expert Panel”. An expert panel brings together the company’s star performers or top 10% producers. Expert panels can be in person, via WebEx or a combination of the two. Whichever mode you choose, assembling this group gives the marketing leader the opportunity to glean a deeper understanding into the buyer’s behavior. Equipped with this knowledge, they can direct their marketing team to produce content and campaigns that resonate with the buyer and what’s important to them. Too often, I see marketers pontificate on the greatness of their products and services and ignore the pain points and business challenges of their prospects and customers.
Sales Reps are chronically time-starved, so keep your Expert Panel agendas tight and to the point. To achieve this and maximize your time together, focus the agenda on three areas or groups:
For each group, ask the Expert Panel a series of questions to better understand what resonates with buyers and helps them progress on their journey to purchase. The questions below are a starting point. I suggest you give the Expert Panel members the questions beforehand so that they come prepared.
How did the prospect/customer discover your product, solution or add-on?
Why did they choose your company over the competitor or vice-versa?
How do they prefer to interact with your company – Face to Face, Phone, Website, Email, and Social Media?
Vet your Content
Another way a resource-challenged, budget-constrained marketing leader can leverage sales is to use them to vet the content produced by his/her team.
Using the same “Expert Panel”, invite an open forum of comment and critique. Remember, these reps are the top producers; they know what resonates with the buyer.
The two most important questions you want them to answer are:
Does the content produced (blog posts, social media updates, eBooks, webinars, etc.) connect to the different buyer types?
Does the content connect to where the buyer is on their journey to purchase and help him/her advance on their “purchase decision timeline”?
So there you have it… two sure-fire ways to generate results without spending more money or hiring more people. If you want to know what your peers are doing differently in 2013 to hit their numbers, register for this no-cost session.
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