Every business needs stellar sales and marketing professionals if they want to succeed. However, traditional business models within the IT and professional services sectors have often seen discord arise between the sales and marketing functions. A previous school of thought and a lack of communication had these two teams working independently and in many cases with individual priorities, targets and goals.
The truth of the matter is that if a business wants to be successful, its sales and marketing teams need to work together. If you have read my previous blog on the 5 Reasons Inbound Sales Works for B2B IT Lead Generation, you’ll know that today’s prospects do not rely as heavily on sales teams as they once did; this is because we are firmly in the digital age, and our prospects are now relying more on digital content to inform their purchasing decisions.
This is the new sales cycle. Sam Mallikarjunan, Principal Marketing Strategist at HubSpot, suggests that approximately 60% of the cycle could be over before a sales representative even comes in the picture. This means that marketing needs to be the voice of sales for that 60%, and that cannot happen unless both teams develop a successful co-dependent relationship.
The advantages of the unification of sales and marketing, otherwise known as “SMarketing,” is a huge opportunity for B2B organisations to maximise their lead generation and therefore achieve the ultimate goal of increased investment.
Read on for five advantages a B2B inbound sales team can achieve with successful SMarketing:
You Marketing team can provide you with relevant resources
Your prospects have discovered you because your business offers a product or service that they require. By the time a prospect is ready to be contacted by you and your sales team, they will be further on in their buyer journey and closer to making a purchase. It is at this point that you can turn to marketing for blogs, videos, infographics and other pieces of content that can be sent to prospects that will help them become more informed in your product or service, and additionally will reassure your prospect that your business is ahead of the IT market curve.
A better relationship with between sales and marketing will also mean that the marketing team can create content that is relevant to the questions your prospects are asking. Sales will receive the same questions day in, day out, so marketing can utilise this and create useful and compelling content such as an FAQs blog post or ebook; meaning that prospects can find the answers to their questions much quicker, and you can close a warmer lead.
SMarketing establishes your credibility
Your marketing team understands how to grab the attention of a prospect, and how to hold it. They have the ability to write useful content, create beautiful infographics, ebooks, emails and much more. High quality content such as this will create a better brand image which will help your business’ credibility. This means that prospects will have more trust in you and your sales team, making the sales process much smoother overall.
Your Marketing team can suggest the best offers based on current industry trends
Trends can change and evolve almost instantaneously, and perhaps even more so within the IT and technology sectors. It is marketing’s job to keep up to date with what trends are growing in popularity within the market place and which propositions are losing traction. Early identification of emerging trends can provide sales with the opportunities to take advantage of a shifting market. Successful SMarketing means that your sales and marketing teams can work together to find these opportunities and move ahead of the competition.
SMarketing can help you stay a step ahead of the competition
A successful marketing team has one eye on their own product or service, and another on your competitor’s. They should be well versed on the blog posts, social media promotions and other content offers that your competitors are putting out into the world, and they should relay this back to you and your team. This means that when a prospect asks about your product or service compared to your competitor’s, you will be able to give a clear and knowledgeable answer and enter into a conversation about why your service is a better fit for them.
SMarketing creates an increase in the number of sales leads qualified
Marketing will A/B test multiple ideas, with the ultimate goal of generating high volumes of marketing qualified leads. Some of these campaigns will result in a multitude of marketing qualified leads and seem highly successful from a marketing point of view. But to sales these leads could be much more difficult to convert, or realise a much lower sales value. A good SMarketing relationship will allow sales to discuss with marketing how these campaigns went from their point of view. This means that marketing can focus on effective strategies which prioritise lead quality over quantity and sales can convert more sales qualified leads, filling the pipeline with successfully closed deals.
It can take time and effort to build a healthy SMarketing relationship but the rewards are more than worth the time. HubSpot suggests that when sales and marketing are aligned and working towards a shared goal organisations can realise a 20% annual revenue growth, 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates.
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