For the best results when it comes to generating B2B leads for your technology, software or SaaS brand, it is essential that both sales and marketing teams work together.
Failure to do that could mean the strategy used never satisfies the goals of both parties, and your company never reaches its optimum lead generation ambitions.
We’re really passionate about sales and marketing alignment as a subject in the B2B space so have lots more thoughts on this – we have a whole questionnaire we use for clients, so get in touch if you would like to see it.
But as a taster, here are five questions we think all marketing teams should ask their sales colleagues before pushing ahead with a new strategy, website design or campaign.
1 – What Does The Sales Process Usually Involve?
If your marketing and sales teams are not aligned when it comes to understanding standard sales processes, there is a chance the final marketing campaign will not compliment the efforts made by those working in sales.
At the very least, marketers need to ask their sales associates about:
- Common questions asked by potential buyers
- Conversation starters used by the sales team
- The length of time between a researcher getting in touch and then passing the idea to a decision maker
Marketers need to understand what the sales journey looks like to ensure their content strategy, campaigns and lead nurturing or marketing automation activities support the process in the best way possible.
2 – Which Content Helps You The Most?
10 years ago, B2B sales could be done by just picking up the phone, having a conversation with a prospect and following up with more information. These days, the internet enables everyone to research and shop in private at their own pace, and your website is a critical tool in your sales toolkit.
Marketers should ask their sales colleagues about the content that helps them to actually sell. For example, if they have a conversation with a prospect and want to follow up with some resources, would it be helpful to have a certain website page URL they could send through? Or would it help to have a certain product sheet ready to go?
It’s amazing how often sales teams can be empowered by having the right content to support their prospects with, but how regularly we come across companies where marketing and sales don’t speak to one another.
3 – What Do Leads Like Most About Offers, Deals, and Free Trials?
Most B2B companies will present their leads with offers, discounts, consultations and free trials in a bid to encourage conversions and sales. Take the time to ask your sales team whether or not leads find these arrangements beneficial, and setup a framework for consistent feedback on this front.
Attempt to identify all the elements leads enjoy, but also take the time to change any part of the offer or deal that is seen as less than helpful. Ask the sales team to offer criticism based on their findings and then attempt to improve the offering with the lead’s interests, needs and pain points in mind.
4 – What Is The Primary Reason Leads Don’t Become Clients?
Marketers are tasked with generating as many relevant leads as possible for their company. However, a reasonable percentage of those leads will never convert and make purchases. It’s critical that all marketing teams understand the reasons for that so they can refine their processes.
Sales teams will have more information about why a lead chose not to progress on their buyer’s journey. Maybe a competitor product or solution had a feature that you didn’t, or perhaps simply the timing was wrong?
With the information your sales team gathers, it is possible to improve marketing’s content strategy and lead nurturing approach, and put those leads into different categories based on their pain points.
5 – Is There Anything That Would Make Your Life Easier?
Asking an open question to a sales team is always sensible during this process. There are going to be issues for which marketers are blissfully unaware, and so encouraging sales staff to provide as much information as possible is always a wise move.
Create an environment where salespeople feel confident mentioning any problems or thoughts to the marketing team when they arise. That is the best way to guarantee both sales and marketing professionals are aligned throughout the entirety of their campaigns, and to build long term trust and performance across sales and marketing.
Now you know a little more about the importance of group efforts when it comes to planning the most effective marketing campaigns; you should be in the perfect position to arrange a meeting with your sales team and get to work. Ask the questions listed above, and you can’t go wrong!
Get in touch if you would like a copy of our Sales & Marketing Alignment Questionnaire.