Salespeople are struggling to get appointments.
It’s hard to find a buyer who wants to speak to a salesperson when he can simply do research on his own via the web, and then price-shop it. As consumers, we can all relate. It’s why even the best salespeople can’t get appointments these days.
In order to turn it around and start getting those sales back, and to coin a too-often-used cliché, work smarter, not harder.
However, the difference between what I’ll tell you vs. everyone else is that your salespeople can work smarter without them having to learn new skills, without your company having to hire a sales trainer or change your compensation plan, and without having to invest a fortune in additional resources or staff.
They just need the information that’s going to get them in front of the right buyer, at the right time, with the right solution or product. And it’s easier than you think!
First off, let me start by saying it’s no secret that the sales and marketing teams often fail to see eye to eye on what works best to attract and close more sales. The marketing team creates content hoping to attract new prospects, and the sales team is responsible for closing them.
When sales aren’t happening, whose fault is it? The answer depends on who you ask.
The institutional disconnect between sales and marketing cannot continue if your company is going to survive, let alone thrive.
There is no good excuse for not having this partnership in place. With today’s technology, it’s easier and less expensive than ever to create a more cohesive sales and marketing collaboration that benefits and truly embraces the overall goal of keeping the company competitive and profitable and producing better-qualified leads resulting in more sales.
In fact, you’ll find that a well-equipped and super-smart marketing team will attract true, valuable leads for your sales team. They will put strategies in place that will move prospects further down the sales funnel faster before sending them to the sales team, so that your sales team can actually get more appointments with prospects who want to see them, build stronger relationships with existing customers, and increase your company’s sales.
When your marketing and sales teams work together, you’ll see measurable performance improvement across the entire customer acquisition process. The best way, actually the only way, to properly facilitate this collaboration is to implement a robust marketing automation system coupled with a well-functioning CRM.
Your current sales team is one of your most valuable resources. Not because of how hard they work, but because of how well they know your customers. In fact, the more seasoned your salespeople are, the more they know all about your customers’ needs and wants. They just can’t get in front of them anymore.
Enter the Marketing Team
Did you know your marketing team can get your salespeople in front of your prospects faster than they can do it themselves? Once your marketing team extracts all that knowledge in your salespeople’s heads, they can create finely targeted sales funnels that deliver the prospect to your salespeople’s feet. But they have to work together in order to do this successfully.
With the right marketing technology, and by partnering together with sales as one cohesive team, your marketers will better be able to:
- Develop a deeper understanding of the motivations of your buyers, and
- Craft a more comprehensive buyers journey resulting in better leads.
They’ll also be able to score and track those leads through your sales pipeline, identifying when they’re at the stage to be sent to your sales force.
For your sales team, this means less chasing cold leads and wrong prospects, and more chasing well-informed, already-warmed-up leads who are closer to a sale. As a result, instead of chasing empty appointments, they’ll work with leads that have already been ‘warmed up’ and educated, and will have a stronger ability to:
- Close more leads into customers, and
- Report, analyze and speed up the sales cycle.
Where to Start
In order to get started on the journey of partnering your marketing and sales teams, there are five key areas to meet on, openly discuss, and constantly tweak. This will help them find their middle ground and build and strengthen their relationships.
Would it benefit your salesforce to have information such as
- When an existing customer is looking at new products on your website,
- When a prospect opens up and reads an email or, better yet, clicks a link for more information from your company,
- Where a prospect is in the sales funnel,
- Who is active on which social media platform and what are they responding to,
- Who is part of which trade associations and attending which trade shows,
- And the list goes on …
When you have your CRM combined with a strong marketing automation system, the lead information that can be communicated back to the salesforce is instant and invaluable. The information is at their fingertips and can immediately translate into more sales.
Unless you plan on investing a small fortune in predictive analytics about who might buy next and what they probably may buy, and then launching an expensive Google Adwords campaign in the hopes that the analytics are correct, now is the time to use your salespeople’s knowledge while leveraging marketing’s technology to make more sales through both your inside and outside sales force, and on your eCommerce site as well.