Sales and marketing should be like Riggs and Murtaugh. A Lethal Weapon to any company.
Let’s admit something.
I’m sorry VPs of Sales and fellow VPs of Marketing. It’s both your faults. The sooner you both can admit we’ve messed up, the sooner we can repair this thing. So let’s get started.
There is one easy foundational way to get sales and marketing to get along, and it can start now! I’m going to use this blog post to show you how to do it. At its very core, a few foundational changes of how the teams together can fix everything.
It starts with both teams working with the same strategic mentality.
The mentality needs to be this. Sales needs to be marketing’s hearing aid. Marketing needs to be sale’s soapbox.
If you look all over LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and web content, it’s very easy to see people from marketing in the content that a company produces. Hell I do this:
Marketing leaders are totally cool repping the company, but let me ask leaders of marketing and sales teams this: Why aren’t your sales reps in more content?
If they are, why isn’t marketing pushing that content?
They talk to hundreds of prospects and customers a day. They actually have bandwidth to personally interact with the impressions on their posts, and they can post the content in their personal socials, while you post it in the company’s channels.
Well I don’t trust my sales guys putting content out there? What if they are off brand?
This is what most marketers say when they hear me say this. Let me ask you this. What’s the difference in having a sales rep post something on social media for thousands of people see, vs. having them handle a phone call with a prospect that will potentially pay you thousands of dollars? The whole point of doing activities is to get them in front of these reps.
There isn’t a difference. It’s the marketer’s responsibility to train reps on what’s on brand, and then give the process to get content out there regularly.
On the sales side, it’s sales leaderships job to make sure they hire the right reps that can rep the brand. If a rep is embarrassing in a videos, and can’t be coached, you shouldn’t be hiring them.
Okay so how does this help align marketing and sales?
Let’s start on the sales side. Sales reps have quotas they have to attain. At most companies, sales reps have only email and phone to reach out to a prospect. If you have any experience in sales you know the connect rate on unscheduled sales calls is pretty low. If you are writing cold emails, the reply rate is low as well.
This means that cold prospects and the existing opportunities in the pipeline need another way to remember working with a rep.
Sales needs to be consistently posting content on the web. I’d say if you can post something at least once a week, your reps will be in better shape than most. Customer stories, best practices, thought leadership, or even just something the sale rep is passionate about are all fine things to put together.
If you have an audience on LinkedIn, as a sales rep, you have a 6 day window to get content in front of your prospect. From what I’ve noticed, if you don’t post within a 6 day window, you will get pulled out of your connection’s newsfeeds on LinkedIn.
Now this doesn’t mean go post marketing’s links. You need to have your team post content that’s relevant to them and their prospects.
So what does marketing do?
Marketing should be taking the content reps put out there and sharing it with their existing masses. If a rep makes a video interviewing their customer, marketing needs to share it on the company’s main social media channels.
If a rep is offering office hours to help talk about a topic with a guest, marketing needs to put together the landing page for people to sign up, and then build the email drip campaigns to bring those leads further down the funnel.
Here’s the sexiest part, especially if you are a VP of Demand Generation with a big advertising budget. You should expert a report of all the prospects that a rep is working out of your CRM and build them into a custom ad audience on Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn. If you upload a CSV with their contact information, you can pair up the prospect with ads that feature content of the rep that’s reaching to them.
For example, if Jeremy on our team is reaching out to 100 companies a month, and 3-4 contacts at each company, every month, I’ll export his prospect lists and then run ads with videos of him in it.
When he writes an email to these prospects, they recognize his name from all the content they’ve been getting hammered with over organic and paid social. Some of them even convert from the content and go right into his name in Salesforce.
This is a beautiful way to align.
Another thing marketing can do is offer another way for a company to build a relationship with prospect.
If you look at The Prospecting Podcast we do at LeadIQ, half of the guest are dream prospects of ours who we’d like to get as clients some day. This is a great way to help build a relationship with someone, and it also helps LeadIQ produce content.
ow does this help increase marketing qualified leads? So the other part of this that will help is with decent quantity you have more items in your stash you can use to get in front of people. If your company is seen everywhere, the prospect will eventually convert and ask what your company does.
With marketing adding their magic to your reps posts and content, your reps will see more impressions, engagements, and likes on their post. This will make them want to do it more, but it also will become a reactive “inbound” lead list of people reps get to work.
“Wow all these people liked my post that gave some value, showed off our wisdom, and plugged the marketing acitvity your team is working on. Thanks marketing team for helping blow it up!” -Your Sales Reps
Which lead has a better chance to respond to your sales rep? The person who attended a webinar, or the lead who just watched that person personally emailing talk about a topic or issue? It’s always going to be the second one.
So the easiest way to get marketing to align with sales is for marketing to use sales in their content, and for sales to ask marketing for help promoting their stuff.
VPs of Sales need to train reps on how to speak in a marketing context in a way that will creat compelling stories, and VPs of Marketing need to train reps on how to be on brand in their content.
Sitdowd and do a brainstorm with reps to help them on their brand journey and rest will work itself out.
If you can do this, the rest of the problems with alignment will work themselves out.