Traditionally, business leaders have seen B2B as a completely separate thing from marketing. The focus has been on the former, while the latter can often be just an afterthought. This paradigm has been shifting for quite some time, and soon, any business that follows this outdated premise will get left behind. It’s become essential to align sales and marketing, and we’re here to tell you all about it.
Sales have changed a lot in the past couple of decades, and you can expect it to keep on changing for a long time to come. Inbound marketing has paved the way for a more direct relationship between sales and marketing. When both of your teams are working towards a common goal, magic happens. Let’s talk about that.
Why You Should Align Sales and Marketing
The best reasons to align sales and marketing:
- It’s a better way to spend your time and money. Using your sales numbers and data to build content at all times will help you see, quickly, what’s working and what isn’t. When you align sales and marketing, everything works in conjunction. You won’t have to wait for a quarterly staff meeting to fix something that may have caused issues for months.
- Customers aren’t passive anymore. With every bit of information at the fingertips of potential clients, buying something has turned into an in-depth affair. Consumers are now very conscious and empowered, and knowing them can help you connect with who they are and what they want.
- Search engines act as salespeople, and it’s best to join them than to compete with them. Engines like Google and Bing are full of advertisement catering directly to those who are interested in each specific product. Why would you miss out on that?
Are you convinced but unsure of what to do to align sales and marketing? Keep reading!
Taking the Customer’s Journey Into Account
In traditional models, we see sales through the following model:
- Awareness. The customer realizes the existence of a specific product or service.
- Interest. The customer is actively interested in the item.
- Desire. The customer decides he wants it.
- Purchase. The customer makes his purchase.
Things aren’t quite as simple as that anymore. Nowadays, the decision to purchase any given item is much more informed. There’s a lot of research involved, including comparisons between different brands and websites. To align sales and marketing, you should start by:
- Mapping out the journey your customers make. You can do this by directly engaging with them in any number of ways. You can find more information about customer journey maps on this Bright Vessel blog post.
- Realizing your customer may be comprised of several people. A common occurrence in B2B for more substantial investments, you may be looking at a team instead of a single person. Keep in mind that each decision may come from a group of different experts, so cater to each of them.
Figure Out What Sets You Apart
Knowing what sets you and your product apart is a key when you align sales and marketing. In a world as broad as B2B marketing, it’s critical to stand out and bring something new to the table. You need to figure out:
- Visuals. Set up the look and feel of your brand if you haven’t yet, and make sure your website reflects it.
- Message. What are you putting out into the world? Saying something with your brand, and using a cohesive idea that brings everything together is more important than you might realize.
- Value Proposition. What are you bringing to the table? What makes you special? A company’s value proposition is a statement of intent, in which a brand recounts what makes it unique and worth the customers’ time and money.
Once you’ve got that figured out, it’s time to delve into inbound marketing, the basis of successful digital advertising. Through it, you draw potential customers to your brand through content on social media and search engines.
The best inbound marketing practices should be an essential part of your all-around marketing strategy, but it’s only one factor. A few other things to keep in mind:
- The general look and state of your website.
- Customer engagement.
You’re now on the right track on the path to align sales and marketing!
Build Your Website & Brand Around Your Value Proposition
Once you’ve figured out what sets you apart, it’s vital for customers to be fully aware of it. When you align sales and marketing, both teams can focus on building a website that reflects the brand. Remember that:
- Your website serves as an introduction to who you are and what you offer. In lack of a better term, it’s the biggest salesperson you have.
- It should reflect what you’re about and why customers should choose you.
- You should build the site towards effectiveness by providing every possible ease for visitors.
- You can use the data from your website to keep improving it – and your sales. The ability to grow at all times is the ultimate goal when you align sales and marketing.
Use Every Tool in the Arsenal
New cloud-based tools have come to fill in the blanks of data left by more “traditional” platforms. Teammates from different areas (and even on different sides of the world) can now efficiently work with the same data. You’ll need a CRM suite to track how marketing is affecting revenue and all-around Integrated marketing automation.
Make Sure Sales and Marketing Communicate
When you align sales and marketing, it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime deal. You need to ensure the two teams are working in unison, through constant communication. And so you’ve done it – you’re on the path to being a far more successful B2B!
As a WooCommerce Certified Agency, at Bright Vessel, we have the knowledge and ability to help your sales thrive. We’re also deeply connected to every phase of digital marketing, from content creation to SEM and SEO solutions. Contact us to find out more about our services!