2016 was a bit of a strange year regarding sales, marketing, the economy and the deal making environment. There was a lot of uncertainty, which is common during a U.S. election year, but there were also events such as the Brexit and other political turmoil that led everyone to be somewhat cautious and on the lookout for what was next.
Now that the new U.S. administration has come into office, all of the uncertainty isn’t gone, but it seems as if the economy may be able to proceed with at least a bit more normalcy than last year when no one knew what was next. According to analysts such as a team put together by Firmex for their M&A Report released at the end of 2016, there may be new opportunities if what they call “savvy acquirers” in the coming months.
With that in mind, it’s important for businesses across industries to be savvy in anticipation of potential opportunities, and part of that relies on how well enterprises and even small businesses can align their traditional and digital marketing with their sales strategies. According to information from Digitalmarketinginstitute.com, a lack of alignment between sales and marketing leads to the uselessness of 60-70% of B2B content, and a failure to convert 79% of leads stemming from marketing efforts.
The following are some tips to improve alignment and deal-making possibilities this year.
Implement Lead Scoring
With lead scoring, there is some sense of vetting sales leads for their actual readiness, and this is an area where marketing and sales teams can and should come together. Sales teams should work to create metrics that help them determine the readiness of leads and then collaborate with digital marketing teams to incorporate these metrics into marketing automation software.
There are several different ways that lead scoring can happen including demographic scoring as well as scoring of certain behaviors.
One of the simplest ways to bring together sales and marketing teams for better overall results is to have frequent in-person meetings. It may be easy, but it’s not something that’s often done.
According to research cited on Entreprenuer.com, 89% of surveyed marketers said regular face time with sales teams would be helpful to ensure goals are aligned, but it’s still something that’s either not happening, or not happening often enough.
Bring Sales Into Content Creation
Sales people naturally tend to be sales-oriented, of course, but that’s not necessarily the way to get customers, particularly as they’re more discerning than ever. Often, the best way to get customers and close deals are through education and providing quality content.
It can be valuable for digital marketing teams to bring sales into the mix with regard to content creation. Sales teams can provide valuable insight and content ideas, while marketing teams can work to ensure it’s properly presented. For example, sales teams might have great ideas for a whitepaper based on the most common questions they get from customers, and then with that information, the marketing team can then ensure that it’s turned into something useful and relevant.
If you can bring together sales and marketing by aligning goals and strategies, you’re more likely to have a successful 2017.