In our last Smarketing Lesson, we learned a few things about how to align your Sales and Marketing teams. First and foremost, we acknowledged that both our marketing and selling processes have changed, and that this is largely due to the fact that consumers’ buying processes have changed.
We also touched on a number of ways that our Marketing teams can actively learn to think like Sales, through the use of Marketing quotas, Marketing Automation Software, and closed-loop reporting with Sales. And, of course, we learned why this is so important.
In this lesson, we’ll flip the coin, and learn how salespeople can think like marketers, as well as why they should.
How Sales Can Think Like Marketers
For years, Sales and Marketing have had very different roles. Marketing was solely focused on delivering the company’s message out to prospects, and Sales was solely focused on giving product information to leads and closing them into customers. Well, things have changed, leads can find information without the help of Sales, and now both teams have to be involved throughout the entire Marketing and Sales process.
Here are just a few ways that Sales can think, and work, more like Marketers:
- Personalize Your Selling. Smart Marketers have been doing this for years. They’ve tailored their messages and the content they create based on their Buyer Personas, what prospects want and need. Sales can, and should, do the same. Before picking up a phone to call a lead, turn to LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google to do some research on the lead. Carefully study your Buyer Personas to understand their goals, plans, and challenges. Their pain points are uncovered through insightful Marketing activities, like questions on landing page forms that identify their most common lead generation challenge. Then these insights are shared between Sales and Marketing, through software platforms and closed-loop reporting. As Marketing has already learned, a little personalization can go a long way.
- Be an Industry Expert. This is another area where Marketers constantly focus on. By having relevant content at your fingertips that you can pass along to your leads, they’ll begin to view you as an expert, and you’ll build trust with them. If you want to take it a step further, it’s also beneficial for Salespeople to create their own content (blogs, whitepapers, and so on). This allows leads to find your own content when researching you, further demonstrating your expertise. Of course, if you’re not the best writer on the planet, you can always share pre-existing content directly with leads, as well as on your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for prospects that may be researching you.
- Find Your Own Prospects (the Right Ones). So now we’re in an area where we might not be comfortable in. For years, it’s been Marketing’s job to bring in prospects, and to hand them off to you when they’re ready to close. However, it doesn’t always work that way. Instead of always relying on Marketing, do some Marketing yourself. Be active on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or wherever your leads spend their time. Engaging with prospects on these platforms will help better qualify leads and keep you in the minds of these potential customers.
- Don’t Expect Instant Results. This one is probably also hard to swallow. But, as any Marketer will tell you, content doesn’t always produce leads overnight. In the long run, however, it builds your rapport with leads, proves you to be an industry expert, and builds a positive reputation for your entire Sales team. The ROI of Sales learning to think more like Marketing isn’t necessarily instant, but long-term, it’s immense.
Why Sales Should Think Like Marketers
As you’ve probably already gauged from these tips, thinking like Marketers is necessary for the new environment we’re all working in. Customers now have the power in the buying process, so we need to change our approach, and tailor our efforts to each individual prospect and their needs.
By actively trying to think like Marketers, salespeople can reap the benefits of an inbound strategy. By personalizing your sales pitch and by demonstrating your expertise in the industry through creating and sharing content, your Sales team can build trust with leads. Today, this trust is essential in the buying process for customers.
Keep open communication between Sales and Marketing to create a Smarketing team that understands each other’s roles in the company.
More Smarketing insights available in the eBook below!