Written by Viveka Von Rosen, Co-founder of Vengreso
This article was originally published on Vengreso.
In Bernie Borges’ recent article on Lead Generation through Content Marketing, he mentions that sales teams depend on marketing to deliver leads, and when they do, the leads often aren’t qualified. When working with companies that have sales and marketing teams, it’s crucial to get the two to the table in order to get a clearer picture of each other’s needs. And vital to this process is making sure that the Buyer Personas for Marketing and Sales are aligned.
It’s a given, right? Not so fast!
The marketing team might have spent a significant amount of money and time creating buyer personas upon which their entire marketing platform and content calendar rests. But what if the sales team is actually focused on a different quadrant? What if the content that the marketing team is creating is misaligned with the product or service being sold and the prospects the sales team is targeting? This is more common than you think. In fact, it might be why 77% of buyers don’t believe that your sales team understands them or their business. (Accenture)
You can see why it’s key for the sales and marketing departments to be in communication. They both are going to be very attached to their process, so you might need a neutral third party to moderate the discussion. Find a facilitator—either someone in-house or even hire an outside consultant to broker the discussion. It will be well worth the extra effort.
These are the steps I recommend:
- Have Marketing come to the table with their buyer personas and their justifications for the ones they’ve chosen? The clearer the better.
- Marketing should also have the opportunity to explain their ongoing campaigns and the benefit of their promotion.
- Marketing should highlight successful campaigns and educate Sales on the process and progress.
- Ask your top salespeople to choose their top three clients/accounts.
- Ask them to, as clearly as possible, define who these clients are, what they do, the industries they are in, their titles, education, and gender (their buyer persona.) You can share Brynne Tillman’s article on Buyer Personas on using LinkedIn to help them refine their personas.
- Ask your salespeople to describe the buying process:
- What is the typical lead time?
- Are they engaged in inbound or outbound?
- Is there an inside sales team?
- Are their best leads referral based?
- Do they actively engage in cold calling?
- Are they using tools like LinkedIn? How many people are they speaking with to close the sale?
- What do the proposals look like?
- What is a typical dollar amount?
- Are they using a CRM system to track leads?
These questions may seem incredibly obvious to Sales, but Marketing might be surprised at the answers.
This conversation is not about who is right and who is wrong, it’s about allowing the two departments to better understand the assets and opportunities available. We want them to work together instead of against each other.
What if Marketing was under the assumption that the CTO was the crucial decision maker, but in reality, the successful salesperson had been working with the DBAs? If all the content was focused on informing the CTO of their options, but the CTO relied on the DBA, who had no interest in that particular content, then the content marketing campaign could be completely askew!
And what if the salesperson was spending hours researching for new content (or worse, using outdated, old content) to prove value to his or her prospect? There could be up-to-date and powerful white papers, infographics and case studies available for them to use—that they just didn’t know about.
There could be untapped markets just waiting to be explored, that marketing was unaware of.
Sales might discover a whole wealth of valuable resources they were unacquainted with.
Start with a conversation that results in the creation of content that will provide bona fide leads from people who are either ready to buy or have potential to be buyers in the near future.
Alignment of Sales and Marketing is one of our core pillars at Vengreso! If we can help you accelerate the conversation between Sales and Marketing in your organization, get in touch.
Find out more about creating content that generates quality leads HERE: