In a post yesterday I wrote about the fact that only 2% of marketers believe they have an ‘excellent’ relationship with Sales. This was in response to a webinar that I was invited to attend by ON24 with the title webinar “How Marketers can Help Sales to Always be Closing” with where the excellent Maya Ahluwalia and I took slightly different perspectives on the subject … marketing versus sales! Doing prep for events like this is great fun, and I thought I would see if anyone agreed with me or if I missed something in terms of my top five ways Marketing can help Sales.
Method 1: Develop and manage an effective pipeline.
A great question was asked during the webinar – ‘What can I do to get Sales to pick up the MQLs we are delivering?’ My reaction to this, with my background in sales, is that if a sales team is not picking up MQLs then they don’t see a value in them. And this takes us back to the point: developing and managing an effective pipeline is not about delivering MQLs, it goes way beyond that.
Method 2: Work Down the Pipeline.
It is an exciting trend to see marketers increasingly take responsibility further in the process, nurturing opportunities further down the pipeline and thereby delivering warmer leads, more likely to be in the buying window, to Sales. After all, Marketing is the brains of the outfit (ouch, did I just say that?!), the Holmes to sales’ Watson, Hardy to their Laurel (that last one might not work, but I still like it). Marketing should own the science, sales the brawn!
Method 3: Use Open Communication Channels to Gather and Utilise Key Information
Demand and Lead Gen strategies need to be built around the buyer drivers. What are prospects saying are their motivations for engaging with the vendor? Why do clients buy? Indeed, why are deals lost? All of this information is held by Sales, but with a solid partnership and open communication between Sales and Marketing, then this type of information is critical to developing winning content and lead gen strategies.
Method 4: Take Nurture away from Sales.
Marketing automation platforms are now able to deliver highly sophisticated programmes that can help develop opportunities closer to the buying stage. As part of the answer to (1) above, Marketing needs to maximise this process to make sure spend and performance are optimised.
Method 5: Support ‘In the Room’
This is not only the obvious stuff, for instance: collateral, case studies, client stories, excellent sales decks, client testimonials, etc. But whilst Marketers don’t often want to actually be in the room, nor do sales always want them there, senior marketers, CMOs for instance, can add both sometimes deeper product and market understanding but also Board level kudos.
But on the webinar last week everything kept coming back to what a key partnership Sales and Marketing is and that the most important element of that is to have both parties understand and committed to the partnership and willing to share important information. But this is not always the easiest thing to do!