How would you describe your marketing team? Do you have a full crew of marketing professionals determined to bring in new customers? Maybe you have access to a world-class marketing agency. Or perhaps you are just trying to grow and manage a small business without the size or budget to support a full blown marketing staff.
Either way, your marketing efforts should complement and support your sales teams and, most importantly, drive revenue.
Easier said than done, right. In fact, it sounds like a no brainer.
Step 1. Marketing department attracts new customers to the business.
Step 2. Sales department persuades the new customer to make a purchase.
Step 3. The new customer buys your product.
Step 4. Both departments go home happy.
Step 5. Repeat.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old football analogy that the marketing department drives the ball down the metaphorical customer buying field only to hand the ball off to the sales team to carry the ball, or the sale, to the purchase end zone.
But what happens when your goal line opportunities become few and far between or you’re not getting your desired sales outcomes and don’t know how to right the ship? As frightening as that scenario may appear, every business can identify and commiserate with it to some extent at one point or another. Nevertheless, you’re in luck! There are several ways that your marketing department can help your business succeed in a manner that exceeds their typical marketing roles or scope.
Here are five ways your marketing department can help drive sales success by decreasing common business inefficiencies.
1. Control brand identity with marketing automation
Marketing automation allows for a brand to maintain a consistent identity throughout the customer cycle. Being able to organize the campaign and schedule posts in advance creates a seamless journey for every customer from initial discovery to repeat purchases.
“Increasing revenue is the #1 reason marketers use marketing automation.” – Gleanster Research
The age of a rogue sales person posting and promoting your brand without formal help from the marketing department is unfortunately still alive and active. Protecting and building on the brand recognition you have fought hard to acquire is crucial for continued growth. Brands can automate virtually anything – emails, direct mail, social media and more – so why not empower your sales teams by using a marketing automation tool to help them represent the brand the way it is supposed to be portrayed?
2. Optimize your time
Rule number one, design your marketing strategy in advance. Only then can you keep your business on track and on schedule. Creating a comprehensive marketing calendar is important and should be engineered based on the time of year you will execute your campaigns and the specific industries your sales team plan to target over the course of the year.
“Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers.” – BrightTALK
There will always be room for adjustments to your marketing calendar, but by planning ahead, you can optimize development time by having a concise idea of what you want to accomplish and what objectives you must complete to get you to the finish line.
3. Reduce costs
A major challenge for marketers is the budding costs associated with personalizing and localizing materials for sales to use to win business. Another is distributing these materials into the hands of the sales teams without making it easy for them to customize and adhere to corporate standards without running fragmented marketing messages.
“Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate. Companies with poor sales and marketing alignment have a 4% revenue decline.” – Aberdeen
No matter if it’s a sales deck, proposal, email, promotional item or direct mailer, you know your sales teams are going to want to personalize your marketing materials and make it more relevant to the potential customers they are working with. Instead of paying a designer each time you need an adjustment, reduce your overhead costs by making your next marketing campaign turnkey enough to where your sales teams can easily customize it, but designed in a way that would be hard to lose brand identity. Setting editable areas for customer information or email signatures are a good place to start and can easily be arranged using most marketing automation platforms.
4. Establish a clear line of communication
Bizsphere.com recently reported that “failure to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue per year ($100 million for a billion-dollar company).” From understanding and familiarizing standard terminologies used by both the sales and marketing departments to creating an open dialogue between the two parties to share challenges and successes, establishing a clear line of communication is crucial.
“Only 1 in 2 companies say sales and marketing have a formal definition of a qualified lead.” – Marketing Charts
Meetings just to have meetings can be a waste of time, but ongoing sales and marketing meetings to discuss clear objectives and work toward a stronger multi-department strategy can be immensely beneficial. The better you can communicate between departments the easier you can solve challenges, establish processes for working together and not in silos, and start to see an increase in results.
5. Build lasting relationships
The easiest person to sell your product to is the person who is already buying from you. You know that they are interested in your product and chances are you already have a positive experience with the customer. If you are completely dependant on winning new business, you may be working harder, not smarter.
“Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.” – Forrester Research
Whether it is through customer retention campaigns or even customer win-back programs, an incessant nurturing strategy from marketing can allow the sales teams to find easier ways to grow revenue by targeting current or past customers who may have been overlooked.
Are you looking for more ways your marketing department can help drive sales success by decreasing current inefficiencies or would like to add something to the list? Leave a comment below to keep the conversation going.