We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of aligning your sales and marketing strategies to boost bottom-line results. The goal is to work cross-functionally in a way that produces a profitable and harmonious mashup — rather than a confusing, dysfunctional mish-mash.
In our latest eBook, the B2B Guide to Marketing & Sales Alignment, we detail each step of aligning your marketing and sales efforts to efficiently find and nurture qualified leads. You can download the eBook to learn more, but here’s a quick summary:
Step 1: Before you make the move to join together your sales and marketing departments, take stock of how each department is doing. If your marketing team is consistently providing highly qualified leads but your sales team is failing to close them because of workload issues, for example, you’ll need to address this problem.
Step 2: Once you’re certain that each department is running on all cylinders, you’ll need to work out a plan to align the two teams. This includes meeting with department heads to identify strengths and weaknesses in each strategy. Doing this will allow you to efficiently combine the separated marketing and sales funnels into one integrated process.
Step 3: The next step is getting both departments on the same page. The marketing department doesn’t want to deliver leads to sales that sales choose not to pursue, and the sales department doesn’t want to chase down poorly qualified leads. To avoid this, both teams should collaborate on the creation of buyer personas, a lead scoring process, and brand messaging. You’ll also need to create a clear set of expectations and responsibilities for each department, including who has ownership of which aspects of the process.
Step 4: Congratulations, you’ve successfully aligned your sales and marketing strategies! Now you can begin the real work: creating content that will get you noticed by prospective clients. If you try to churn out so-so content, you’re going to get so-so leads. Producing quality content makes it easier on both your marketing and sales teams and gives your company more credibility. Learn more about producing strong content in our new eBook, the B2B Guide to Mastering Content Creation.
Step 5: After you’ve written your content, you’ve got to share it on social media. This is one of the best ways to:
- Raise brand awareness
- Establish and grow thought leadership
- Find and nurture prospects
- Build relationships with media and industry leaders.
If you don’t have a dedicated social media team, it’s a good idea to invest in social media training for both your sales and marketing departments. Learn more with our B2B Guide to Developing a Social Media Strategy.
Step 6: The final step in this process is to keep track of and nurture qualified leads using marketing automation. This software will track every lead that shows interest, ensuring that no one falls through the cracks. It’s also a great way to keep your marketing and sales departments working towards the same goals.