5 Lessons To Streamlining Your Sales And Marketing
Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology's impact on business, society, and culture.
Access exclusive SMW+ content by marketers whose careers you can emulate with a free 30-day trial!
Thanks to social media and the ever-growing reach of the Internet, there are now millions of ways people can promote their products. Marketers can easily generate a buzz for an upcoming event or for a service they want to highlight with just a few posts online.
As with everything, however, this only works if your strategies are in order. What’s surprising is that many people still fail to completely streamline their sales campaigns with their marketing efforts. No wonder there’s a lot written about it.
The big problem here is not that the sales team lacks the will or not, nor is it the management support. The roadblock is in changing the way the two teams interact and ensuring everyone understands the goal and is on the same page.
Back then, sales people and entrepreneurs did not think about generating content and being the best at it. There was no social media connection between the content and strategy. They basically ran the show and went with whatever they had in the back of their heads. Getting a cohesive strategy out was a real challenge.
Only 6% of companies consider themselves digital masters, according to a recent study by Oracle Marketing Cloud and SteinIAS. The biggest gaps identified centered on alignment issues, one of which is the misalignment between marketing and sales.
So how exactly do you marry your sales and marketing strategies? Here are a few vows worth making.
1. Know Your Customer
This tenet has been said over and over, and the good news is it’s always going to be relevant no matter the changes in the industry. The even better news is that it’s now easier to achieve this.
The re-branded Google Search Console makes it easier for marketers to get to know their target audience. It’s not just a matter of getting to know who visits your site or who buys from you, it’s also about knowing who aren’t.
Understand the digital body language of your consumers. What information have they been searching for on your website? Which email subjects are they likely to be more interested in? Among the millions of users you’re targeting online, which demographic are you missing out on?
If you have the answers to these questions, you get a better understanding on how to deliver your products or services to the consumers.
2. Take One for the Team
Or more accurately, take one for the customer. Enough with the “This product is great” campaigns. Sacrifice a bit and focus on the people instead of on yourself.
Most content marketing strategies by businesses are not effective when it comes to engaging consumers. Why? Because consumers don’t care about “your” stuff. Yes, sales and marketing is about promoting your product, but don’t forget people won’t be interested in it if there’s nothing there for them.
Develop sales and marketing strategies based on what matters to consumers and stick to it to foster a community of interested potential customers. Think of yourself as a publisher and focus on delivering quality, meaningful content consistently over a long period of time.
3. Connect with Everyone
Generic copies and messages to customers are no longer effective. Today, tailoring interactions to individuals are important to making a sale. However, too much of the consumer experienced has been optimized and mechanized to the point that it no longer feels very human.
Surprisingly, only 20% of chief marketing officers (CMOs) use social media to engage and collaborate with their audience. 24% of brands, however, say they do “social listening”.
This is the problem with most marketing campaigns. They fail to build a genuine connection with customers, which almost always negatively affects sales. The key to proper customer personalization? Research and resources.
76% of marketers know they need to be more data-focused to succeed. 74% even agree that capturing and applying data to develop their marketing strategies is the new reality. Even with this, only 39% say they use customer data and behavior patterns in coming up with their strategies.
Get all the data sets you can from marketing cloud platforms, analytics tools, CMS, social listening tools and more to develop messages tailored to customers. More than simply targeting consumers based on insights, use the hard facts.
Sales and marketing plans should be created based on data to properly boost sales, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.
And I don’t mean just paper and plastic. Pay attention to lead recycling, defined by Marketo as “The process of passing a lead from sales back to marketing because a lead was not yet ready to buy.”
In simpler terms, don’t waste your time on leads that aren’t ready to commit to buying. If you’re working with leads that cannot complete the transaction for some reason, recycle them. The marketing machine will keep those leads warm through lead nurturing, and you have extra time to work with consumers who are ready to buy.
5. Sell a Lifestyle
Content marketing back then meant corporate blogs exalting the virtues of their organization and its products. As the industry changed, however, it became clear product descriptions should never stray away from their respective, dedicated pages. Also, it was obvious consumers want corporate blogs to focus more on creating meaningful connections, rather than selling. Instead of simply selling a product or service, focus on selling a lifestyle.
93% of shoppers say their decisions to buy are largely influenced by social media, as 90% of them trust peer recommendations. Only 14% trust advertisements.
By not focusing on your offers, you get the flexibility to connect with different consumers in new ways. Do this by creating a culture instead of selling outright, and that you decide a lifestyle you want your business to be known for. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you have a number of marketers pushing for their own style without any coordination, your brand and its intended message will get muddled and you’re left with underwhelming results.
Start with a strong content marketing strategy, one that caters to your ideal lifestyle. The important thing to remember is to not think of the content as advertising, and stop considering it based only on how much revenue you can make off it.
Sales and marketing are now a team sport. To win, you need to include the whole organization, not just a few players. It’s only then when there’s harmony between your sales and marketing efforts will you see positive results, both online and offline.
Write for Us
Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.