Why Marketing/Sales Collaboration Is Needed
Marketing and sales; the two groups are often thought of as being at odds with each other. Two different breeds of businesspeople in some kind of segregated yet symbiotic relationship. However, a good business always looks for collaborative opportunities between the two teams.
Marketing, Highlight Your Differentiating Aspects (Which You Can Learn from Sales)
Every profitable product and service is different, at least in a small way, from its competing products. Even commodities like milk are differentiated somehow. For example, a brand might feed their cows a certain diet so they produce a richer milk. Or, they might just make their logo a little more colorful than the others so that their corporate culture can shine though. Even little things like that count.
Here's the point. Marketing needs to know the differentiations that matter to the consumer. Some companies have lots of money to put towards surveys and focus groups that can tell them the answers. Others don't but at least they can meet with the sales team, which will surely know which features or aspects generate sales the best. If these things aren't mentioned in ads and site content, they should be added. Odds are these mentions will improve your CRO and give the sales team an assist.
Work Together and Create Materials to Address Sales's Problems
Before we get into this, let's be clear. We're not saying marketing should just create instructional materials about anything they feel like writing about. Instead, they should encourage sales, especially the more senior members, to give them insights into their prospects.
For example, what if a sales rep has found out that upselling to a particular product is successful at a high rate. Would he just keep that information to himself and move on? He shouldn't. It's valuable. That rep could notify marketing and tell them how he upsells it. Marketing can then create a memo or knowledge base article to educate the rest of the sales team. If it turns out to be successful for most of the team, it could be incorporated into training.
Another example deals with the handling of objections. Once a common objection is identified, sales and marketing can collaborate to find out the best way to deal with it so they don't lose so many sales.
The possibilities are unlimited here. Don't let sales/marketing segregation lead to a lack of important knowledge on either side.
Marketing Should Teach Sales Reps About Personas
Personas are basic profiles of the target market for a product. If your marketing department develops personas, they should let the sales team know every detail. According to Forrester, most consumers don't want to meet with sales because they think sales won't understand their point of view. Indeed, a typical sales person doesn't have time to get to know a prospect as well as he would like. But if marketing does a good job reaching consumers who have a lot in common with the personas they've developed, they can at least teach sales the basic characteristics. The trick, then, is for sales to use the knowledge to make the prospect feel more comfortable interacting with them.
Now open the door to the marketing department and invite the sales team in, and vice versa. There's a lot to learn!
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