If it seems that hitting those sales numbers every month is getting harder… and harder… you’re not alone. There’s a shift in the way buyers buy so there needs to be a shift in the way salespeople sell. Buyers are mandating that sales “sell” less and help more. In order to do that, sales will need to form a more united front with marketing to meet these needs of the new buyer. Unless you can achieve sales and marketing collaboration, you will more than likely continue to see those monthly quota challenges get harder.
Shorter Sales Cycles
Efficient processes lead to shorter sales cycles and more sales. The faster a qualified and well-nurtured lead is sent to sales, the more likely sales is to close the deal. The best way to speed up a lead hand-off is making your process as efficient as possible while increasing effectiveness.
The amount of wasted effort among marketers and sales teams is astonishing. According to HubSpot, 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales and 73% of the leads that ARE sent to sales are never contacted. Why are these numbers are so high?
This more than likely can be attributed to lack of strategy. Marketing needs a tight nurture campaign for all its leads.
Sales not contacting leads? Oftentimes, marketing will run a campaign, then sends over all the leads to sales. This creates multiple problems:
- If a marketing campaign runs 6-8 weeks, and leads aren’t sent to sales until the campaign ends, then many of these leads are old or stale by the time they reach sales.
- Sales can’t contact everyone at once. Unless leads are dripped to sales as they come in, sales will more than likely not be able to contact them all without all the leads becoming a jumbled mess. With an integrated sales CRM and marketing system, leads would be sent to sales as soon as they’re qualified, creating a dripped delivery. This also helps sales contact the leads when the buyers are ready to be contacted, not weeks or months later.
More Effective Salesforce
If leads are being funneled to sales consistently throughout a campaign cycle, each salesperson should be able to handle more leads since they’re coming through at more predictable intervals, allowing for a smoother sales process.
If your sales are sluggish, consider adjusting your sales and marketing processes instead of hiring an additional salesperson. If sales works more efficiently throughout the entire month, sales efforts will be far more effective.
We’ve mentioned it before, one of the biggest challenges salespeople face is identifying good leads. If you encourage sales and marketing collaboration, there’s no reason why they can’t join forces to develop the perfect buyer persona. With joint input, along with campaigns and processes centered around that perfect persona, will come higher-quality leads.
Say for instance, your business manufactures industrial widgets and the marketing team has been focusing on targeting the HVAC industry. However, your sales team knows the best sales actually come from plumbers since the deal amounts are higher and they close faster.
With true sales and marketing collaboration, marketing can either build another campaign around plumbing or adjust its marketing altogether to target plumbers. Marketing can begin to really concentrate on the plumbing industry and get to know that buyer to help solve issues for plumbers. Marketing will also be able to identify better leads since the qualifications will change now that they have a different (or additional) buyer persona.
Improved Buyer Experience
When created with sales input, marketing can develop better content that’s more relevant to your buyer needs. When the effort is put into your content, the buyers know; they can find the right solutions to their problems. This, over time builds trust and credibility between the buyer and your brand.
With the right buyer-focused sales processes in place, and both teams following those processes, they will become second nature to your staff, making the buyer’s experience even smoother.
Now that you have an idea about how sales and marketing collaboration can benefit the business as a whole, next focus on how you might be able to implement the change.