9 Things Sales Should Do To Help With Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a team sport and I don’t mean just the marketing team, I mean the entire company. The sales and marketing teams are trying to accomplish the same goal, create new customers, so why not work together? I have worked with other organisations where sales representatives believe they are the root of each sale; however this couldn’t be further from the truth. As a sales person I respect my marketing team, they are the life blood of the company and without them my job would be extremely hard. To fully realize all the benefits of both the Sales and Marketing teams it is important that they work hand and hand. Here are 9 things your sales organisation can do to help marketing:
1. Stand in Your Marketers Shoes For a Day
You may think closing a cold call prospect is hard; imagine pulling leads out of thin air. Take a day or even a couple of hours to shadow your marketing department to really understand what it takes to generate those leads you get. Go to your marketing department and ask if you can help them with an upcoming project. Make sure you have an agenda on what you are looking to observe or learn. You will have a new found appreciation for your marketing department, trust me.
2. Provide Positive and Negative Feedback to Your Marketing Team
Marketers thrive off of data. If you as a sales person can provide quality feedback, both positive and negative, your marketing team will not only love you but be able to provide you with better leads. Ask your marketing team what data they would like to see both positive and negative. Once you have the type of data they would like to see use your CRM system to religiously record the information in each prospect profile.
3. Spread the Word Using Your Own Social Media Network
Every sales person should be involved in social media, at the bare minimum Linkedin. If you’re not, do it now- really, GO. Take the content your marketing department makes and share it with your network. This will not only allow you to attract more potential leads to your own pipeline but it will also make your existing customer base happy to see that you are involved and interested in your product.
4. Help Out with Content Creation
I don’t want excuses from sales reps about why they cannot create content. You can pick up the phone right? Imagine not picking up the phone for an hour but still somehow generating leads, that’s content. Sales people should be flocking at the opportunity to create content. There are so many benefits: leads, getting your name out there, leads, using your knowledge of the product in a way your customers will understand, oh did I mention leads?
5. Make a List of Top Questions Asked During Calls & Share it with Marketing Teams
Create a word document or a notepad with questions you get during your prospecting calls. Every couple of weeks send it over to your marketing department. With feedback from the front lines your marketing department can create content that will answer those questions which will resonate with your customers, allowing for a more informed more qualified lead.
6. Be Willing to Experiment and Try Something New
That says it all. Be willing to try new things and keep an open mind. Your marketing department looks at the successes of other companies and does research on new marketing efforts before they turn them over to the sales team. If your marketing department asks you to do something, do it as instructed, don’t gripe until after the fact. Keep in mind they’re testing something, the time to gripe comes when the test is complete and feedback is due.
7. Agree on Expectations and Help Both Teams Holding Their End of the Bargain (SLA)
Because Sales and Marketing should be a team you need to have goals that make sense for both parties. For example a Service Level Agreement that assures all efforts are matched equally on both sides. It works like this: if Marketing promises to provide each sales person with 75 leads a month than the sales reps are required to touch those leads a calculated amount of times to best utilize those leads and maximize the amount of feedback available.
8. Touch Every Lead
If you get a lead you should place at least one call and send at least one email no matter how bad it may be. Only then do you have the right to give negative feedback – cherry picking is not always effective and doesn’t provide accurate data for use in improving target leads.
9. Sell Happy Customers
This one comes from Inbound Marketing Guru and Mike Volpe and I could not have said it better: “Make happy customers who will refer others and say good things online, don’t trick customers and sign people up that will end up being unhappy only to post bad reviews and things about the company.” Selling happy customers leads to referrals and who doesn’t like referrals?
The sales and marketing take away here is work together. You cannot row a canoe up stream unless you are both rowing in the same direction.
What have been your experiences, I’d be interested to know….Leave a Comment below.