The relationship between sales and marketing can be like oil and water — never the two shall completely mix. Often, the problem stems from the perception that we’re not giving our sales counterparts the right tools to seal the deal.
Here are five simple fixes to consider the next time you’re developing a piece of sales collateral.
- Share responsibility for defining the target. What makes a qualified lead? Together, sales and marketing should clearly identify the who, what and when. Buyer personas should include demographics, psychographics, industry and company size if you’re selling B2B, budget, and even the length of the sales cycle.
- What happens next? Think beyond the lead. Support your sales team with repeated reasons to connect with customers, especially for products or services with lengthy sales cycles. This is where white papers, case studies and trade articles can be invaluable.
- Organize stuff the way people sell. Quite often, a company’s lead generation activities are focused on conquering new markets. So, it really doesn’t help to have sales collateral organized by industry. Instead, focus on issues rather than verticals to get maximum traction from case studies or white papers.
- Embrace the interactive. Engage prospects and make your website stickier by turning static information from brochures or sell sheets into online checklists or quizzes: “Is your company EEOC-compliant? Take this one-minute quiz to find out!”
- Make collateral easy to access. Sell sheets sitting in a box in your conference room are not selling anything. Instead, give your sales team the flexibility to grab what they need via your company intranet. Post high-resolution pdfs that can be reproduced at a local quick printer and still look highly professional. Ditto for presentation templates that salespeople can download to their laptops and personalize as needed.
Shared responsibility is a powerful thing. Be open to the collaborative possibilities between marketing and sales and you may be surprised at the outcome.