Sales and Marketing alignment. Simple steps to a more efficient & profitable sales culture
For many businesses, the focus of marketing activity is undertaken to generate new leads and opportunities for the sales team. Inbound marketing and sales are two sides of the same coin, yet many companies evaluate their success independently of each other. As Salesforce consultants in Dubai, we've spent a lot of time with businesses that are changing their culture to be more sales oriented.
Here are some behaviours that we've noticed the successful companies adopt.
1. Work as a single team
Marketing teams/staff in SMEs are usually running at a million miles an hour to manage multiple campaigns at once. At any one time, there may be specific activity running on social media, direct marketing or preparations for a trade show. One of the biggest bug-bears of sales professionals is that they are not kept in the loop with what marketing is up to and that they have a valuable contribution to make to ensure these campaigns are more effective.
Consider using Chatter Groups within your organisation so that all team sales and marketing activities are aligned. There is nothing worse than a brilliant marketing campaign failing because the sales team weren't prepared to follow through.
2. Marketing to qualify leads before passing them to sales
Where does marketing stop and sales begin in your organisation? We would estimate that about 50% of our clients have their marketing automation set up so that all inbound leads are automatically routed to the sales team in real time.
The alternative method, which we have seen working really well, is that all inbound leads are first qualified and graded by the marketing before they are sent to the sales team. This has the advantage of allowing your sales guys to spend their time with prospects that are likely to close, all the time wasting dead-end leads being removed before they even get to sales.
The qualification process being undertaken by the marketing team also gives them first-hand knowledge on which campaign, keyword or phrase is attracting the best or worst inbound lead.
3. Augment leads with demographic and social profiles
It's always better to have as much knowledge about the prospect before you follow up on a lead. Lead management in Salesforce has integrated social profiles, so the sales team can see LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook information on each person before they make a call.
LinkedIn, in particular, will let you see if you are connected through mutual friends or business contacts. Having a referral or friendly introduction from a mutual contact makes the first meeting far more likely to lead to a sale.
4. Sales team to highly analyse unqualified leads for marketing evaluation
Both sales and marketing teams often learn far more from the deals that are lost than the ones that are won. We implement a simple option for each of our clients so that when a deal is lost, the salesperson needs to select the reason from a drop-down list of options such as price, product features etc., and also a drop-down list for your main competitors.
This data is reported on so that both sales and marketing can see why deals are being lost, and which of your competitors are winning these deals. This information is priceless for marketing and sales managers to gain insight on their competitors, and adjust their strategy accordingly.
4. Create a long-term lead nurturing programme
For most companies that we work with, many leads are not qualified in or out within the normal sales cycle time frame. These leads are typically companies that are interested in educating themselves about your industry, products or services. These leads will at some point in the future decide to buy, and the company that or salesperson that has kept in touch and provided ongoing information such as blog posts, eBooks or case studies are far more likely to land these deals.
Lead nurturing with Salesforce is easily managed, particularly with applications from the Appexchange such as MailChimp or similar email marketing tools.
5. Jointly reward marketing and sales through commissions and bonuses
Modern sales organisations have highly integrated marketing and sales teams. In simple terms, the marketing team, through their inbound marketing and lead generation programmes, provide the sales team with the opportunities to generate revenue and write new business.
Aligning the reward or bonus so that excellent performance for generating high volumes of highly qualified leads ensures that the marketing team is incentivised to keep the leads coming through. It also fosters a team spirit between both groups, as they will be dependent on each other to make their bonus.
6. Talk to your Salesforce consultants in Dubai, Tenacre
Let's have this conversation face to face so that we can help you to create the right culture and CRM platform to deliver stronger sales performance.