Sales and marketing departments need to work closely together and be in sync with each other like yin and yang. However, in so many companies, sales and marketing operate in separate silos. This separation yields less than desirable results and hinders much needed communication between the two departments to convert leads into sales.
But, what if we told you that you can fix this? And what if we told you that you can fix this with a more powerful content marketing strategy? Well, you can!
This post will explore 5 questions that your sales and marketing teams need to ask themselves to start down the path of bridging sales and marketing to turn more leads into sales.
So, get sales and marketing together in a meeting and go through each of these 5 questions together and make a plan so that your company can increase the effectiveness of each department and increase revenue!
Question 1: Where is the Gap?
The gap between sales and marketing usually exist when it comes to what happens after a lead is generated. Marketing may automatically put them in an email drip campaign and sales may reach out to the new lead directly. This comes across as unprofessional and could turn a potential client away.
So, marketing and sales needs to be on the same page when it comes to lead nurturing. There are two typical processes when it comes to nurturing leads and neither one is right or wrong—you just need to make sure sales and marketing are on the same page so they don’t inundate a new lead with too many emails.
- Marketing nurtures a lead with 5 thought leadership emails before the lead is handed to sales
- Sales reaches out to a new lead right away to gauge brand interest
Question 2: How Do I Identify the Problems in My Workflow?
Now that sales and marketing is meeting and trying to bridge the gap, it should be pretty easy to identify where the hang ups are. If marketing is adding a new lead to an email drip and sales is contacting the lead right away, then you’re bombarding your new leads and are risking turning them off from your brand.
Or maybe the lead isn’t getting touched enough. Sometimes sales assumes that marketing is warming up the lead and trying to get them to convert while marketing assumes that sales is reaching out to every new lead.
Whether it’s an inundation of emails or not enough emails, most brands experience problems with their workflow as a result of sales and marketing not being on the same page. So, it needs to be determined who and how sales and marketing are going to provide relevant content to your new leads.
Question 3: What Does an Ideal Content Flow Look Like?
Ideally marketing warms up leads for sales to establish brand familiarity and thought leadership before sales reaches out. This type of nurturing increases conversion rates because trust is built with the new lead and your brand. The ideal marketing email contains great content as opposed to salesy self-promotional emails. Some things to consider dripping new leads are:
- Blog posts
- Like minded blog posts from other blogs
- Case studies
- White papers
- Research reports
Once marketing has done the hard work generating a lead, they should send 4-5 emails of great content before marking the lead as sales ready. One option is that the final email in the drip can even ask if the lead is interested in learning more about the brand and then marketing can turn that lead over to sales if they self-identify as being interested in your brand.
There are going to be many instances when a lead goes through the email drip but still won’t be ready to convert. This doesn’t mean that they should not be touched again. Once a lead goes through the drip, they should be moved over to an email process where they get emails once a week with your new blog posts. Emailing your blog posts to all of your leads is a great way to stay top-of-mind with your leads so that when they’re ready to convert they will think of your brand over a competitor.
Question 4: How Can Sales and Marketing Work More Effectively Together?
Documenting a process that both sales and marketing agree on is a great place to start!
Using your CRM and/or your marketing automation platform, both sales and marketing should keep up-to-date notes on the lead status. This way you can see where each lead is in the lead nurturing process.
If sales is going to reach out to new leads before marketing warms them up with content, then marketing needs to provide sales with content that they can use while they are “working a lead.” Thought leadership blog posts that solve specific pain-points a great and case studies are the highest converting forms of content to have when a lead is close to becoming a sale.
Question 5: How Can I Get Started on Bridging the Gap?
Even if marketing puts all new leads generated in an email drip campaign, there are the instances that a lead reaches out to sales directly or sales makes a cold call and starts working a new lead. For this scenario, like we just stated above, it’s important that sales is equipped with the right content to help move that lead through the conversion process.
It will be helpful for marketing to build sales a content library. You can do this on your website and set the page so it's not viewable to anyone who doesn’t have the link making it only be an internal resource. In this content library you can provide links to blog posts organized by pain point or industry. You can also provide links to your best case studies. Marketing should keep this content library updated so sales can always share the latest and greatest content.
The key takeaway here concerning bridging the gap between sales and marketing is communication and the right type of content. Documenting a process, sticking to it, creating content for leads and keeping up with communication between sales and marketing will increase the success of your lead nurturing and converting strategy. Your brand will be sure to see an increase of leads turning into sales!
Do you have any advice when it comes to bridging the gap between sales and marketing? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter @Feed_Otter