Scaling Your Sales Team? Pull the Marketing Lever First

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When you’re aiming your business toward transformational growth, sales can’t carry the load alone. B2B companies must leverage every advantage they can to drive growth and remain ahead of their competitors. One key to success lies in the strategic alignment and collaboration between Sales and Marketing teams. As Patrick Lencioni puts it, "If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time” (The Five Dysfunctions of a Team).

Marketing to Your Current Customers

While acquiring new clients is essential, nurturing and growing relationships with current customers should not be overlooked. We always say, focus your sales attention first on the buyers who are closest to revenue. In the pursuit of our revenue goals, a 5% lift in late stage deals closed will always beat a 10% lift in early stage leads. 

Identifying unconsidered needs that could impact your buyer’s revenue goals has been proven to be effective, and, in doing so, you demonstrate your expertise as a trusted advisor. Marketing teams can be especially effective in creating tailored campaigns to enlighten current customers toward the benefits of a new software or toward the potentially detrimental effects of not adopting a certain product or solution. 

In addition, hosting webinars, workshops, and training sessions for existing clients can provide valuable insights and demonstrate your dedication to helping them achieve their goals. This proactive approach can result in increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue from upselling or cross-selling opportunities.

Embracing Social Selling

Social selling, a framework popularized by Timothy Hughes in his book, Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers, focuses on leveraging social media platforms to build relationships, engage with prospects, and ultimately, drive sales. 

When it comes to social selling, content is king! Marketing teams can support sales in their social selling efforts by creating content that is easily shareable on social media, helping sales reps to engage with prospects and demonstrate industry expertise. This collaborative approach not only increases brand visibility but also nurtures relationships with potential buyers. In a recent podcast, Hughes noted that buyers are more drawn to personalities than they are to brands. Therefore, it’s crucial that your reps are equipped with buyer-centric content that aims to disarm, relate, and enlighten.

Refine the Marketing to Sales Handoff

A seamless handoff between Marketing and Sales is crucial for an exceptional buyer experience and optimized pipeline potential. A key aspect of improving the handoff is establishing a clear definition of when a lead is ready for sales. This prevents sales teams from engaging prospects too early, ensuring that they focus on genuinely qualified leads. Marketing plays a vital role in orchestrating the buyer journey, guiding sales teams to concentrate on the right opportunities at the right time.

We partnered with Occupational Health Dynamics, a provider of occupational health equipment to first responders and industrial clients, to help them determine and align on the point at which the handoff should take place. We uncovered that buyers were ready to engage with sales representatives once they’d experienced a product demo. The key is aligning your marketing and sales teams on the interaction or exchange that marks the buyers progress from excited about the solution to wondering how the solution will effectively integrate into their business. 

Fostering a strong partnership between sales and marketing teams is crucial for B2B companies looking to drive growth and increase win rates. By starting closest to revenue, embracing social selling, and enhancing your buyer’s experience, your sales will grow and your buyers will thank you. Start with the suggestions outlined in this blog post, and you'll be well on your way to unlocking the full potential of your sales and marketing efforts.

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