Helping Your Website Bridge the Sales and Marketing Divide
If you think about sales and marketing as separate activities, you’re probably not thinking about the customer experience from the prospect’s perspective. That’s a potentially fatal mistake that can sap the strength of your marketing efforts and your sales team.
There is a (probably) long path that your prospects follow from having never heard of you to deciding you’re the answer to their needs. The path differs slightly for different audience segments or industries and, of course, some prospects step off before they’ve made it to “the end.”
But all have this in common: They don’t care if or when they’ve graduated from prospect to lead to marketing-qualified lead to sales-qualified lead. Only you care about that. Any breaks in continuity you create based on those classifications are entirely artificial to your prospects. And those breaks can derail any momentum you may have gained with your prospects.
Perhaps the most critical hand-off point is the one between your marketing and sales teams. Making that hand-off seamless from the prospect’s perspective requires tight coordination between the two teams. Your website can help facilitate that cooperation.
Start by involving both the sales and marketing team in the development of your website. Neither team needs to get involved with the technical details, but both should have a say in the following:
- How the site is organized
- What content hubs are created around key client issues
- Where lead magnets are offered
- How leads are nurtured
- When prospects are provided to the sales team
Who Else Can Help
Ideally, other departments or roles within your organization will provide input on these critical marketing questions, as well. Customer support and product teams will have entirely different perspectives on client motivation, and their knowledge should be leveraged.
Sales and Marketing Cooperation and Digital Marketing
Sales and marketing departments should both be involved in the ongoing maintenance of the information and materials being presented to prospects, not just on your website, but on social media, via email and in any thought leadership efforts you’ve undertaken.
And just as your website can’t effectively shoulder the load on its own, neither side of the sales and marketing equation is going to be as effective as it could be without the support of the other. If you can get your team leaders pointed in the same direction, your digital marketing will be much more effective.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")