How Brands Can Align Content Marketing With Sales
If your sales team doesn’t like the leads your marketing team is sending them, you should be inviting those marketing folks to sit in on sales calls to help them create the right content marketing programs.
It's not news that sales teams and marketers think differently and, uh, occasionally disagree. Your chances of completely eliminating those clashes are pretty slim, but that doesn't mean you can’t get the two teams to work together more effectively. One way to do this is to encourage your sales team to invite their marketing counterparts out on sales calls with them. Here's what they might learn.
What Do Prospects Really Care About?
One of the key data points for marketers is the critical questions that prospects ask about the sales team about your solution and how it relates to their problem. Marketers who are developing content marketing programs need to be absolutely certain that their material makes clear how you answer those critical questions. Hearing those questions straight from the horses mouth, so to speak, is likely to provide insights that hearing the same information filtered through the sales team’s own lens won’t.
Pain points are the next step as you drill down from the big picture critical questions to the nitty-gritty issues that your prospects feel every day. Your sales team can undoubtedly recite the top 10 pain points in their sleep. But, as above, familiarity may create missed opportunities. Marketers, hearing the information directly rather than through the sales team (and coming at the situation with content in mind, rather than closing), can find inspiration for new ways to connect the dots between prospects' concerns and the solutions you offer.
Marketing may also gain insights into how the sales team is positioning the firm's products and services. Again, this is critical to the content they develop, as well as calls to action lead magnets. Any disconnect between what the prospect has learned from the marketing materials they’ve consumed and the message they get from the sales team can doom chances of conversion.
It's also important for marketers to hear prospects at different points in their buying journey. Those who are ready to make a final decision will have much different concerns than prospects who are in touch with the sales team for the first time.
Ultimately these “ride-alongs” are one more way that sales and marketing teams can communicate better, provide one another with the information to make everyone's job easier, and get better results.
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?")