Written by: Suzanne Ratti, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
What are you doing to support the sales goals of your organization, especially during the COVID crisis? Are your efforts collaborative, or is each virtual team now siloed? Now, more than ever, collaboration is a critical component of whether your sales and marketing initiatives are actually helping convert sales.
In this article, we explore ways to create sales synergies during COVID for maximum collaboration and results to your bottom line!
Recently, I talked with a company that was struggling. Their marketing department had created a campaign, and it was HOT! The phone started ringing, emails were pouring in, and this should have been a home run, right? The answer might surprise you! In this article, we’ll review the case study and explain why it’s so important for sales and marketing initiatives to be aligned for the highest closing rate.
Imagine your marketing team tasked with creating a new campaign to target prospects during the COVID crisis. The goal of the campaign is to boost sales. The marketing team creates concepts and messaging, the content is developed, and graphics, calls-to-action and social media sets are pushed out across a wide variety of platforms. Inbound leads are off the charts! The marketing department chalks up a big win, right? No. Here is why.
If the phone is ringing and inbound leads are pouring in, most sales and marketing leaders would think this is a big victory. But, what happens when the leads are only buying “loss-leaders” or transactional products and services? What happens when your sales team is trained or incented to convert more relational or long-term sales strategies? What happens when you run out of the loss-leader product or service, and prospects are turned away? You end up wasting valuable time and resources on the wrong leads – that’s what!
This one example is why it is more crucial than ever that your sales and marketing channels be aligned. Sales are critical to any organization’s success. But, if the marketing department is delivering the wrong message, or misaligned on the products or services that the sales team is positioned to sell, you could have total misalignment. Unfortunately, this scenario is common, especially when businesses are forced to pivot quickly (i.e. COVID-19).
When businesses are asked to pivot, it may feel like turning the Titanic. One silo (Marketing) has one mission in mind and is scurrying to allocate resources, while the other silo (Sales) is pressuring their team to convert. Aligning these two silos while fostering an environment of collaboration and communication is the best solution to creating a win/win scenario. I often suggest inviting the marketing team into the sales process. Include them on huddles, end of day/week recaps, and strategies for conversion.
They need to understand what is going on in the sales world. What objections are the salespeople hearing? What challenges do customers have right now?
The ball doesn’t just fall in the lap of marketing. Pivoting your sales process may also involve re-training your sales team. Perhaps marketing is delivering a good message and driving quality leads. But, perhaps these leads are different than what the sales team is accustomed to. Perhaps your sales team needs coaching up on how to overcome new objections, how to recommend new solutions, or how to follow up in a virtual environment?
It's a Group Effort
In addition to pivoting and creating a collaborative environment for sales and marketing, there may be operational areas that need to be brought into the loop to support the new initiatives. How many times have you come up with a great new sales promotion only to have the operational side of the organization push back on the logistics?
The operational team should be involved in decisions that impact how they carry the ball in the back office.
So, as you can see, it all starts with Sales and Marketing alignment. In the new COVID world of business, an emphasis needs to be placed on enhancing virtual communication between teams. Coaching up your sales and marketing teams to create this alignment can be challenging, but the results will far outweigh the growing pains!
Suzanne Ratti, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Suzanne Ratti is a Sales & Marketing Strategist, a proven performer and an entrepreneur with a passion for helping businesses revolutionize the way they deliver their products and services to their target audience. Her background in Sales and Marketing for powerhouses like Xerox and SmartCEO allows her to translate real-world experience, critical skill sets and proven results for businesses in virtually every industry and setting. Suzanne provides engaging coaching and presentations that can inspire, motivate and empower business owners, solopreneurs, and their sales teams to think differently.