Customer (business or individual) behavior is rapidly changing. A wealth of knowledge is immediately available to people, just a swipe or click away. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones have changed the game, and it’s not going to change back. The customer is in control by doing most of the leg work formerly done by Sales, putting the ball in Marketing’s court.
The line between Sales and Marketing used to be bold. Neither could, or wanted to do, the other’s job. Now, that line is blurring as potential customers are armed with more information - companies must evolve or perish. In order for the salespeople to have a chance to do their jobs, a shift to persuasive marketing is necessary. Sales and Marketing need to work more closely together to create a direct path to purchase for the customer. In turn, this new integration will maximize revenue.
Even companies that have already decided to make the shift don’t know how they are going to accomplish it. According to the CMO Council, 38% of CMOs say that aligning and integrating sales and marketing is a top priority this year. But only 30% have a clear process or program to make this priority a reality. Sales and marketing must learn from each other and form a unified team to educate the customer, streamline the process, and generate revenue.
Cold calling is all but extinct. That’s how much the return on the practice has decreased. Through the endless information available to the customer, and the immediacy provided by mobile devices, today’s prospective customers are well-informed and can avoid sales contact until deemed necessary. Prospects know what they want and why, and may even know more than your sales force as to how you can help them succeed. People have the more than enough information, if not too much, they just want to know why they should use your product or service. Why your company is the right one for their situation.
The new Sales-marketing person needs to spend their time and resources to find customers that fit the company, not products. People are less loyal than they were in the past. You must help customers understand the information they have, and how it pertains to them now, and in the future. Long-term relationships are rare and need to be sought out and nurtured.
In the past, marketers tried to persuade entire markets of buyers to notice your company. Then, the salesperson would try to persuade one buyer at a time to choose you.
A salesperson’s greatest advantage used to be timing and being first to the customer with product information. Now, the customer has all of that information at their fingertips from their own research online and elsewhere. The new advantage is being the first to provide solutions to the customers’ specific needs, using your product or service. Marketers must create this advantage.
The marketers must respond to the new type of leads. To be first, marketers must provide the right content online. By supplying the right content, in the right spaces, when the customer needs it, educates them as they develop their solution requirements. Your company has now become the natural selection for solutions. This type of inbound marketing strategy allows your sales force to expend their energies on forming long-term relationships, instead of cold calling.
Sales & Marketing
In order to integrate Sales and Marketing you must determine what each’s strengths are. By zeroing in, and combining the positives, you will create a highly effective, revenue growing team.
• Understand the customer’s point of view
• Understand their situation, and how can you help
• Build your sales content from customer problems
• All content should be useful
• Treat Sales & Marketing is a unified team
Every company in every industry is being challenged by the modern, knowledgeable customer. Changing the way you view them and their needs will give you the edge over your competitors. Aligning Sales and Marketing is the most proactive and efficient way to create solutions, customers, and long term relationships. Persuasive marketing is proven and in use - utilize it, and build your revenue. Don’t let your company be left behind.