customer alignment

Alignment Between Sales and Marketing Starts with the Customer

Customers want a resolution to their problems and answers to their questions. Therefore, in sharing content with your customer, capturing value is a must.

How do you hold the balance between sharing content while solving problems?

By aligning sales and marketing to focus on the customer and the buyer’s journey.

Define Your Ideal Customer Profile

Having an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) that clearly defines who you’re selling and marketing to streamlines not only the sales process, but it impacts how marketing can work with sales.

Much like the ICP, marketing has a target audience for every piece of content. Chances are there’s a ton of overlap between the ICP and marketing’s target audience. We’ve noted before that only 80% of Marketing Content Generated Goes Used by Sales and both teams need to communicate on a two-way street in order to produce effective results.

Listen up: sales and marketing–you need to exchange your ICP and target audience notes with each other and team up to tackle your customer’s problems and solve them. If both teams work together to define your customer’s journey and map out valuable content for each part of the sales cycle, it’ll make for more streamlined sales process.

Define A Working Relationship

What is Sales about?

Telling the truth and selling it.

What is Marketing about?

Telling the truth and sharing it.

The common thread between a role in sales and a role in marketing is the need to answer a customer’s questions across all stages of the sales process–whether a customer is awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty and evangelism stage.

The outcome of every piece of marketing content used by sales should be this: the customer bought your product. There has to be an invested return with every piece of content.

The role of marketing is to produce content and collateral that addresses questions and concerns–and ultimately works towards relieving those tensions and closing deals. For sales, your role is to leverage those pieces of content and do what you do best–sell.

Define a Lead Scoring Process

According to SiriusDecisions, a leading B2B research and advisory firm, “lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization.”

Lead scoring involves both sales and marketing. And, when done right, lead scoring increases the effectiveness of sales and marketing. Here’s are a few general practices sales and marketing need to define (together):

Rank Leads Based on Sales Readiness

  1. A sales-ready lead is a prospect who is in your defined ICP that has the buying power for their company and is interested (Think of a VP of Sales who found an eBook rather a Sales Intern who went to your Product page).
  2. Once you’ve determined a sales-ready lead, be sure to curate appropriate content based on their stage in the sales cycle
  3. If they’re not a sales-ready lead: Put them on a sales drip campaign so you’re always top-of-mind in their Inbox when they’re ready to buy

Origin of the Lead

Did the lead click on a Call to Action button on your website to talk to sales or did the lead come in through an inbound marketing channel?

Dig in to the information provided and determine if the lead is sales-ready or sales-drip-ready. You want to see a lead’s clear path to closure–if that’s not visible, put that lead on a sales drip and nurture them onto that path.

Fit & Interest

Just because a lead has interest doesn’t mean that they want to buy your product. Compare leads to your ICP. Make sure your marketing collateral aligns with your ICP for full effectiveness.

Define Your Company’s Alignment

For true alignment between sales and marketing, it starts with the customer and their purchase of your company’s product. Whether you’re in the HR, Data or Social Media industry–you’re here because of the customer.

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