Three Ways Most Sales and Marketing Teams Waste Quality Sales Opportunities

Posted by Matthew Croghan in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights, LinkedIn Marketing Insights, Warm Email Marketing Insights

It seems a never-ending battle, doesn’t it? The push and shove between marketing and sales…

One side says they don’t have enough leads (or the leads are bad) and the other side says you’re lucky to have leads hand-delivered to you!

Why the disconnect?

It’s like two siblings arguing over the same thing. The answer lies in aligning the two departments as a team with one common goal. And when you can nail this down, amazing things happen in your business. Things like…

  1. Improved clarity on who your best prospects are
  2. Higher quality opportunities
  3. Open communication in what each side needs to be successful
  4. Mutual support
  5. Better conversion rate

This is especially crucial as you begin to grow and scale your business, and we’ve lived this firsthand. Our sales and marketing weren’t always on the same page, but when we sat to to figure things out, it didn’t take long before we got better leads, and the whole sales process went more smoothly… and not just for us. It created a smoother customer journey for our clients as well.

This emphasis on alignment is a leading reason our team has set back-to-back sales records the past two months.

If you feel there’s a disconnect between marketing and sales in your company or even if your sales and marketing processes aren’t aligned as a solopreneur, here’s what we’ve learned works…

What process results in better alignment between sales and marketing teams?

First, like in any relationship, communication is key. That likely isn’t breaking news to anyone reading this. But instead of just saying, “Focus on communication.” We wanted to share specific strategies we used to address this in our own company.

And really, this is what it all comes down to: You need to realize you’re on the same team.

Here are the top 3 things sales and marketing teams don’t do that cause them to miss out on sales opportunities:

1. Share data

The fact of the matter is, in many cases, marketing doesn’t always see the end result or deal with the end issues that come up. In fact, Forrester found that 82% of enterprise marketers have no view of synchronized customer data and can’t effectively measure the impact of their efforts on revenue.

And for the same reasons, sales doesn’t always see, or can’t justify, the efforts marketing makes to bring in leads nor are they always aware of where leads are at in the sales pipeline, in terms of the prospect’s level of awareness and interest. Another issue for sales is that many times they don’t have enough leads to begin with.

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The LinkedIn

Client Funnel

Both sides need to understand and be aware of the entire process, from how leads come in at the top of the funnel to how we close them.

Besides sharing the numbers, it helps to share the issues that come up – especially the questions, concerns, needs and desires that leads have at every point throughout the sales process.

This sharing of information and data is critical to building higher-converting marketing funnels.

Sales typically will get more personal interaction with leads and will know what they’re saying or thinking directly. Sales will also have a good idea of what sales message brings big wins from their leads. This is a great resource for marketing! Marketing can use this information to hone in on their message and their targeting to bring better, and more qualified leads to the table.

2. Foster Communication and Collaboration

Here are some ideas we use consistently to make sure that our sales and marketing teams are always on the same page…

The Daily Huddle

In this 20 minute meeting we review the highlights – # of sales calls per day and what marketing campaigns drove them there or are in development.A daily check-in goes a LONG way in terms of results and keeping your teams on the same page.

Weekly Meetings

Here we discuss the quality of leads and conversations and look for suggestions. We look for trends in the feedback we’ve been getting from prospects.

  • Have we noticed anything out of the ordinary?
  • Anything marketing can use in their messaging to help prepare people for and more them toward the sales appointment?
  • Which of our clients are getting the most success with right now and how can we find more like them?
  • What other strategies can we double-down on?
  • What strategies do we need to rework?

Reviewing Project Briefs

This is so simple, yet so helpful.

When we begin developing any new marketing campaign or project, we take time to spell out everything that is needed in a brief – the purpose of the project, our goals, who’s involved, what documents should be reviewed and where to find them, as well as relative links.

Putting all of these things in one place everyone has access to really cuts down on miscommunication and helps the sales and marketing team understand exactly how much knowledge prospects have about us before getting on the call.

3. Align Your Objectives

In all these meetings, you want to make sure that your objectives are aligned. First, both sales and marketing need to chime in and identify who your best leads actually are as well as what prospects need to know at every stage of the pipeline to take them further down the funnel.

Here’s an example from Salesforce

“This collaborative tactic was one that produced great results for software supplier Vidyard growing their business by more than 1,000% over a two-year period. In a process coined as ‘smarketing’, Vidyard aligned their sales and marketing team’s objectives on qualified opportunities, pipeline and revenue.”

Like rowing a boat, when everyone rows in the same direction, you’ll reach your destination that much quicker – and easier!

“What if it’s just me?”

What do you do if you don’t have a team of people to support both sales and marketing roles? How can you possibly get the best results when it’s just you? When you’re working on your own, it’s a tricky process to fit it all in.

That’s why it’s even more important to understand who your prospects are, where they hang out, and what they want. That way you can choose the marketing and sales activities that give you the biggest bang for your buck.

For example: Just pick 1-3 marketing activities that have the most impact and that you can incorporate on a consistent basis:

  1. Website
  2. A social media channel
  3. Webinar

The same goes for sales. Pick just a few activities that have the biggest impact in helping your prospects gain trust in you – and that you can be consistent with. Tip: Be personal.

  1. LinkedIn Messaging
  2. Follow-up emails
  3. The Sales Appointment (whether via the phone or in person)