I’m clear that sales and marketing are working more closely together than ever before. This is especially true at CFS. Let me tell you about it.
About three years ago, we were happy to get 1,000 hits a month on our website. Ever since then, we have consistently increased this number. This month’s numbers are coming in close to 20,000 hits!
How did we do this? Well, in my opinion, this is a direct result of the collaboration between sales and marketing.
Sales and Marketing Collaboration: Leveraging Your Teams
First, we tasked marketing with building our inbound strategy and we simultaneously tasked sales to develop an outbound process.
The two teams soon discovered that they needed to collaborate in order to succeed. This is a synopsis of what got us to outperform our sales and marketing results, month over month.
Our marketing team decided that we needed an entirely new inbound process that would help create more interest in our offerings and generate leads.
The key component was a technology platform that would work well with our website. Hubspot emerged as our top pick.
As a bonus, we discovered a treasure trove of recommendations from them that decidedly drove our sales and marketing strategy moving forward.
I firmly believe that without good content, our sales and marketing results wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans.
We learned through trial and error what type of blogs, e-books, and related content worked best.
We did this by simply tracking the analytics reflecting what was receiving the most attention. More importantly, our Marketing Manager planned what she wanted us to publish an entire year in advance. She created a monthly theme calendar, assigned each CFS writer and guest blogger with publication dates, and put it in our internal Sales PlayBook.
Not only that, she gave us a list of titles and keywords to use. For example, this month’s (December) theme is “Sales & Marketing/New Year Goals/Goal Setting/Planning” and this week’s keyword is “sales and marketing.”
Before creating buyer personas, we used to blog on topics that we thought our market would like. This was based largely on what we were interested in.
Until we learned about buyer personas, we didn’t think about who specifically would want to read a particular blog or download a specific resource. So, once we gave a “persona” to each person who might be visiting our site, we were able to develop different types of content for each type of buying persona.
For example, a blog that a VP of Sales might find valuable is different than another one that a salesperson would appreciate.
Whether they come from a blog, a Google search, a link from another website, or some other place, we hope that a prospective buyer or influencer will let us know who they are and what they are interested in so we can best serve them on their CFS buyer journey.
The design of “workflows,” consisting of multiple emails that are sent to people who download specific resources from our website, is a continuous work in progress.
This involves both sales and marketing.
Both teams help each other to discover what our buyers want and how they want us to communicate with them. It involves analyzing data gathered by marketing, feedback received from recipients of our emails via our sales team, and constant revisions to our branding and messaging in our marketing and sales campaigns.
At some point, sales reaches out to each person directly to gauge their level of interest in doing business with CFS.
I look at this part of our process as the most pivotal and representative of the success of the collaboration between sales and marketing.
It’s a moving target in deciding when and how to reach out. We don’t want to be obnoxious and we don’t want to miss an opportunity. It’s a fine balance between the two.
We use salesforce.com to track all the information for each person that visits us. The system integrates very well with Hubspot so we can capture the most valuable information about each visitor.
We can see where they went, what they asked for, and what we sent them. We do this so people feel served and we are most relevant to their interests.
It’s so critical that we maintain a fine balance between asking for enough and not too much information.
The CRM also keeps everyone focused and organized and especially manages our sales and marketing time most efficiently.
Sales and Marketing: Moving Forward
Bottom line: sales and marketing collaboration is a combination of art and science, or as we like to say, philosophy and mechanics.
We feel that we are never done and the degree that these two teams can continue working together successfully determines how well our clients understand what we do best.
I hope this article gives you ideas about how to improve your own sales and marketing process.