It’s all about communication. And if your communication is rubbish, Karen Tang, head of sales, customer success and support at Prezi, is here to help with some handy hints.
Research from Forrester in 2015 revealed that 30 per cent of B2B buyers made half of their purchases online. With that number set to hit 56 per cent in 2017, there’s a clear need for businesses to adapt to new buying behaviours. While there’s a myriad of advice on how to do this, all signs seem to point to one crucial step: aligning sales and marketing departments.
An alignment strategy can be difficult, but not impossible. Here are the top actions businesses can take to get their sales and marketing teams to understand each other and work in unison.
Stop sending mixed messages
Marketers and salespeople are often individually focused, doing whatever it takes to reach their goals at the month’s end. While this resourceful approach is often admired, it can also put the business in danger of sending so many inconsistent messages that it backfires on the company. If a salesperson and marketing rep never communicate, but they are trying to land the same sale, you can bet that unnecessary emails will be building up.
Prospects who are given mixed messages can only be expected to have one reaction — mixed feelings. To ensure all products and services are spoken about in the same way, your business should create a master company overview. This document should be appropriately designed, easily accessible and include all relevant customer information about products and services, along with sales and marketing processes, to ensure that your teams are on the same page.
Tell a relevant, compelling story
Pulling content together and defining it is one thing, talking about it is another. Sales and marketing teams will need to know how and when to share information when drawing from the same hub.
When communicating with new business leads, it helps to tell a story, rather than just listing products and features. To help your teams communicate with prospects effectively, focus on creating interesting narratives out of customer stories. With this information readily available, your teams can tell relevant stories, about how a customer had similar pain points to the prospect in question, before seeking to remedy them.
Encouraging storytelling in your business creates a natural convergence between teams, as both sales and marketing will depend on each other to provide the complete picture. To ensure that your team remembers narratives clearly, try using visuals in your overview to aid memory recall.
Your company might have a brilliant, comprehensive overview available to your staff. But if it’s not easily discoverable, then what good is it?
Misunderstandings around how much information is available within a business can be a common problem for companies whose departments don’t communicate. Leaders and executives can combat this dilemma, by pushing education, running training sessions and taking the time to coach employees. This way, teams will come together naturally over shared knowledge.
But, don’t let your staff become complacent or slip back into old behaviours. Share new insights as they come through, and make sure you’re doing it in an interesting way.