Recipe to success – A happy union between sales and marketing

The relationship between sales and marketing is famously a rocky one. If something goes wrong in the sales funnel, it’s easy to point blame at one another. If you work B2B, it’s likely that you’ve come across this argument around lead generation and conversion at some point in your career. Sales will often suggest that marketing have provided low quality, unqualified leads, or even a lack of leads. On the defending side, Marketing may imply that Sales don’t follow up leads and if they do, they don’t do it properly.

So how do you take the best from each department and turn the relationship into a happy union, resulting in business success for all?

Persona production
Marketing are fantastic at knowing the industry and who they should be targeting in regards to job titles, seniority and location. However, Sales can provide a valuable insight into which professionals both are and aren’t converting as leads and why. By working together and incorporating market research, comprehensive personas can be produced, or current versions refreshed. This will help Marketing to better target desired audiences and Sales to personalise pitches – resulting in increased acquisition.

Content collaboration
There’s an ongoing Marketing perception that the content they produce specifically for Sales is rarely utilised. Having worked together building and defining personas, take your new-found relationship to the next level by planning for and producing strategic content that targets leads at just the right time in the sales cycle. Naturally, Sales observe real FAQs and issues throughout the lead nurturing process and Marketing can turn these challenges into helpful solution assets.

Another great content strategy to consider is ghostwriting. Marketing can help build the credibility of Sales by positioning them as thought leaders in blogs and on social media. This will help build trust and most importantly, convert leads.

Strategy syncing
Turn your content collaboration into a long-term shared strategy that incorporates sponsored ads, email campaigns, social media, blogs, whitepapers and events (to name a few areas – depending on your business!). Supporting a shared message between Sales and Marketing will unify brand communications and tackle common goals.

Goal sharing
Defining shared goals may seem like an odd suggestion at top-level but there are a few insightful KPIs (key performance indicators) that complement the Sales and Marketing mix. After all, we are all working towards the same end game of improving the bottom line. Our partner and B2B lead generation software provider, Lead Forensics, suggest a variety of interesting KPIs including:
• Number of leads per channel
• Number of leads per asset
• Conversion rate of landing pages
• Ratios of MQLs (marketing qualified leads) to SQLs (sales qualified leads) and closed
• Lead scoring
• Email open rate
• Email click-through rate
• Cost of content

CRM integration
Integrating a Sales and Marketing CRM, such as Hubspot, is a brilliant solution for data sharing and visibility. Make the most of your CRM by setting lead scoring. ‘Lead scoring is the process of assigning values, often in the form of numerical “points,” to each lead you generate for the business. You can score your leads based on multiple attributes, including the professional information they’ve submitted to you and how they’ve engaged with your website and brand across the internet. This process helps sales and marketing teams prioritise leads, respond to them appropriately, and increase the rate at which those leads become customers.’ Learn more here.

Consistent communication
We all know that Sales have a competitive nature, but rivalry can be detrimental to business growth. Sometimes what can be seen as a lack of respect is actually a lack of understanding. In a busy environment, it’s important to set aside the time to keep each other up to date with anything that may be relevant to the other team, discuss your shared strategy, ideas and goals using easy to follow terminology. Analysing what both Sales and Marketing believe is working, who it’s working for and what could be improved will enhance synergy and streamline a route to success.

How do we know this works?
After exponential growth in our first two years as an outsourced sales agency, our ever-growing client base were often looking for other marketing services that could be provided to them within the group. We sensed a niche opportunity to help clients with their full marketing and sales demand creation by launching our sister company, Roots to Market. As demand generation specialists, Roots to Market build intelligent marketing capabilities to deliver marketing qualified leads to sales teams within ambitious sales led organisations.

Air Marketing Group and Roots to Market have been successfully working side-by-side for over a year now – supporting one another, as well as clients, with their sales and marketing needs. We know that having a happy union between sales and marketing produces results and believe that this relationship should be at the forefront of businesses who are looking to grow.

If you are interested in exploring how Air Marketing Group can help you grow your business, contact us today: 0345 241 3038 / contact@air-marketing.co.uk

The Science Behind Inside Sales Vlog #3

What is the science behind inside sales?

In this, our third vlog, Owen, Simon Murthwaite and Simon Scott-Nelson discuss the metrics, the science and the maths behind inside sales. From A/B testing data through to the actual conversions of a lead to a sale, they discover that telesales is far from a scatter gun approach!

How to motivate a sales team in an outsourced sales environment?

This opinion piece has been written by Keryn Seal, one of our Account Directors, who has a passion for team motivation owing to his impressive sporting background – find out more about Keryn, here.

As an Account Director at Air my role is split between managing a team of sales people (between 15 and 20) and managing the performance of 8 key client accounts – ensuring optimal performance across the board. But perhaps the most important aspect of my role, and my favourite part, is to motivate, retain, and reward all of the people within my team.

The atmosphere and performance on my section of the sales floor is a direct reflection of how well motivated those in my team feel – and I strive to make it as positive a place as possible. My job is to be tuned into the individuals in that space and how they are feeling on any given hour, day, or week. At Air, we know that no one wakes up wanting to be a telemarketer. It’s not a ‘sexy’ job and it often comes with a high-pressure environment, so I want my team to feel as motivated and engaged as they can be. It’s important that we show how grateful we are for the work that they put in for 8 hours a day.

As somebody with 15 years of experience in elite level sport, I know all too well that motivation levels can be different on any given day for a number of different reasons. In my opinion, the very best managers I ever had were those who took the time to learn what motivated and inspired me, and my wider team, to perform. Sales people are no different to athletes. We are all human beings with different drivers, pressures and commitments.

I base my leadership style on what I would want in a leader. I try to understand each one of my team members on an individual level; what motivates them, what challenges them, and where do they want to get to? From there I can then map out a progression plan with them, giving them motivation and a pathway to success. This doesn’t always have to be work related, it may be affording the car they want or achieving their next promotion.

Within sales environments companywide incentives are run to generate healthy competition and inspire high performance – we are no different at Air. But whilst an insurance company or a PPI centre are selling one thing to their prospects, at Air we can be working on up to 30 campaigns for 30 different clients at one time. It is therefore important that we create and devise fair incentives for our team, and I try to make these a little different each time to keep the whole team engaged.

Last month the cricket world cup inspired me to run a company wide Telemarketing World Cup incentive, where 32 agents battled it out over 2 weeks to be crowned the overall champion. I did this by creating a point system for each lead and campaign, based on the difficulty of that campaign. The team then played off against each other each day and the person with the most points that day went through to the next round. The winner of the prize could either receive a cash prize in their wages or a paid day off.

Motivation isn’t all about cash prizes, vouchers, or days off paid for by the company. It is about having fun and enjoying what you do and who you work with. I strongly believe in having fun, active, or inspiring daily buzz meetings that get the team switched on and ready for the day. The ideas for these come from my experience working as a youth mentor, after my sporting career ended. Again, sales people are no different to athletes or the young people in the groups I mentored. Motivating them always comes down to understanding what makes them tick, how they feel on that day, and what I need to do to get them to where they need to be in terms of being ready to perform. At the end of the day, I just want the team to succeed and be proud of what they achieve day in, day out.

Opinion piece by Keryn Seal, Account Director at Air Marketing Group