Sync or Swim: Mastering Sales-Marketing Alignment

Discover the secrets to successful collaboration in Sync or Swim: Mastering Sales-Marketing Alignment, a practical guide to enhancing cooperation between sales and marketing teams for improved revenue and efficiency.

Contents:

  1. Sales and Marketing Teams: Unveiling the Colourful Characters of the Trade
  2. Bridging Brilliance Between Sales and Marketing Teams
  3. What Happens When Sales and Marketing Are Not Aligned?
  4. Syncing Success: Aligning Your Sales and Marketing Tech Stack
  5. Alignment in Action: Success Stories
  6. Building a Culture of Alignment
  7. Your Smarketing Checklist
Get your FREE copy of the E-Book by completing the form below.

CALLING MASTERS | Getting Connected: How to Improve Contact Rates

 

Struggling to connect with decision-makers on cold calls? Spending hours leaving voicemails that never get returned?

If your skills need sharpening on bypassing gatekeepers, leaving compelling voicemails and connecting with real people, then this webinar is for you.

In this second episode of our Calling Masters series in partnership with Lead Forensics, we’re discussing the key elements of getting connected with your prospects, so you can dramatically improve your contact rates.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify and navigate common gatekeeper tactics to reach decision-makers directly.
  • How to support phone calls with multi-channel messages and the importance of personalization.
  • The importance of Active Listening and how you can use it to your advantage in the early stages of the call.

Our panel features:
Marco Alfano-Rogers – Sales Director at Air Marketing
Erik Pollitt – Training Consultant at Air Sales Academy
Amy Cooke – Global Development Director at Lead Forensics

Host:
Joe Duccarreaux – Brand Awareness Manager at Lead Forensics

Who is it for?
Founders & CEOs
Sales & Marketing Leaders
Revenue Leaders
Sales & Marketing Managers
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

ON AIR With Owen: Episode 82

We’re excited to unveil the revitalised version of the ON AIR: With Owen podcast, now with a more fluid, engaging format that resonates with the ever-evolving business landscape. “Honest Conversations: The Real Truths About Starting and Scaling Your Own Business” aims to mesh the immediacy of real-world events with timeless business wisdom. This new style is not just a change; it’s an evolution aimed at making the podcast more organic, relevant, and influenced by external factors such as politics and current affairs – elements that profoundly impact real-world business operations and strategies.

Meet Your Hosts: Owen Richards and Neil Finnie

Owen Richards hails from Kent and began his sales career at Forrest Marketing Group in Sydney. After an 8-year stint, Owen returned to the UK and co-founded Air Marketing Group, growing it into a powerhouse offering specialist B2B sales and marketing solutions to businesses across the globe. Known for his relentless positivity and strategic foresight, Owen brings a wealth of experience and a knack for big ideas to the podcast.

Neil Finnie is your quintessential ‘wabi-sabi entrepreneur’ – flawed but beautiful in approach. With over 25 years of experience in nurturing businesses around his passions, from co-working spaces to professional development agencies, Neil’s unique perspective enriches our discussions, making each episode a treasure trove of insights.

What to Expect

Listeners can anticipate a series of engaging, thought-provoking episodes where honesty meets ambition. Whether you’re a startup enthusiast or a seasoned executive, our podcast will provide valuable insights into navigating business complexities with agility and foresight.

Where and When to tune in

Catch new episodes every Wednesday:

Watch: On YouTube or via Air Marketing’s Knowledge Hub.

Listen: On Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn + Alexa, Deezer, and more.

Join us as we dive deep into the dynamics of running a business in today’s fast-paced world. Whether you’re seeking inspiration or practical advice, our podcast is your gateway to becoming more adept in the business arena.

Warning: Contains swearing

CALLING MASTERS | Pre-Call Research: How to Prep

 

Tired of wasting time on unqualified leads and getting stuck in voicemail jail?

If you want to increase your closing rate over the phone, you need to understand who you’re selling to. 

In this webinar, the first in our Calling Masters series in partnership with Lead Forensics, we’re discussing the key elements of pre-call preparation to ensure that you’ve packed out your cold call toolbox.

You’ll learn:

  • How to quickly gather relevant knowledge about your prospect’s business, their specific needs, and the key players you need to connect with.
  • Which essential tools will help inform your approach during your call to the prospect.
  • How to apply the information you find during your research on the cold call and ensure your sales success.

Our panel features:
Marco Alfano-Rogers – Sales Director at Air Marketing
Fran Hall – Account Director at Air Marketing
Jamie Beaumont – CEO and Founder of Playter

Host:
Joe Duccarreaux – Brand Awareness Manager at Lead Forensics

Who is it for?
Founders & CEOs
Sales & Marketing Leaders
Revenue Leaders
Sales & Marketing Managers
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

Maximising Sales Performance: Should You Go In-House or Outsourced for Training?

It’s not your imagination, sales development is definitely getting harder. Outbound prospecting is certainly getting harder. Doing the same thing, applying the usual techniques, won’t cut it anymore. More than ever, there’s a need to be coaching and training your SDRs regularly, particularly in the early part of their career.

But what’s the best way to train your sales team? Should you have an in-house trainer or send SDRs to external training courses? Here, we’ll look at the pros and cons of in-house and outsourced sales training and enablement.

Benefits of in-house sales training

Awareness of the business: A trainer who works within the business knows the internal values, processes and systems. You can work through real life situations and confidential case studies.

Ongoing support: In-house trainers are able to train and coach consistently, and provide ongoing support. They’re not simply providing a one-off session, never to be seen again.

Accountability: Working in-house, the trainer can hold participants to account and follow up on the training with them. 

Challenges of in-house sales training

Expensive commitment: There’s the ongoing cost of hiring trainers rather than the variable outgoing of paying for external training courses.

Repetition of content: In-house trainers tend to teach the same things again and again. Being ‘in the bubble,’ they’re less exposed to new, external content and ideas. As Albert Einstein wisely pointed out, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Colleagues as fellow students: Training alongside your team mates tends to mean that you’re bringing similar experiences to the table. You’re not learning about different environments, challenges and case studies.

Benefits of outsourced sales training

Experts in their field: External trainers tend to be subject matter specialists. They’re constantly learning and updating their knowledge to pass on to their students.  

Established programs: Outsourced training is generally a one stop shop. Participants follow a program over a set time (e.g. a one day or half day training session). It’s a well-established and prepared program with specific processes.

Diversity of participants: External training providers usually hold sessions for people from different companies. They’ll bring varying levels of knowledge and understanding, and differing experiences. You’ll learn from each other as well as the trainer. 

Challenges of outsourced sales training

Cost of training courses: Outsourced sales training can be a costly option. Some providers charge £5000+ per day, for example.

Lack of accountability: After your training course, you go back to work and carry on. All too often, you drift back to old habits instead of the new ideas that you learned about. Without anyone to hold you to account, it’s easy to stick with what you know.

Finite learning experience: Once your six hour or six week training program ends, that’s the end. There’s no follow up to check your understanding of the topic, to build on it or to see if you’re successfully implementing the new approach. 

Introducing a different approach – The SDR Academy

We believe The SDR Academy offers something truly different.

The SDR Academy’s unique offering involves both learning new things as well as topping up and refreshing existing knowledge. We hold SDRs accountable for what they’ve learnt with regular sessions every single week. It’s the best of both worlds – a continuous learning journey combined with external expertise and learning from other people with different experiences.

We believe that sales training doesn’t have a beginning and end. You don’t have one session on ‘objection handling’ and then handle every instance perfectly. You don’t attend a session on ‘writing cold emails’ and then compose winning emails every time. You never complete your learning around sales. It’s an evolution; a process of continuous improvement.

The SDR Academy is an ongoing subscription to virtual training sessions. Run in live, virtual rooms, the courses are created and facilitated by leading industry experts. It’s comprehensive, affordable and impactful.

How To Effectively Convert MQLs From Gated Content

Acquiring Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) is just the beginning when it comes to Digital Marketing. Next comes the trickier part: effectively nurturing and converting those leads into loyal customers.

In this blog, we’re looking at how to effectively convert MQLs from gated content downloads, with a strategic approach that guides prospects seamlessly through their buying journey.

Here are 10 strategies to effectively nurture and convert MQLs into valuable customers:

  1. Segment and Personalise

Segmentation is key. Group MQLs based on demographics, behaviour, and where they are in their journey. Then, personalise your content to cater to the specific pain points and needs of each segment.

  1. Lead Nurturing Campaigns

Gradually introduce relevant content and take advantage of a multi-channel approach by engaging leads across various platforms like email campaigns, social media and webinars.

  1. Content Mapping

Align your offerings with the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Provide informative content at every step to guide leads closer to conversion.

  1. Engagement and Interaction

Use interactive content tools such as live webinars, polls, calculators and ROI tools to engage leads and gather valuable insights. Encourage prompt interaction and respond swiftly to inquiries.

  1. Qualification

Define clear criteria for when a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) becomes a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).

  1. Continuous Analysis and Optimisation

Keep a close eye on your metrics. Monitor KPIs such as conversion rates and engagement metrics. Continuously experiment through A/B testing to optimise your nurturing campaigns.

  1. Sales and Marketing Alignment

Ensure strong collaboration between your marketing and sales teams. Foster open communication and create a feedback loop to refine MQL criteria and nurturing strategies.

  1. Customer-Centric Approach

Focus on value. Showcase how your product or service resolves specific pain points rather than just its features. Offer educational resources that empower leads to make informed decisions.

  1. Lead Follow-Up

Timing is everything. Ensure swift follow-ups and sustained engagement with your leads. Automate reminders within your CRM to maintain the conversation flow.

  1. Retargeting and Remarketing

Utilise retargeting ads and personalised offers to re-engage MQLs who have shown interest but haven’t converted yet.

By applying these strategies with precision and dedication, you can effectively nurture and guide MQLs through their journey, transforming them into loyal customers. This approach will not only boost conversions but also foster long-term relationships with your audience, driving sustainable growth for your business.

Opinion piece by Digital Marketing Manager, Becca Duckering

All You Need to Know About Using Data in Outbound Sales | Blog

At the close of last year, our exclusive roundtable, hailed by viewers as ‘the event of the year’ and one of our most successful yet, brought together the leading minds from all major data providers in the industry to discuss everything you need to know about using data in outbound sales. Offering key insights across strategy, intent data, data accuracy and the best practices for utilising data – it’s an absolute must-watch for anybody involved in the sales process.

Hosted by Air’s Founder & CEO, Owen Richards, our expert panel featured:

Here, their insights are revealed:

Everything Starts with Your ICP

“Many clients don’t know what their TAM (Total Addressable Market) is” says Liz Fulham. One of the common pitfalls of outbound sales is the spray and pray approach.

Ringing everyone on a list with no process or targeting strategy in place is what Paul Gilhooly calls a sure “revenue and productivity killer.”

The best way to lift your revenue line is to know who to target, what their pain points are and “how your solution fits into your prospect’s organisation” as Saif Khan offers.

Have an Efficient Operating Model

The importance of having a clear and efficient operating model within sales cannot be overstated. After all, data and outbound go hand in hand.  A good operating model will tie into that strategy and allow you to maximise your data for success. Paul Gilhooly informed us that 5-10% of your TAM will be in-market at any given moment. Ensuring that you have a process of capturing those accounts will help you to prioritise the most important accounts that are in-market for your solution. As he is says “In this economy, missing out on opportunities is the worst, so if you don’t have a process for that you’re missing a trick.”

Saif echoes and elaborates on the importance of having the tools and a blueprint of how you’re going to reach your goals. “The two biggest things are alignment and resource allocation” he says. With everyone in the team being asked to do more with less these days, it’s important that sales and marketing teams communicate and that you are providing for the accounts that have the highest yield. It’s not enough to focus on the leads generated at the top of the funnel anymore, so leveraging data from all departments to inform how you approach sales is fundamental. 

Using Data Effectively

Many companies come to data providers with the goal of enhancing their revenue but think they need to “rip and replace” all the data they have collected so far. Saif says it’s actually all about assimilating what has worked up until now and leveraging the right solutions to understand where the volume and quality of leads can be improved. When you understand the bigger picture, you can build short- and long-term plans for your success.

AI

AI is changing the world. It has so many uses within outbound sales such as helping SDRs to create ICPs based on their best-selling customers. Paul Gilhooly also explains how within 6sense’s platform it can be used to do a statistical lookback at the last few years of your CRM data and identify key trends and opportunities.

AI can be instrumental in getting the timing of outreach right, as well as providing a workflow to help you to prioritise the best opportunities. Liz explains that “using AI we’re able to match the data in the CRM to bring it right up to date with what’s happening on the internet.” In fact, it’s so powerful that it can update a changed job role from LinkedIn within minutes. This is amazing for reducing duplication and data accuracy.

Intent Data

Intent data is all about understanding the dynamic of how people buy today. Paul offers up two key questions here:

  • Do we want to contact the people who we could sell to?
  • Or do we want to contact people who want to buy?

From there you can ascertain what sales opportunities there are and if they are really feasible.

With first- and third-party data to consider as well as anonymous data there is lots to consider and much research emerging too. Rather than looking at one subset of data, it’s important that you aggregate it to get a full picture of your ICP’s pain points, needs and buyer readiness.

Outbound Sales Best Practices

  • Opt for Account-Based selling over transactional selling
  • Take a multi-channel approach – don’t just sell through the phone
  • More doesn’t mean more, its quality that counts
  • Personalisation, relevance and timing have never been more important
  • Leverage what you already have alongside intelligence tools
  • Offer a bespoke, tailored approach at every stage of the sales cycle
  • Profile the right companies to call using the data
  • Work on accounts that align to who the AE is going to sell to
  • Know your sales hooks
  • Be intentional with how you use data
  • Always A/B test
  • Ask the right questions
  • Be patient

It’s pays to remember that there is no one size fits all when it comes to sales and marketing intelligence. James Isilay summarised it well when he said “data providers are a bit like newspapers. We all have different ways of collecting data and different propriety signals that we overly on that. There’s always differences in our data and accuracies. We all make a different soup in how we bring the data together.”

The most important thing is that you engage influencers and decision makers within a company in the right conversations, demonstrating that you understand their challenges and have a specific solution to ease them.

Outbound sales should be a collaborative approach laser-focused around your prospects. Making effective use of data at every stage of the sales process is vital especially within the mid to end of the funnel where there is so much intelligence to be gleaned.

As James says “Don’t burn the opportunities that you do get. They’re so hard to come by right now – they’re like golden nuggets!”

Thank you to our excellent panel for their time and knowledge. We hope that you found this roundtable as engaging and insightful as we did!

Uniting Experts: All You Need to Know About Using Data in Outbound Sales

In the evolving sales landscape, data has become the linchpin of outbound strategies. But how do we navigate the complexities of using data to boost our contact rates and sales figures?

In this live roundtable, we’re bringing together the leading minds from all major data providers for an exclusive discussion to provide industry insights and answer your burning questions.

Our cracking panel features:
James Isilay – CEO at Cognism
Saif Khan – Director of Sales at ZoomInfo
Liz Fulham – Founder & CEO at TAMI
Paul Gilhooly – VP of Sales at 6sense

Host:
Owen Richards – Founder & CEO of Air Marketing

Key discussion points:
– Most common myths/misunderstood elements of using/procuring data for outbound sales
– Innovative strategies to increase contact rate
– What data is best to use, and how to use it to its full potential to target the right prospects at the right time and through the right channels
– Intent data – How is this evolving and how data can help customers to be more relevant
– How data providers ensure data accuracy for their customers
– The strategic role accurate data plays to improve the quality of pipeline
– The major developments in the data industry the last 12-18 months
– Data providers future plans to evolve their solutions and make prospecting more effective for sales professionals

Who is it for?
Founders & CEOs
Sales & Marketing Leaders
Revenue Leaders
Sales & Marketing Managers
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

This roundtable presents a unique opportunity to engage with the best in the industry and come away with knowledge that will place you at the forefront of outbound sales success. Whether you’re in sales, marketing, or business development, understanding how to harness data will give you a competitive edge.

The SaaS Blueprint: Building Brand Trust Through Unified Outreach

When delving into the world of SaaS, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the myriad of strategies and methods on offer. Yet, one fundamental truth stands out: our approach truly counts.

Now, there’s no denying the time-tested efficacy of the phone. There’s something about the immediacy of voice, the rapport it establishes. It’s undeniably our ace in the hole. However, let’s face it, we’re in a digital era, and platforms like Email and LinkedIn are simply indispensable. They’re not mere add-ons; they’re part of the core trio. These platforms grant us the ability to engage potential clients in diverse yet equally impactful ways, and when used effectively, they each compliment and bolster the others.

This brings me to another key point: the potential outcomes when sales and marketing join forces. The era when sales and marketing operated in their own bubbles is, thankfully, bygone. In today’s world, especially within SaaS, the fusion of the two has led to some incredible results. Our SDR teams receive these qualified, nurtured, warm leads, transforming conversions into genuine dialogues.

A unified front is essential. It’s not just about the message but ensuring it’s delivered harmoniously. If our marketing colleagues are communicating a narrative, it’s pivotal we’re all on the same page, talking the same language and replicating each other’s approach. This alignment doesn’t just enhance our brand’s authenticity, it amplifies it, particularly when our SDRs are reaching out.

Lastly, there’s the matter of brand trust. With marketing standing shoulder to shoulder with sales, reinforcing the narrative, it’s akin to bestowing our brand with a seal of credibility. And trust me, that doesn’t go unnoticed.

In conclusion, as the SaaS industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s pivotal that we remain agile, adaptive, and most importantly, integrated in our approach. By ensuring that our sales and marketing efforts are not just aligned but intertwined, we position ourselves for sustained success and growth. Always remember the basics: integration, consistency, and collaboration.

See how this simple, collaborative approach has led to many success stories with clients the SaaS sector, here.

Opinion piece by Sales Director, Marco Alfano-Rogers

Swipe Right: How to Match with Your Ideal Customer Profile

Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone wanted to buy your product or service? It would certainly cut down on all the time, money and effort needed to discover who your ideal customers are and how they like to be sold to.

In reality, even the most successful companies recognise that they can’t appeal to everyone. If you offer a specialised solution tailored to a specific industry, your customer base might be smaller but fiercely competitive. Alternatively, if your product has broad appeal, you might struggle to reach everyone who could benefit from it.

If you’ve had enough of feeling your way around in the dark and would like someone to turn on the light and show you how to precisely target who you’re going after – this guide is for you.

Swipe Right: How to Match with Your Ideal Customer Profile is a guide by Air Marketing, designed to help you understand what an Ideal Customer Profile is, why it matters and how to build your own, to effectively drive revenue for your business.

Get your FREE copy of the guide by completing the form below.