Are your marketing and sales teams on the same page…

…or reading different books?

Now, more than ever, it’s important that your sales and marketing teams are communicating. Why? Because 68% B2B buyers prefer to research online before talking to a sales person

Here is why there absolutely cannot be a disconnect between teams: marketing has your message posted all over social media, your website, in print ads, but is that where the audience is? Your sales team has connections to your current audience, the ones that are more likely to buy because they’re connected on Linked In, go to the same conferences, know the same people.

If you’re not sure if your sales and marketing are jiving, start with these questions:

  • WHO

    is the audience? This may seem simple, but consider this scenario: Let’s say your company sells X-ray machines. Who is your target audience? One team may think it’s the buyer for the hospital (the one writing the checks) But the other team may think its better to target the Radiologist (the influencer) as the buyer may look to the radiologist when making that purchasing decision. Who is right? Well, maybe both teams are right, but they will need to work together to decide who their next campaign will target and what materials the sales team should use when targeting that demographic.

  • WHAT

    is the messaging about? This may depend on the phase in which the buyer is on in the buyer’s journey. Perhaps the buyer has already done a lot of research online, in which case he/she may be asking about product features. Or, if the buyer is at a decision phase and features are pretty comparable between you and a competitor, they may want to hear more about your services and what sets you apart. It is important that the sales team is familiar with the buyer’s journey and know which messaging is best to present at the time.

  • WHEN

    should you spread your message? One team may argue that they would like to get the message out in April about an even happen in June, and another may argue that the audience won’t be paying attention until the week before. Perhaps it is a combination of both, with different messaging at different times, in which case your teams will need to coordinate.

  • WHERE

    should you spread your message? Where, as in, what platform or type of media? Research your audience. Perhaps your messaging belongs in a magazine popular with your audience, or advertised on your audience’s favorite blog. Don’t assume anything. For example: remember the hospital scenario we mentioned before? The hospital buyers are on LinkedIn, but there are a TON of radiologists on Instagram. They wanna show off their cool pics.

Once your teams can agree on the above questions, come up with a plan on how your teams can continue communication. Whether it is simply by having the sales team email the marketing team with photos of their events so that the marketing team can package it nicely with a relevant message, or perhaps your teams prefer to use an app like WePost, either way, its good to have the teams meet monthly to discuss how they can best work together.

I’ll leave you with a quick success story on what can happen when sales and marketing work together:

Hitatchi sales team used to conduct interviews at trade shows; it’s something they’d always done. The marketing team had no knowledge that these interviews were happening, and the sales team never thought to share them. After several meetings in an attempt to get on the same page, the interviews were mentioned and it was decided that the sales team would share the customer interviews with the marketing team after the upcoming tradeshow.

Here is what happened. It was mentioned several times in the interviews that Hitatichi was the only company among competitors that had a person answering the phone, rather than an automated messaging service. When the marketing team this, they built a campaign on it. And guess what? It crushed. Once the word was out that you could talk to a real, live person when you called Hitatchi, sales went through the roof.

And that is just one example of why your sales and marketing teams should communicate. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this topic, please reach out to the NewPoint team. If you are interested in more food marketing topics, please visit our “Food for Thought” page. Alternatively, check out NewPoint’s book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.