In order to eliminate frustrations and lack of results, marketing and sales have to work together. Beginning with everyone being on the same page with the end goal, there are certain points that will greatly increase the likelihood of success for everyone. Below are three ways to bridge the gap between digital marketing and sales.
ESTABLISH SMART GOALS
First and foremost, your organization needs to have overall corporate goals. It will be impossible for your sales or marketing department to establish their goals if the organization as a whole hasn’t identified its own.
The other problem without having SMART Goals is that you can confuse activities with results. We often speak with companies that come to us wanting to do something better online. These companies tend to be frustrated with internal attempts or other outsourced vendors. It is hard for them to articulate exactly what they want, but they know why they are frustrated - lack of return on marketing.
Once you have your organizational goals established, the next step is to determine what strategies and tactics will support them. If your corporate goal is to increase revenue by 25% with 75% of this coming from inbound leads, then your marketing team will be able to establish exactly what they need to do to support this.
Based on the above and looking at past performance, marketing may determine that “they need to increase website visits by 50% (5,000 per month to 7,500 per month) by September 30th, 2014”*. So, what makes this a SMART Goal?
Specific: They have determined that visits are the metric they will measure
Measurable: Increase by 50% - 5,000 per month to 7,500 per month
Attainable: Based on historical data, they can conclude that this is an attainable goal. If they looked at the data and realized that an 80% or 90% increase in visits was needed to hit the organizational goal of increasing revenue, they could have a discussion to see if there were other ways to grow, or adjust the revenue goal.
Relevant: With this tying back to the overall organizational goal, it makes it worth doing.
Timely: By placing a specific target date it leaves a hard deadline, not just an ongoing item that would be “great if we did it”
*The above example comes from HubSpot Academy
DEVELOP BUYER PERSONAS
Is your sales team complaining about bad leads? If so, it is probably because your marketing efforts are attracting the wrong leads. In order to get the right leads in the hands of your sales team, you need to sit down and establish Buyer Personas. These are semi-fictional representations of your ideal client.
In order to develop these personas, sit with your sales team and identify your current ideal clients. In order to develop a persona you need to look at common behaviors and pain points, identify their goals and include general demographic information.
It will be important to “sell” this to your sales team so it is not viewed as a cushy exercise. Once the persona is developed, all of your content and activity has to be aimed at them.
ELIMINATE THE BLACK HOLE
It won’t matter how well your marketing does if sales doesn’t know they have leads to followup on!
Not much else will guarantee your failure like letting quality leads falling into the black hole between marketing and sales. We have seen so many companies make this mistake. In order to eliminate this, there has to be some form of agreement in place.
Things to consider are how marketing presents the leads to the sales team, the non-optional amount of time between conversion and first contact, and the communication through the sales process.
Research shows that more top-level companies are focusing resources on digital/mobile marketing. They are also placing more importance on their marketing departments to achieve their overall corporate goals. If you eliminate the gap between marketing and sales, and develop a solid plan, you will have great success.
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