Sales and Marketing: No Longer a Love-Hate Relationship
Marketing and sales are like peanut butter and jelly. Although, they can also be like oil and water…. (the old what have you done for me lately, or we you guys tons of leads but you don’t do anything with them… hmmm seems like there’s a disconnect here)
It may not seem like it, but sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin, they are both revenue driven. However, most of the time the two teams work in silos in order to reach company goals. This will completely shift when implementing Account Based Marketing Strategies, its time Marketing and Sales play nice in the sandbox to get the best results from their outreach efforts.
Both teams work hand in hand.
In the past, sales and marketing were often separate entities. Sales were responsible for closing deals, and marketing was responsible for building awareness. Today, that is no longer the case!
ABM is when you identify and target specific accounts versus a broad audience and create more personalized experiences. If you already have an ABM strategy, that is great, but are your Sales and Marketing teams working together on campaigns, or are they beating their own drums? If so, they should get on the band wagon sooner rather than later.
It’s time to have an effective strategy so companies can limit their sales efforts to customers who have demonstrated high interest in their products or services. It’s about finding the accounts that fit your business and ensuring you engage with them at the right time, with the right message, and it’s important to include sales right from the start to help create a balanced approach with your campaign.
- On the one hand, sales can use ABM to identify ideal customers and then use that information to conduct targeted outreach. Instead of boiling the ocean. Sales can reach out to fewer accounts that are more likely to convert into customers.
- On the other hand, marketing can use ABM to identify their best prospects and reach out in a personalized way that’s relevant to the prospect’s needs. Helping sales connect with potential customers, and close more deals faster.
Salespeople have intimate knowledge of customer’s needs, goals, and pain points—and they’re often better equipped than marketers in identifying potential opportunities with specific accounts. So wouldn’t it be in marketing’s best interest to involve sales in the ABM strategy?
Think about it, you can spend less of your budget running demand-generation campaigns that may or may not get customers interested in your product. Aligning with sales will get the right customers engaged with your content, who will be more willing to talk with your sales team to help solve their problems.
How can you make sure your ABM campaign is a success?
- Start with a well-defined strategy that aligns with business goals. Develop an achievable plan with the team when you run an ABM campaign. You may even want to go one step further by documenting the steps needed before you begin your campaign so both sales and marketing are on the same page on accountability and expectations.
Identify goals with all teams responsible for driving revenue (this could include marketing, sales, and customer success).
- If there’s no goal, there’s no point in having an actual plan! Both teams should agree on objectives and the amount of time to invest. This way, when something changes along the way (and it will!), both teams will know what needs to happen next.
Create an ongoing conversation between sales, customer success, and marketing so everyone can stay informed of each other’s progress.
- The key to the best working relationship between sales and marketing is communication. Sales and marketing need to be in constant contact so that if something is being done by one department that will affect the other, it can be communicated as soon as possible.
Track and measure everything to know what works and what doesn’t, so you can quickly adjust for optimal campaign performance.
Some important metrics for account-based marketing include:
- ROI requires that you invest in specific accounts, so you need to measure whether or not those investments are paying off.
- Influenced Pipeline to determine if your ABM campaigns impacted your target accounts. This way you can see if there are areas of the ABM strategy that are working or not and may need some review.
- Target Account Coverage helps the teams understand if you are reaching the right individuals or if there needs to be some adjustments to go after the best target audience.
- Stages in the Pipeline can show how quickly (or slowly) leads convert from MQL to SQL and so on. Providing Marketing and Sales with insights into which campaigns deliver better opportunities that turn into revenue.
Share your vision for the future.
It’s time to align your teams. Stop using silo’d tactics, such as cold calling and spamming, and start focusing on a targeted approach that will result in higher returns. Both teams should have a voice in identifying which accounts are worth targeting, and work together to develop a smooth transition from relationship-building to conversion. An ideal way to do this is to establish a unified vision between Marketing and Sales with more transparency into data, and a clearer understanding of overall company goals and expectations to ensure more informed decisions are being made.
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