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Sales & Marketing Alignment

5 Conversations Your Sales and Marketing Teams Should Be Having

By Carolyn Edgecomb

5 Conversations Your Sales and Marketing Teams Should Be Having Blog Feature

 

5 Conversations Sales and Marketing Should be HavingHow strong is the alignment between your sales and marketing teams?


The communication between sales and marketing is essential in executing a more efficient sales process.


As marketers, we all know how important it is to develop a strong working relationship with our sales team.  Working closely with sales will help both teams effectively close leads and generate more customers.


Creating an alignment between sales and marketing isn't easy, as communication isn't just a one way street, it goes both ways.


Is your marketing team consistently asking these questions?:



    • So I need to communicate with my sales team to improve effectiveness?

    • Who should be setting goals and expectations?

    • What kind of information should I be giving them?

    • What should I be getting from them in return?


If these are common questions asked by your marketing team, we've uncovered five conversations to get your sales and marketing teams talking to each other and improving your process.


If you're interested in learning more about turning these tips into actual results, check out our free ebook "The Expert Guide for Aligning Sales & Marketing." 


5 Sales and Marketing Conversations


1. What the Overall Lead Quality Looks Like


What type of leads did marketing send sales last month? This is a conversation sales and marketing should frequently discuss.


You know how many leads your marketing efforts are obtaining, but are all of those leads right for your company? Your leads are probably all at different levels of the buying cycle.


The marketing team should get a better understanding of the type of customers converting and the quality of each lead. Knowing what a quality lead looks like, marketing can the pinpoint the sources and content generating high and low quality leads.


Not sure how to start this conversations with sales? Here's some conversation starters to help your marketing develop better communication with sales.


Consider asking sales these questions:



    • Was there a high volume of leads who had no interest in our product / service?

    • Did sales struggle to connect with leads this month?

    • What does a quality lead look like?

    • Are there specific qualities and characteristics of a sales qualified lead?

    • What is sales' closing rate?


2. Which Sources and Content Topics Generate the Best Leads


Now that you know what a quality lead for your company looks like, ask your sales team which sources and content topics are generating the best leads. Your site probably offers several different opportunities for your leads to convert and enter your site through; such as your website, search engines, social media, marketing emails, resources and blog.


It's time to identify which sources and content are attracting the best and worst leads.


Consider asking sales these questions:



    • Do you find that leads who have shown interest in a particular topic tend to be of higher quality? 

    • Which topics are performing the best? (in regards to number of downloads and also lead quality)

    • Which topics aren't performing well? (in regards to number of downloads and also lead quality)

    • What sources are most customers coming from?

    • What source is generating unqualified leads?


3. What Your Leads are Saying About Your Content


How are your sales reps starting their conversations with leads? If your sales reps aren't using the content and offers your leads have downloaded to start the conversation, sales is missing the opportunity inquire and gain feedback about your content. Everyone needs feedback, what better way than by asking leads during a follow up call. Feedback is extremely important for you to know what aspects of your content need to be improved.


Consider asking sales these questions:



    • Did the lead learn something valuable?

    • Was the offer what they were expecting?

    • What type of feedback did the leads say about certain offers?

    • How are members of the sales team, starting their conversations with leads?


4. How Many Leads is Sales Connecting With and Closing


How many of the leads that marketing generates are actually closing?


For sales and marketing to work collectively, marketing should be informed about the performance of the sales team. One way marketing can be more involved and informed about sales performance is to get a closer look at their funnel metrics. In a study by Genius.com, they say that "66% of buyers indicate that consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations "is a key influence in choosing a solution provider."


Consider asking sales these questions:



    • How many leads is sales able to connect with?

    • Of the leads they connect with, how many of those leads agree to a more in-depth sales conversation? (a product demonstration, assessment ... etc)

    • Of the people who agreed to a more in depth sales call, how many became customers?


5. What Content Did Current Customers View / Convert on


What content do most of your customers convert on? Are there any trends? Those are both really good questions you should be asking your sales team.


Understanding what content your leads are converting on will help you gain a broader scope of what information is attracting your customers, as well as helping you close the loop. As a marketer, you and your sales person will want to know everything from how each customer came to your site, what they looked at, how they became a lead, and what helped them becoming a customer. Again, you should be looking for trends!


Consider asking sales these additional questions:



    • Did customers view particular pages during the time they entered the site until they became a customer?

    • What content has the highest lead to customer conversion rates?

Topics:

Sales & Marketing Alignment
Published on March 15, 2013

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