The Future of Inbound: Solving the Sales Alignment Gap
By Kyle Bento
This year, INBOUND 2016 has been a blast.
It has also solidified one major concept in my mind.
“Marketing and sales can no longer be considered separate groups.”
Here’s why: When we made a purchase in the past, we were attracted by marketing and educated by sales. We learn the basics from marketing, but ultimately interact with sales to determine if the product or service we chose was, in fact, the best choice.
The thing is, this has all changed.
Prospects have altered the way they buy. They're now more autonomous in researching and gathering the information they need to educate themselves on the solution to their problem.
Inbound marketing has risen as the clear winner in educating buyers on the value of a purchase. As a result, buyers have never had more information at their fingertips.
In the past, you’d have to call a sales person to ask, “what do other people think of using your product?” or “how does your product work in conjunction with X?” Today, we no longer need to ask. Instead, we turn to the web and we figure it out ourselves.
Amazon is a perfect example of this. When buying from Amazon, do you deal with a sales rep? Why would you? You have hundreds of reviews at your fingertips which answer all the questions you probably already have. Can't find the answer to your question? Then you just ask and the community and they respond, ultimately avoiding any sales person.
Sales is Changing
I may sound like I’m saying that salespeople are no longer important, but that couldn’t be further from the case. In most buying situations, we need sales people to help guide buyers through the buyer’s journey. However, the most successful salespeople have changed the way they sell and it’s becoming the responsibility of marketing to bring them up to speed.
Key Takeaway: Marketing and Sales Need to Unify.
The most successful organizations will recognize that sales and marketing are doing the same thing, just differently. They’re both educating buyers and they need to work together at it.
We see this shift happen in the way sales and marketing products are being built. HubSpot is moving their product in the direction of being one unified platform. It’s no longer HubSpot Marketing, HubSpot Sales & HubSpot CRM. It’s one platform that buyer information transgresses seamlessly through, and I couldn't be more excited about it.
A huge takeaway from this event is that the best sellers are using information that marketing generates to customize the sales experience for a buyer (and log it in the CRM, right?). At the same time, the best marketers understand and learn from the interactions sales has with prospects. It’s how we’ll all grow.
I challenge you to be a better smarketer.
Spend some time learning how your sales team sells and start identifying areas that you can help augment their process and improve your buyer's experience.
Wondering where to begin?