Before speaking with IMPACT or any marketing agency, ask yourself this question:
Who understands your buyers better than anyone else at your company?
What department speaks to your prospects, customers, members regularly and hears their concerns, questions, objections, and worries the most?
The marketing team knows who the ideal customer is, and they've most likely created buyer personas with specific demographics and psychographics to develop messaging around that quintessential customer, but they don’t usually speak directly to potential buyers.
Leadership knows how to create and manage a strategy to attract and engage your ideal customer, but they spend most of their time interacting with internal managers, outside partners, and overseeing company alignment.
So if marketing is focused on connecting with the ideal customer and leadership is rolling out the communications strategy, who’s actually talking with your prospects?
For most organizations, sales and customer service teams are the front-line workers engaging directly with potential buyers.
Whether they’re connecting through that first “request an estimate” follow-up email, or speaking directly on a “contact us now” phone call, their hands are the first to extend for an in-person or virtual handshake with your prospect.
That’s why the sales team needs to be heavily involved in helping to develop and execute your They Ask, You Answer journey.
They Ask, You Answer is a sales-driven philosophy
They Ask, You Answer is a methodology based on one simple, yet revolutionary strategy: answer your customer’s questions.
Now that we have established who at your company likely hears these customer questions, and understands your buyer’s concerns better than anyone, how could we have strategic conversations without your sales representatives?
“They Ask, You Answer is a sales-driven philosophy — supported by marketing.”
- Chris Marr, Digital Sales and Marketing Coach at IMPACT
Listing our your buyer’s most commonly asked questions
Your marketing department can use SEO tools like SEMrush to get a better idea of the keywords people are researching within your industry, but this form of research lacks context and does not tell the full story.
For a company selling printers and copiers, for example, keyword research might tell them that people are constantly researching Canon and HP printers.
This is helpful for creating general blog topic ideas, but it doesn’t provide insight into customer concerns or intent like which brand is right for my small business or how do those printers compare to other brands?
Social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can also shed some light on the questions people are asking through the comments section. But these are typically infrequent, one-off concerns, without much detail or context into the root of the issue.
SEO tools and social media comments can provide a glimpse into the topics your buyers are interested in.
The most effective way to understand the common concerns and questions asked about your company’s products and services, is to get them straight from the source, which your sales team can do better than anyone.
Being interviewed for articles and videos
After listing out the most common questions and concerns from your prospective buyers, the marketing team will take those ideas and begin planning out content for blog articles and videos.
Before writing the content, the marketing team will need to conduct research and what better place to start than with the sales representatives who can provide primary research analysis.
Content writers can sit with individual sales reps and conduct interviews based on the most commonly asked questions. Depending on each sales member’s time and availability, sales reps can even help write the articles themselves, sharing their first-hand knowledge and subject matter expertise in their own voice.
Staff videographers will also ask your sales team to sit for interviews and use their exceptional people skills on camera, sharing their knowledge about your company’s full-range of products and services.
Not only does your sales team have a keen understanding of your buyer’s needs and concerns, they also have a wealth of knowledge about your company’s product and service offerings.
They educate prospects on a daily basis about your business solutions - therefore they have a deep knowledge of how your business can solve people’s unique problems.
Using content in the sales process (assignment selling)
This is where your new content will become a tangible asset for the sales team.
As soon as the marketing team hits “publish” on this content, it should immediately be handed back to the sales team to continue educating buyers throughout the buying process and close more deals.
During our coaching sessions, we’ll talk about the key communication opportunities your sales team has to share assignment selling content; what specific article and video make sense to include in an email with a prospect before they set up their first appointment with a sales rep?
We’ll talk through and identify the biggest opportunities throughout your sales process and the different stages of your buyer’s journey.
Creating team alignment and driving growth
We talk a lot about breaking down silos between sales and marketing and focusing our energy on one ultimate goal: driving growth for your company.
This all comes back to alignment.
Our first step towards this growth in digital marketing and sales coaching is creating a strategy, in writing, that confirms your team is committed to a sales and marketing strategy centered around educating your buyers to help them make informed purchasing decisions.
This unified strategy will allow us to move away from the notion that “sales is responsible for closing customers” and “marketing is responsible for bringing in new leads.”
Our new strategy will also be focused on affirming that sales, marketing, and leadership are all working as one “revenue team,” collectively responsible for the growth of your company.
If these teams are not meeting collaboratively now, we’ll come up with a plan to open the lines of communication and create a dialogue around the shared goal of a unified “revenue team.”
Overall, by showing up for digital sales and marketing coaching, your sales team will help make sure lines of communication between sales and marketing stay open and intact, that expectations are clear and reasonable, and that everyone is working towards the same goals.
Closing the gap
Inviting your sales teams to join in our coaching conversations will allow us to further close the gap between sales and marketing. It allows us to cut through the fluff, and really focus in on the common concerns and questions your sales and customer service people hear everyday.
It enables us to remove the objections and burdens that stand in the way of closing deals, by giving sales the tools they need to educate your customers and build trust.
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