The age old battle between sales and marketing may not be entirely over, but we have come a long way. I'll admit to playing into the friendly banter with my sales counterparts from time-to-time. But in all seriousness, can you imagine what would happen to a sales director if they stood up at a company meeting and said:
No, we didn't hit our sales quota this quarter, but we were doing some A/B testing on our pitch?"
In Sales, there's not much wiggle room to get away with a "didn't meet quota" type of response. With so much riding on their success, can we really blame salespeople for prematurely jumping on our whitepaper leads, or not giving our campaigns enough time before declaring them a failure? If your marketing isn't keeping your salespeople busy closing sales, don't expect them to wait around a long time for the marketing to start "to work."
Ask any successful B2B marketer, and they'll tell you it is their job is to make the salespeople as successful as possible. That's because high-performance marketing departments have discovered a valuable secret -- that, when marketing and sales work together to reach a common goal, improved marketing ROI, sales productivity, and bottom-line growth are sure to follow.
Marketing can have a direct impact on sales performance by:
- Identifying new buyers, influencers, and markets
- Increasing the quality and quantity of leads
- Nurturing the leads who are not qualified
- Finding opportunities to shorten the sales cycle
- Providing effective sales messaging and tools
6 Questions to Start Engaging Sales
For marketing to effectively support sales, there has to be communication and transparency between the two departments. Marketers can make the first move by interviewing their salespeople. Here are 6 of our favorite questions to get the conversation started:
- What does an ideal buyer profile look like to you?
- What gets prospects excited the most with our service/product?
- What are the top objections you hear from prospects?
- How long does the average sale take to close?
- May I listen in on a sales call?
- How can I support your goals better?