It's time to figure some things out. Your current and potential customers need your sales and marketing teams to figure it out.
Admittedly, we are all trying to figure out how to do business the best way right now.
Marketing is doing its thing. Sales is doing its thing. Your executives may even be getting in on the action by taking care of customers and being a guiding voice in the industries you serve.
The problem is there is so much good sentiment buried in so much noise.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new for most B2B organizations. But today’s prospects and customers are less tolerant of companies that are unaware of their challenges and indifferent to their current and future needs.
Today’s prospects and customers are less tolerant of companies that are unaware of their challenges and indifferent to their current and future needs.
So regardless of the intent of individual messages, when your sales and marketing teams are not creating a cohesive customer experience, your audience suffers and tunes you out.
Process vs Purpose
When sales and marketing leaders get together to talk about alignment, topics including lead qualification, hand-offs, funnel conversion and common KPIs are the focus.
These are critical to any high functioning sales and marketing organization, but these are internal processes.
To be heard in a way that makes your processes effective, sales and marketing needs to align around being more human.
What does this look like?
Build a community People are more willing to come together virtually than ever before. We are craving commonality and looking for answers. If you can be the central force bringing an industry together not only will you gain incredible learning, but you also will be positioned as a meaningful voice in the community. WARNING: Build the framework for the community to come together and talk, but let the community fill it with content. Talking at your community just creates more noise.
Reevaluate your ask Sales and marketing teams must spend time figuring out how buyers are willing to act right now. Demos, downloads, discovery meetings, etc. are usually actions that are seller-focused. This is a time where we must shift to align our asks with buyer-focused actions. Instead of asking for a demo ask if your buyer would be interested in a strategy session. Instead of a discovery call, ask if they would be willing to participate in industry research. WARNING: There is no room for bait and switch. While creativity can be powerful, your buyers will see through gimmicks and not stand for veiled sales tactics. If you say you are doing industry research, share the results. If you say this is a strategy session, then deliver value. If your product can help bring that value it can be part of the conversation, but it’s ok if your product is a topic for the next conversation.
Focus on an audience of one This is a perfect time to implement an account-based approach in your organization. Sit down and have the hard conversations about which accounts are the right accounts to be targeting today. Share insight about them between sales and marketing. Understand the account’s stakeholders. Collaborate on how you will execute and go do it. It does no good if sales if taking the time to personalize their outreach and marketing is still sending generic messaging. WARNING: ABM is not something you can do halfway. It is a strategic commitment and not a tactical play. Check out these great resources on ABM: Sangram Vajre and Eric Spett’s book ABM is B2B "Top 7 ABM Mistakes Marketers Make & How to Fix Them" by Brandon Redlinger and published on MarketingProfs
Lead with Trust
It is an old adage that people buy from people they trust. This is no different today, but in a world where people are looking for answers, trust is built on making a difference. Our sales and marketing teams are the strongest connections to our prospects and customers. We must figure out how to help each other move forward so our customers can too.