When I first started doing marketing and lead generation, I used to worry about being driving leads for my clients. I've since learned that's the easy part! As long as there’s enough marketing activity, like blogging, email marketing, and social media, people will come to the website, and lead conversion rates will increase. Cool! Job done, right? Wrong.
Someone visiting your website is analogous to someone walking into a physical place of business. In a place of business, they would typically be addressed by a salesperson. Unfortunately, there isn’t a 3D human interaction when a person visits a website, so how do you cross the line between attracting people to your site and engaging them in a sales conversation? There’s a solution for that! The following fundamental sales and marketing alignment strategies can help companies replicate that in-person experience, optimize lead conversion, and increase their return on investment.
Strategies for Marketing to Align with Sales
Marketing’s goal is to bring prospects into the store. In the digital world, that means attracting potential customers to the website and warm them up for a conversation. Here are five quick wins to improve how marketing can help advance the sales process:
- Live chat: in case the user needs immediate help or has a question.
- Easy website navigation so they can find the information they are looking for.
- Relevant content (joint effort): Most questions, concerns, and objections potential customers have can be thoughtfully addressed and answered on your website, which primes a better sales conversation.
- Opportunities to self-select into the sales process: Going back to our example of someone walking into a physical place of business: If that person were hanging around and examining the merchandise in detail, typically, a salesperson would see if they needed help or had questions.
Since, other than live chat, a salesperson can’t walk up to a website visitor and engage in a conversation, marketers need to ensure there are many opportunities to indicate sales-readiness. Here are a few ideas:
- Content offers with forms
- Clearly displayed contact information
- Strategically placed calls-to-actions on each web page. Ask yourself, what do you want the user to do next?
- Pre-qualify: Use pre-determined buyer criteria to rank incoming leads’ sales-readiness level.
Strategies for Sales to Align with Marketing
The sales team’s goal is to qualify incoming leads and move as many as possible into real sales opportunities. Here are three quick wins sellers can do to convert more leads to opportunities and help marketers improve lead quality.
- Website engaged prospect list: As website visitors fill out forms or otherwise start self-selecting into the sales process, a salesperson needs to be ready to respond immediately respond. We’ve all been to the store, waiting for a salesperson to notice us. Don’t let that happen to your website visitors! Create an active list of contacts that are engaging on your website and plan to follow up in a timely and appropriate manner.
- Prospect Tracking: The only way to know if the marketing activities add value to the sales process is to tag prospects in the CRM as they move through pre-determined buyer stages. For example, is the visitor a prospect, a customer, a vendor, a partner? Are they qualified or unqualified? The way contacts are tagged and categorized drives data-driven decision-making and is essential to sales and marketing alignment. If you want to learn more about how prospect tracking affects sales and marketing alignment, here’s an overview of 5 essential CRM fields for tracking sales and marketing growth.
- Content Topic Generation: Sellers are on the front lines talking to prospects and customers. The questions and objections they are continually answering during the sales process should be the backbone of the entire digital content and website strategy. Sellers can align with marketers by freely and transparently keep them in the loop on sales conversations.
Implementing these fundamental sales and marketing alignment strategies puts the customer at the center of the business and sets the foundation for stronger relationships and business growth.
If you have any questions about sales and marketing alignment to improve productivity, efficiency, and ROI, we're here to help. Good luck!