Business Growth Blog

Alignment

How Business Development and Marketing Align for Max Growth

Business developers and marketers talk to the same people, but sellers do it one-to-one, and marketers push to a broader audience. Their roles and goals are tied together because they both approach the same people for a sales conversation. That’s why they must collaborate and cooperate in their outreach efforts.

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Fundamental Sales and Marketing Alignment Strategies

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.

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Common Sales and Marketing Alignment Barriers That Stunt Growth

When sales and marketing teams are aligned, sales pipelines are larger, and customer conversion rates are higher, putting companies on the fast-track to growth. After all, both sellers and marketers want to communicate with the same people and achieve the same end-goal: new sales. It seems like a no-brainer, right?

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Example: Website Content and Sales Cycle Alignment

Most websites are set up for prospects near the end of the sales cycle. They're focused on driving prospects to "contact" the company in some way (demo, trial, consultation, etc.). But, not everyone that comes to your site is ready to jump actively into the sales process. They just want more information about their problem and possible solutions. They want to self-educate so that when they do end up talking to a salesperson, they can feel more confident about what is going on.

If you're not providing content that's aligned with all the stages prospects go through to make a purchasing decision, you're limiting your opportunities and opening the door for your competitors to snatch up good potential customers.

Read more to see an example of how to align your website content with each stage of the sales cycle.

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How to Align Your Website with Your Sales Cycle

There’s a widening gap between the way prospects buy, and companies sell. Prospects are using Internet research to self-educate through the first two-thirds of the sales process, but the majority of corporate websites and marketing strategies are entirely focused on the late stages of the sales cycle. Unfortunately, this approach puts companies at a huge disadvantage.

Read more to find out how to position your website and marketing strategies so you can engage prospects as early as possible in the sales cycle, have more influence over their buying decision, and get on their short list of potential vendors.

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Example of Generating Leads Through Sales and Marketing Alignment

Salespeople are on the front lines interacting with prospects and customers all day long. They should be driving what content marketing creates for lead generation. I recently did just that and generated about 70 sales leads in one month. Here's an example of how I did that:

Content Idea Generated Through Sales

One of my customers recently asked me if I had a blog template or some resources to help him start writing articles. I do have a solid process for that of course, but it wasn't a resource I made available online. I have a ton of articles on my website about blogging as well, but none of them are the actual "process".

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Strategies to Get Sales Meetings: Marketing vs. Sales

Isn’t that the question of all questions - how do you get sales meetings with new prospects in your niche market? It’s strange being on the fence between a marketer and salesperson. (I’m a salesperson turned marketer).

On the one hand, as a marketer, I know that the best leads will come from the awesome content I create and promote. On the other hand, as a salesperson, I need business - today. I don’t have time to wait 6 months for my company’s brand new blog to start generating leads. I don’t have time to wait for my marketing team (if I have one) to start creating gated premium content. I’ll get fired - or go broke - if I don’t set meetings right away.

Read on to find out how to get sales meetings from a marketing perspective vs. sales.

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Why Sales Training Without Lead Generation is Ineffective

Sales is tough - there are a gazillion components you need to master to be really good at it. Because it's driven by feelings and emotions more than anything else, you need to understand how to connect with people and guide them through the decision making process.

There aren't many "sales" college degrees out there, and most salespeople haven't had much specific training. But there are definitely strategies that work - and don't work. It takes a lot of time, effort and know-how to become a sales guru.

That's why sales training is critical for successful sales teams. However, most sales training focuses on what to do once a prospect is engaged. That's great, but I was in sales for over 12 years, cold calling and knocking on doors, and the biggest struggle I had was actually getting an appointment. And it's even harder to get appointments now than it was back then.

Knowing what to do once you get a meeting with a prospect is important, but it doesn't do you any good if you're spinning your wheels trying to get the appointment in the first place!

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