Sales and marketing alignment is often a top business priority and it’s easy to understand why: Forrester says that highly aligned companies grow 19% faster and are 15% more profitable. If the B2B funnel is a long-distance relay race—then the marketing role is to generate awareness and spark interest, and the sales role is to move the lead through the funnel. In a perfect world, the two groups hand the figurative baton seamlessly back and forth as needed throughout the buying process.
But let’s be honest: oftentimes both groups end up running the race on their own, or even against each other. This leads to a fragmented experience for buyers or worse, critical information gets lost and so is the sale.
Sales and marketing alignment takes work, but a little collaboration can go a long way. Here are three practical ways sales and marketing teams can run the race together – using data to drive greater impact.
Sales teams work with prospective customers day in and day out, which gives them visibility and insight into the individual targets and their companies. That insight can include the size of the company, competitors, buying timeline and preferences, and much more. When sales and marketing teams are aligned, they can use this insight to gain clarity about customers and drill down to the right contacts. A modern approach to this process – one that takes it to the next level and allows you to identify decision makers who are ready to buy now -- involves combining powerful intent monitoring data with high-quality business contact data. And for even more focused audience building, an identity graph brings together high-quality data from multiple sources so you can custom build your audience, then easily take it to a demand-side platform of your choice to execute your campaigns. As an example, OMI’s SMB and medical market data is available through LiveRamp, a leading data marketplace, to give B2B organizations a fast, affordable and effective way to target these valuable audiences.
It’s estimated that B2B buyers consume 13 content pieces before deciding on a vendor, but that doesn’t mean more content is always better. Instead, assets should be created based on what is driving conversion. That starts with marketers talking to sales to better understand customers’ priorities. Additionally, the two groups can use prospects’ digital interactions to map out their journey and determine, together, the best ways to nurture prospects through the funnel.
Millennials and Gen Z tend to engage much later in the buying process, and with the increased influence and decision-making power of these groups, they expect the seller to give them access to the right information they need along the way. A recent Gartner article makes the case that sales and marketing teams should also work together to define the qualification criteria for each stage of the funnel. In a study, 64% of B2B sales reps were more likely to follow up on a lead from marketing if the qualification criteria had been agreed upon by sales. And with the power of data, businesses can use the qualification criteria to roll out relevant campaigns and sales touchpoints, as well as automatically trigger new actions based on the prospects’ responses.
What I’ve found is that when sales and marketing teams work together—on who to target, what to say, and when to say it—both groups are more productive and everybody wins. They’re better able to reach the right target audience, develop the right content, and understand the buying journey and what prospects need. Working together, they also can agree upon and adapt to what’s working and what’s not. The way I see it, there’s simply no downside to teamwork.
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate B2B data can enable you to achieve better digital marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Go here to find out about leveraging our SMB and medical market data on the LiveRamp Data Marketplace.