The sales game has changed and we observed in my previous blog post that successful organizations changed from controlling the sales cycle to facilitating the buying cycle. This approach requires a deep integration of marketing and sales. For many organizations this is a fundamentally new way of thinking. How can you arrange a successful marriage between marketing and sales?
Overcome the scepsis
First the bad news: another mindset, organization and usage of tools is required. I hear a lot of sales guys think “yeah, yeah, yeah...” But remember: fail to adapt, prepare for death.
So how to adapt in order to capture the opportunities within the financial services sector? First of all marketing needs to understand what activities result in revenue for the company. Secondly, sales in return should have a clear picture which leads they need to engage with first. And finally - and that is the good news: sales and marketing share responsibility on topics like target market selection, value proposition, positioning and other content and client related matters. Your sales and marketing should be closely working together as one team.
Before we come to play...
I will talk you through, but please remember that our assumption is that you have the tooling in place. And with tooling I mean tools that connect your marketing activities to your CRM. Plus I assume that your marketing and sales department truly interact with each other. So the marketeers are focussed and managed towards revenue and the sales people see the marketing department as the necessary part of sales to engage with new prospects. They are actively involved in lead generation and lead nurturing.
Outdated sales and marketing approach
Nine out of ten companies we walk into still have a separate marketing and sales department. With the marketeers managing (general) campaigns, branding and content. Most of the time they aren’t talking to clients nor are they accountable for revenue. All this while the big ‘swinging dick’ sales department exists of slick people who bring in the money, trusting their years long sales experience and (old boys) network. The bad news: das war einmal… But is no more.
How does it work these days?
Being married doesn’t mean you’re aligned. But nowadays a part of the sales cycle exists online, you have to find a way together… For a seamless alignment sales and marketing have to agree on certain points, like processes and definitions. For example the definition of a sales qualified lead: when is a lead warmed up enough for sales to step in? Sales people on the other hand play a large role in creating qualitative content. They know the questions the marketeers have to answer.
So… Hold on!
There are different ways to marry your sales and marketing. I will show them along the road. You’ll figure out which way is the best for you and fits your company the most. Stay tuned!