How Combining Marketing and Sales Can Boost Your Business
With over 13 years of experience in the digital marketing field, Sujan Patel has spearheaded the marketing strategies for companies like Intuit, Salesforce, and Mint, among others. He’s also the co-founder of a growth marketing agency called Web Profits, where he helps organizations step into the future by introducing them to the latest and greatest in marketing strategies.
On the Magnificent Marketing podcast, Sujan discusses the benefits of allowing your sales and marketing teams to stand on each other’s shoulders, instead of working apart.
Sales Enablement and its Relationship to Marketing
One of the terms that Sujan talks about a lot is sales enablement. In case you don’t know, this is referring to when the sales team is given leads by the marketing team, thereby arming them with useful data. It can also work the other way around.
Instead of the marketing team sitting on leads, sharing them with the sales team brings in double the manpower, which is especially useful when dealing with large amounts, many of which are dead ends. Not only is sharing information useful to the entire company, but it also creates a democratization of information. Now, all of the best info that the marketing team brings in will be available to the sales team. The sales team can take that information and spin it into something even better, which will then be accessible to the marketing team. In other words, it’s a domino effect of benefits.
After all, it only makes sense to collect all of your best resources under one roof and use the resulting communication to get faster sales. To ignore the obvious benefits would be like having four wheels and using them to build four unicycles. For maximum utility, you’re going to want to build a car.
Sales Enablement in the Real World
Sales enablement isn’t just some kooky idea that Sujan came up with in a laboratory. It’s already been put to good use. In fact, at one of Sujan’s companies, about 16,000 new leads are brought in every month. Normally, this would be too many leads to dump on a sales team. However, with sales enablement, 16,000 leads suddenly becomes much more manageable.
When the marketing team comes into the fold, they can use their market research tools to filter the leads down to a smaller number that has a much higher chance to yield tangible results.
Sujan points out that 500 is the ideal number when getting your leads down to something actionable. This allows salespeople to really dig into leads and give them their full attention, instead of spreading their time and energy across too many.
Getting Sales and Marketing to Play Nice
Once you’re ready to get your sales and marketing teams working together, there are two questions you need to face. First, you have to figure out how to bring the teams together. Second, you have to figure out how to keep them together.
For the first question, Sujan finds that it’s helpful to get the heads of both departments to go out for lunch. By getting them together, you can form a connection that will serve as the leverage point for the rest of the teams working together. If the leaders are on board, the rest should follow.
As for keeping the teams together, Sujan suggests having regular meetings with the heads of each department. By doing this, the departments can stay in touch with one another and ensure a regular exchange of information.
Without this consistent “meeting of the families,” the two teams could risk splitting apart and veering down different paths. And not only do the meetings allow an exchange of relevant information, but it also helps to solidify relationships.
Having an occasional meeting between the heads of the teams might seem like a minor shift in the usual procedure, but it can have big effects.
Think of it like a pebble hitting the water and causing innumerable ripples. Eventually, these ripples could become waves that totally restructure the way your business is run.
How Do You Separate the Good Leads From the Bad?
When you’re bringing in a large number of leads, it can be somewhat intimidating. It can also be frustrating when you’re sifting through them and finding a lot of dead ends. For this reason, it helps to know how to target the best possible leads.
One type of lead you’ll want to look out for is the person whose lifestyle lines up with the service or product you’re offering. As an example, if you’re selling trampolines, someone who lives in an apartment might not be the best use of your time.
When compiling this kind of information about people and their lifestyle, Sujan believes that phone calls are your best bet. While marketing forms have their place, it’s the one-on-one, personal conversations that yield the best results.
This is where the sales and marketing teams working together comes into play. The sales team will take the information they compile on the phone calls and relate it to the marketing team.
Without this hands-on information from sales, the marketing team would be operating blindly. They would have statistics, but numbers can’t provide the kind of valuable info gathered from a one-on-one conversation.
This is a perfect example of the sales and marketing teams combining their forces to maximize the potential of the company.
Keeping the Partnership Between Sales and Marketing Strong
If your sales and marketing team are working together and everything is going great, you should do everything you can to ensure that it stays that way. During those regular meetings, Sujan believes that you should take a lot of notes.
After the meeting is over, you should copy the notes and send them to all of the other team members. This way, not only do the heads of the teams stay in touch, but the rest of the teams do as well. As far as the regularity of the meetings themselves, you may want to shake things up, depending on the needs of your teams. Don’t feel chained down to a schedule. On-the-fly customization is necessary for a successful work environment.
If you’re having bi-weekly meetings, you may find that you don’t have anything to talk about one week. In that case, don’t be afraid to switch to monthly meetings. On the other hand, you may have a busy workload and have to start meeting weekly.
During the meetings themselves, Sujan suggests giving two minutes to everyone, so they can offer their individual update. If you don’t individually give each person their spotlight, it’s possible that one person could soak up all the time. You want to make sure that everyone is heard.
After that, you can open up the meeting to free conversation. At this point, everyone will have said their piece and all of that information can bounce around freely.
Practical Ways That Sales and Marketing Can Prop Each Other Up
While working for a particular company, Sujan’s team had a spreadsheet that showed them where all their content was. All of the content included both a category and a description. This spreadsheet was shared with the sales team, which gave them incredibly useful information in a clean, concise manner.
With this spreadsheet at their disposal, the sales team can easily access content pieces for specific uses.
For example, a customer on a sales call could mention an aspect of their lifestyle that is directly related to a piece of content on the spreadsheet. The salesperson could then easily refer the customer to the content, whether it’s a blog or video.
At other companies, this spreadsheet might have remained with the marketing team and no one would have thought of sharing it. It’s these obvious fixes that separate the successful companies from the unsuccessful.