“I’m so glad I found you.” Those are the words that companies want to hear from customers when they make a purchase. Customers are paying for your product or service because it helps them solve a critical personal or business problem. The value you deliver far exceeds the price that they pay. You make a profit, the customer is thrilled. And you close. Fast
This should be the shared goal of sales and marketing, because, in the world of digital marketing, one team cannot succeed without the other.
Digital marketing is all about creating this kind of customer experience. It is important to remember that you are not trying to trick people into buying your product with clever ads, irresistible email subject lines, or exaggerated product claims. You are trying to find the people that are already looking for you–your ideal customer that you can genuinely help. Finding them leads to more sales, faster.
How It Works
How do you do this? Because most people start the search for solutions to their problems online, you must have web pages, calls to actions and landing pages with content and offers tuned to the problems your ideal customer has. And you must create a sequence of material that allows people to let you know a) what problem they are trying to solve; and b) where they are in the purchasing process.
For example, a company that builds solar energy systems for agricultural businesses might have web separate pages and content offers about solar energy benefits for farms, dairy, ranches–allowing people to select pages that indicate the kind of agricultural business they are in. Some of these materials will be introductory to appeal to people that are just beginning to look into solar energy; others may be focused on cost comparisons for financing options to appeal to people that have decided to invest in solar energy and are looking for the right solution.
Once a customer finds a solution, picks a supplier, and has the system that it has been looking for, the customer is happy. Sales and marketing have done their jobs well. Marketing helped the customer find the right solution, and sales completed the purchasing process.
It all starts with understanding your ideal customer–how they think, what they are concerned about, the personal and business needs that drive purchases. It is important to understand the language that customers use to express their problems and search for solutions. This is where sales teams are invaluable to marketing teams. In order to get the right information to the right person at the right time, marketing teams must understand the customer and see the world through the customer’s eyes. This is what the sales team can offer because they are the ones in the company that knows the customer best.
Building detailed buyer personas with the help of the sales team allows marketing to create the right marketing materials for the right channel that will engage the right people. It also allows sales and marketing to collaborate on qualification criteria that will make the marketing process more efficient. For example, if your sales team has found that people that request pricing and financing information are the ones most likely to be a person about to purchase a product, you can offer pricing and financing information and hand off leads that access this information to the sales team. That person can be marked as a sales qualified lead.
Service Level Agreements
Working together, sales and marketing can agree on target audience characteristics, qualification criteria, and the sales handoff. This agreement can lead to greater accountability between the organizations. Sales can tell marketing what makes a sales qualified lead, and how many of these leads they need to reach their goals. Marketing can then create programs that will deliver the right kind of leads in the right quantities to reach these results.
Automation Brings it All Together
Marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, Marketo and SharpSpring can smooth sales-marketing collaboration by documenting and automating much of the process. Buyer personas can be entered, qualification criteria can be implemented by lead scoring, and both teams can be notified about who is visiting the website, what they are accessing and looking for, and when their behavior indicates a stage of qualification. Then behavior signals the agreed-upon criteria for a sales qualified leads, an alert can be issued to the appropriate salesperson. The salesperson will be able to see the contact’s entire history of contact with the company in the CRM and respond accordingly.
Better Customers, Better Business
Every business wants more customers. Smart businesses want more than this, though–they want more great, happy customers. Good marketing and sales programs help companies find the best customers for their products and services–people that are happy that they found your business, and that will share your products with their contacts and come back to deliver recurring revenue–and find them faster.