Are you kidding me? Sales and Marketing working together? Pfffft!
Our parent company, elevate29, has built its business on being able to successfully integrate marketing and sales together. For one, marketing has become more accountable to revenue so the progression is natural. But, the two sides are anything but homogenous. And, sales folks are heads down, trying to make the sale happen. They historically do not have time for marketers. After all, marketing serves sales, right? It is marketing’s job to create demand and generate leads. This is true.
But, successful companies think larger than that, and their culture reflects it.
Since most companies do a Google search on any prospective vendor, they typically are better educated and have valuable insight about you even before they speak to you, as a potential vendor. If you look at the auto industry, you can see how that sales process has dramatically changed. Carfax and other tools now equip the buyer better than ever before. The same thing is happening in your industry. Yes, in your industry. Your buyers are doing research online. They are looking for answers to their problems and taking note of the players out there who have those answers. And, they are gaining knowledge so that if you are one of those chosen few for engagement in the sales process, they will be better equipped. From a sales perspective, this means that they are entering the sales cycle later down the funnel. The early stage of education is being handled by the buyers themselves, online. And, you get to pick up the ball more towards the 40 rather than the 20.
You need good information online. The starters include articles, white papers, case studies and the likes. Testimonies are great. And, if you can actually give answers to problems (kinda like we are doing here), you can build your online presence at a topical level, which is even more critical. No one can hit all of the issues at once. Today’s content needs to be laser-focused – not shotgun-minded. Target a specific person in your audience with what is bothering her today. Address it by giving suggestions on the issues they face. They will draw the connection between your expertise and their issues. Rinse and repeat. Keep going until you exhaust every issue that your market faces. Right, it is impossible. This is why content marketing is so important. And, once you get the basics, you can enter into the realm of engagement online through social media, video and arenas like LinkedIn Pulse.