It happens all the time: Two people have a single conversation and walk away with wildly different interpretations of what they’ve just experienced. It could be two business partners, a bickering couple, or a football team planning their final play of the game while screaming over howling wind and driving rain. Just in the same way as on a football field (sans thunderstorm), if you ask a sales executive and a marketing leader what the biggest pain points in their business strategy are, you might get two very different answers.
They both want the same thing, so why do sales and marketing departments always seem to disagree on some of the fundamental strategy moves and business decisions that keep their companies thriving?
Today we’re exploring some of the best ways to align sales and marketing with the right tools and technology in place.
Same situation, different perspective
Sales and marketing reps work under the same roof, so you’d think their perceptions on the state of their business would be a little more aligned. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case, and these differences of opinion often lead to conversations such as the following:
Sales: “Marketing loses all interest and involvement in a lead once they hand over their content to us. We need more content! We need better content! We need marketing to care.”
Marketing: “Sales doesn’t offer enough feedback on customer engagement for us to improve our strategy. We need more metrics! We need higher quality feedback! We need sales to be more communicative with us.”
At heart, both teams are looking for the same solution: Content as it relates to customer needs, with measurable content analytics in place, in order to ultimately drive content ROI.
There are only so many qualitative anecdotes a sales team can report back that will be constructive to a business strategy. Too often their feedback becomes as unhelpful as the unanswered questions in the first place, like getting stonewalled with “Parts of this presentation were irrelevant to me,” or “I didn’t find some of your data to be compelling.” Luckily, there are plenty of ways now to fix that.
Technology as a game-changer
Measuring customer engagement at every touchpoint throughout the sales pipeline is the best way to improve your content strategy. When you use content metrics and real-time analytics in your pitches, presentations, and even emails, both sales, and marketing get a glimpse into the detailed reactions and unsaid feedback from prospects.
Not only will you be able to see what’s working and what’s not at any given moment, but you’ll be able to amplify best practices and increase overall marketing efficiency. Numbers aren’t just for nerds anymore – by putting smarter content analytics to practice via sales enablement, you’re sure to win your business deals.
The truth about technology: It works
Sure, technology can strengthen your conversation with a buyer, but you’d be surprised to learn how much it can move the needle in terms of delivering on concrete sales.
According to a brand new study conducted by Heinz and Highspot, “State of Sales Enablement 2017,” companies that have implemented a sales enablement tool report increases of revenue that far surpass their peers. In fact, over 75% of respondents said that their company’s sales increased over the last year, and 40% of these respondents credited sales enablement technology as increasing their sales by more than 25%.
Regardless of the differences between your sales and marketing teams, they won’t be able to disagree with the facts: Sales enablement delivers. Implementing this type of tool is the first step to finding common ground, agreeing on mutual goals, and tending to the wounds that prevent both sides from working towards progress.
Don’t know where to start?
Do your research. Compare and contrast the best sales enablement tools and software on the market today. See what the analyst leaders at Gartner, Forrester, and SiriusDecisions have to say. Decide which capabilities matter most to your company, and calculate each tool’s ease-of-use and implementation for your team. Finally, you can also use an Evaluation Tool for Sales Enablement that will help you identify the priority, strength, and score of each capability as weighted for your own business.
There’s no reason to turn a blind eye to the rift between your sales and marketing teams anymore. Start with strengthening that relationship, and the engagement it will provide with your customers, and reap the benefits that roll in.