We recently sat down with a client team to lead a sales enablement session. In the corner of the room sat a few of the client’s eager and curious marketers. They watched and listened intently as we helped guide and equip the sales team. After the training, the marketers approached us, wanting to know more and were curious how their team could better support sales and what that might look like. What a healthy, proactive approach! We wish more marketing teams would take this kind of initiative. (And if your marketing team isn’t asking to be a part of this kind collaboration, INVITE THEM!)
The message that sales and marketing need to work together is not a new one, and it might sound like a broken record. Go ahead, Google it. You will find countless blogs, podcasts, articles, webinars, and the list goes on. Why is there still a need to keep preaching this message? Because it is imperative to your team’s success. However, despite the frequency of this message, sadly, the majority of sales and marketing teams continue to operate on their own islands. If this is you—if your company can resonate with this—please, keep reading.
Currently, 92% of decision makers believe sellers are NOT creating value for the buyers. That’s bad, folks. Sure, this could be due to ineffective selling, but I would bet a more significant contributor is because sellers have not been equipped with the right materials to truly engage their prospects—materials that will draw buyers out of status quo and into action.
The main piece of advice we shared with the proactive marketing team: stop pumping out the same old product sheets, and get creative—not cool, snazzy marketing creative, but buyer-oriented creative. Think less about some tagline or advertisement, and more about ways to differently and creatively engage the buyer where they are. Marketing’s role in sales is crucial, and the content they create to support sales can make a dramatic impact on win rates.
Marketing has many functions, but one of the most crucial, yet often disregarded functions is serving sales teams by producing essential materials to connect and service buyers. If this isn’t happening, revenue performance suffers. Sales relies on marketing to give them relevant and relatable assets for appealing to and communicating with buyers.
It is common for marketing teams to feel overwhelmed with the idea of creating new materials, and many are unsure of where to begin.
Here are 3 steps to help make this transition:
- Step 1: Start with the buyer. What are they looking for? Have you asked? If not, get a panel of current customers and prospects together and invest time in getting to know the issues they are facing. Spend time understanding their struggles and their business, personal and financial pains. This in turn will allow you to create messaging and materials that speak to and amplify those pains.
- Step 2: Connect with sales. How could they be more relevant to buyers? What new materials do they need? Which materials aren’t working anymore? How can you support them better? What are they hearing from the buyer? Approach your sales team in an effort to better serve them, and begin to build a relationship of collaboration. When revenues increase, everyone wins.
- Step 3: Create powerful and compelling messaging. We have discovered that buyers are inspired by stories—engaging and insightful client examples. Show how your solution has helped others similar to them. Provide thought leadership that will spark new conversations between sellers and buyers, all while considering the buyer’s pains. Understanding what buyers are struggling with and how their current solutions aren’t quite cutting it, will help you speak directly to those needs and prove why your solution can alleviate their pains.
We understand this is not a simple 3-step process; it is a mind shift—an internal strategy modification. But we can’t emphasize enough how important this is. Buyers aren’t being moved to action, because frankly, the materials and messaging they are presented with just aren’t on target. Marketing materials need to be more relevant and compelling, by telling a story and giving real-life examples.
It all starts with putting the buyer first—taking the time to truly understand them so you can learn how to speak to them. It’s time to put a stop to the broken process, and start impressing the 92% of buyers who are just waiting to be wooed.