sales pipeline developmentWhen customers approach us about modernizing their sales pipeline development process or go-to-market strategy, you might assume that most of those calls come from sales enablement leaders. So you might be surprised to learn that marketing teams make up 1/3 of every conversation we have with new customers.

But no matter whom we’re speaking with, before we begin a project or begin working with sales or marketing leaders, they recognize that they need to have sales and marketing alignment. The greater that alignment is, the greater is the benefit to the organization, and bigger will be the opportunity for creating a better voice for the customers.

If you’re not sure why this is important—or don’t see how marketing can help your sales team—read on for some key tips of how marketing can complement your sales team as modern, digital sellers. 

1. Centralizing and rebranding everybody’s social profiles: A 2018 CSO Insights study says that 62% of buyers review the LinkedIn profiles of the people who are trying to sell them products or services. Let’s face it—people buy from people. And marketing can help to ensure your sales team’s images, summaries and headlines are presented to their maximum potential. Marketing can also work to make sure that best practices like adding rich media to profiles are being followed.

Marketing helps people understand that you, as a seller, are a brand within a brand. So you should treat yourself as if you had your own website, and your own SEO capabilities.

2.Centralizing trigger-based sales opportunities: Marketing has demand generation rolling up to them. They centralize trigger-based sales opportunities. That means that they are often responsible for top-of-the-funnel business development. 

Some best-in-class organizations are empowering their entire LDR (Lead Development Route), SDR (Sales Development Route), and BDR (Business Development Route) – all synonymous terms. Marketing will help by empowering sales professionals to look for high-propensity to buy opportunities. They can monitor job changes within a market, triggers for mergers and acquisitions, changes to your competitors, and changes to vendors/customer base. They will scour the internet for high social proximity opportunities—strong relationships to your core customer base that your team can start prospecting. 

They will marry their internal data on propensity to buy – such as content consumption per customer—which will demonstrate propensity to buy to focus on business development efforts.

3. Creating sales plays and storyboards: Marketing works with sales to develop a series of sales plays and story boards that help a customer through the journey. These are like the “acts”, or the scenes of a movie. This can include videos, LinkedIn plug drives, experiential events, and mailers. But marketing’s key value here is empowering the sales professional with a variety of different assets that sales can then share with the customer.

4.Building a digitally rich content library: Marketing will assist with the ongoing `nurturing of the customer’ through having a series of assets organized by buyer persona, buyer journey stage, and asset type. This allows the sales professional to find the right assets to share with customers—assets that relate to conversation they’re having with customers, such as new trends, new ideas, and best practices.

5.Further analyzing customers’ content consumption: Marketing will scour marketing automation data to help sales professionals understand which accounts are actively engaged, and which ones are less interested. This helps sales to focus more of their attention on key accounts.

In summary, best-in-class, modern digital sales organizations view themselves as “team revenue.”  They’re not separate sales and marketing departments who work in silos. Marketing is an ingredient or extension of team revenue, and they work to create the stories and assets to help customers along the journey.

Without marketing, sales pros are left to their own devices to ideate them, which the average seller wouldn’t do – this leads the sales pro to sell the same stories, and create long emails which no-one reads, that aren’t visually appealing,  and don’t invoke a discussion with customers—and ultimately fall on deaf ears.

Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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