Salespeople and marketers tend to think of themselves as quite separate, with different goals, tactics, and roles within a company. The rise of the modern B2B buyer and their changing journey has forced many professionals in both sales and marketing to rethink this long-standing separation.

The Definitive Guide to Social Selling for Leaders

It’s clear today’s B2B marketing efforts have several effects on your sales teams. While some of these impacts are less desirable, many of them are positive.

Reaching Buyers Sooner

The modern B2B buyer no longer goes through a sales process. Instead, they undertake a journey. This can begin with identifying a potential issue or need within their business. Over time, the prospective buyer gathers more information and draws in more decision-makers. By the time a prospect reaches out to a sales professional, they’re already 57 percent of the way through this journey.

B2B marketing is what provides the modern buyer with the information they collect in the first half of their journey. Buyers may watch videos, read blog posts, and download whitepapers.

This allows you to reach your potential buyers earlier in their journey than if you relied on your sales teams alone.

Creating and Qualifying Leads

The marketing team in your business will keep a close eye on the performance of their content. They’re interested in learning who is visiting your website and when. They want to know what kinds of content visitors interact with and how interaction occurs. Does this potential buyer read several blog posts related to the same topic? Do they stop in each week to see a new video?

The information gleaned from marketing’s performance measurements can create and qualify potential leads for your sales team. Marketing may be able to pass along detailed information about the people visiting the site and the kinds of content they’re interacting with. This gives your sales representatives a head start when it comes to contacting prospects.

Your sales representatives will still need to do more research and qualify any leads marketing can pass along. Not every lead generated by B2B marketing is a good one, and your sales teams must be prepared to separate the good from the rest.

Providing the Right Content

B2B marketing is creating more content than ever before, which makes it more likely sales representatives will have content to provide to prospects when they reach out. Unfortunately, many sales representatives have long felt they don’t have the right content available for their prospects.

Nearly half of sales professionals are likely to indicate they don’t understand their company’s content strategy. This indicates a lack of alignment between what is produced for B2B marketing efforts and what is needed to foster advanced sales opportunities.

When the right content is available, sales representatives have a much better chance of reaching their prospects. The right content can change a sales representative’s strategy and approach. In turn, this creates more influence with the prospect, who is more likely to feel they’ve received additional value. Buyers often opt for the first company to provide value.

Aligning Sales and Marketing

Perhaps the largest impact B2B marketing is having is a trend toward better alignment of the sales and marketing teams. As mentioned, sales representatives need content, but they often don’t understand the content strategy. They also don’t have the right content to support their sales activities. Marketing, in turn, must tune in to sales representatives’ needs and create the right content. They should also work to help sales representatives understand how to leverage the content they do produce.

There’s an obvious reason sales and marketing alignment has become so important. Properly aligning these two teams can boost revenue by more than 200 percent.

It’s clear B2B marketing has changed and these changes have impacts on sales teams. In many cases, these changes are positive, which can lead your organization to higher sales revenue and success.

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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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