If you’ve been involved with traditional marketing and sales departments then you know the conflicts between sales and marketing are older than dirt. Sales says the leads marketing delivers stink and marketing says the sales team never follows up on their leads. Sound familiar?
The challenge has always been—what’s the alternative? In the new book, Fire Your Sales Team Today!, some options to the traditionally separate sales and marketing departments become viable.
Buyers are driving the changes. Consumers are no longer interested in being sold to. The statistics are staggering, recent research reported 88.1% of U.S. Internet users ages 14+ will browse or research products online in 2012.
When you think about the change, it makes sense. Do you sit in your office, waiting for that unsolicited phone call from the sales guy, trying to sell you something you didn’t ask for? Do you drive from store to store looking for customer reps and then talking to them about something you want to buy? Of course not!
If people are starting their search online, then you want to be there too. But remember, they don’t want to be sold too. They want help making a good, sound purchase decision. Instead of providing promotional offers, coupons, discounts, or last minute sales, the best-in-class marketing teams are now providing educational content.
They create tip guides and instructional videos to help their prospects learn about their services and they blog to provide an authentic voice of the company. This content helps prospects emotionally connect with companies and it’s helping their prospects feel safe. Why? Because it helps them, it doesn’t sell them.
These same progressive marketing teams are also re-purposing content and posting it on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, industry blogs, and using it in email campaigns. Prospects are finding that content, reading that content, sharing that content and visiting their websites for even more.
Next, marketing people must focus on converting them from anonymous lurkers visiting their website into a real lead, someone who voluntarily raises their hand and requests additional information from your company.
Once you know who they are, marketing begins to “nurture” that lead, in a one-to-one style that keeps them feeling safe because you continue your strategy of providing educational, and helpful content. When the prospect is ready, they reach out to you, instead of you reaching out to them, and what we call the Guided Sales Process begins.
The Guided Sales process, executed by a Sales Guide, is much different than a traditional sales process. The goal is to help prospects make a sound purchase decision not convince them why they should by from you, there is a difference.
What we are describing here is a Revenue Department. A team of sales and marketing professionals practicing an integrated approach to sales and marketing that matches perfectly with the way prospects want to buy products and services. The results impact top and bottom line numbers and more importantly deliver highly satisfied customers who are interested in sharing their experiences with others. It’s a win-win for everyone.
To learn more about the Revenue Department and how it might work at your company, click here to read our free report, Five Reasons You Must Merge Your Sales and Marketing Teams Today!