Historically marketing and sales have functioned completely separately. However, with the adoption of inbound marketing principles, sales and marketing have begun to work together to gain and close leads. I personally like to think of the relationship as a relay race. Marketing starts the race and then passes the baton off to sales to finish.
The following is how to create a seamless sales and marketing process.
Determine Buyer Personas
Think of this stage as the warm up and stretching phase of the race. Sales and Marketing should discuss and agree on who their buyer persona(s)is and what it is that makes them a qualified lead.
This will give the marketing team a clear vision of the content and tone they need to create in order to attract appropriate leads. This agreement should also assure the sales team that marketing’s efforts are focused on generating the leads sales wants.
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You are off to the races! Now marketing is ready to begin creating content and offers in order to generate leads. They should be creating:
- Blog posts
- Advanced content
- Examples: eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, infographics
- Examples: free demos, free consultations, quotes
When creating all of this content, the marketing team should always keep the buyer personas and sales funnel in mind. The marketing team must create content that reaches each of the buyer personas and each stage in the sales funnel. It is often helpful to create a content matrix for each month outlining what content falls into which persona and sales stage.
Nurture your Leads
Next marketing should begin nurturing your leads, which is quite simple with Hubspot 3’s workflows tool.
Tied to each advanced content offer, you will want to have 3-5 emails with the focus of moving leads down the sales funnel one more level. These emails should feature calls-to-action pointing the lead to blog posts, advanced content, or other offers.
Once each email is created, you can use Hubspot’s workflows tool to automate the sending process. If the offer is considered low in the sales funnel, you should also add a step at the end of this workflow to inform the sales team that the lead has finished this lead nurturing process and is sales ready.
Close your Leads
Marketing has now handed the baton off to Sales. It is now sales responsibility to follow-up with the sales ready leads and close the sale.
The sales team can use all the available data within your CRM to make closing the sale easier. Use the lead’s online behavior to your advantage. This data can give you insight into what the lead’s problem is and how your company can fix it, making the sale a win-win for both parties.
Analyze the Process
Now it is time for the post-race victory or maybe back to training. Are you happy with the results from this past month and/or quarter? If so, look at what contributed to that success and repeat it in the upcoming efforts for both departments.
If you are not happy with the results, both teams should work together to tweak your process. Keep in mind that both departments want the same thing – more closed leads. Work together to find what was good and what was bad. Start from the beginning by analyzing if the buyer persona and criteria for a sales qualified lead are correct. Then move along the entire process.
Marketing and sales working together can produce exceptional results for your company. Always keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Give your teams time to work out the kinks and perfect their process.