04 . 10 . 22
Never before have B2B marketing and sales teams had to learn more quickly or work more flexibly to keep up with changing buyer behaviour. Gartner said it best when they reported that “digital buying, virtual selling and emerging technologies are rewriting what it takes to succeed in B2B sales.”
But delivering successful ABM campaigns in today’s highly competitive environment requires more than just alignment between sales and marketing. It requires individuals to work as a single, unified team towards a common goal.
To get a better picture of what this collaboration looks like day-to-day, we spoke to our Director of Activation, Veronica Still, and our Managing Director, Renaye Edwards, for the inside scoop.
A critical part of any ABM campaign is deep-diving into your prospects’ needs and interests. But why isn’t the same done when it comes to managing your sales and marketing teams? Understanding each other’s motivations, skills, communication preferences and goals is vital for giving teams a sense of purpose and uniting them through shared values.
Some useful questions marketers can ask the sales team are:
*From our experience, tools like Turtl, Showpad and CogniClick can be useful in allowing sales to self-serve while providing helpful content usage data for marketing.
And for sales, you should be finding out from marketing:
If you take one thing away from this blog, let it be “objectives, objectives, objectives”.
The optimum time in a programme to get aligned is before it’s even started. Defining what success looks like to each team and setting KPIs should be done before a campaign even begins. It means that everyone can work towards the same programme goals and regularly report against them, as well as course-correct when needed.
With decision-making units growing even larger and contract cycles getting longer, salespeople are having to become credible industry experts to stay the course. A powerful way marketing can support their colleagues is by sharing useful intelligence:
This process should be reciprocal. After all, salespeople generate first-hand insights from their conversations with prospects and customers which can help to make marketing programmes more effective. Going forward, sales teams should sit down with their marketing colleagues and share insights on things like feedback on pitches and proposals, stakeholders’ views on industry trends, account-level challenges, contract renewal dates and key influencers.
Focusing on your strengths and working out how they complement the wider team is a critical part of this new alignment strategy. In our experience, respecting and valuing each other’s strengths (and differences) lead to success.
The most successful sales and marketing teams are working together to design effective go-to-market programmes and leaning on each other’s problem-solving and creative skills to elevate the campaign. For example, rather than focusing on volumes of leads, these teams are sharing skills and intelligence to pinpoint opportunities and progress them together along the length of the sales cycle.
They’re learning from what’s worked to increase opportunity to conversion rates and shorten the sales cycle. They’re analysing ‘ins’ to an account and making savvy approaches with Trojan horse propositions to land and expand.
Actively listening to your customers’ voice and understanding who they are outside of traditional personas is what separates great ABM from other campaigns. It’s those sales and marketing teams who go above and beyond to understand their customers that see lasting success.
But with 66% of marketers struggling to keep pace with changing B2B buyer needs, it’s vital to use every opportunity across sales and marketing touchpoints and beyond to seek feedback.
Roundtables, product and service reviews, customer surveys, case studies, NPS data, product usage statistics and platforms such as Gong which analyse the data from sales conversations – all of these sources hold valuable information on your customers’ preferences and pain points. The marketing team is particularly well placed to source, analyse and share these ‘voice of the customer’ outputs across the business; an activity which not only helps elevate the perception of marketing but can also become a major contributor to the organisation’s growth strategy.
Bringing sales and marketing together should feel organic: organisations need to focus on uniting the two groups through a shared sense of purpose. Remind them of the mutual benefits that come with collaboration and innovation rather than reprimanding them for not being best friends.
At Digital Radish, our dedicated Sales Activation team bridges the gap between marketing and sales to accelerate the sales pipeline, deliver high-value enterprise opportunities and create deeper connections with prospects. We’ve applied our creative credentials to the sales arena, for sales activation initiatives that deliver commercial results through scaled sales support, strategic business development and memorable events and experiences.
If you’d like to find out more, feel free to drop Veronica a quick email at email@example.com.