Can Marketing and Sales Just Get Along?

Can Marketing and Sales Just Get Along?

You’re not imagining it. There is a big divide between sales and marketing. The 2016 B2B Sales & Marketing Collaboration Study, where 123 survey respondents gave us a glimpse into their work experiences, found some shocking proof: 66.9% of respondents report that sales teams are NOT rewarded for supporting marketing objectives, although most report marketing objectives align to the greater business goals. 57% of organizations report that fewer than 85% of leads delivered by marketing are followed up by sales (some saying that that figure is as low as 25% or less). When you consider the cost to acquire leads, this lack of follow-up not only hurts conversion rates, it also hurts in terms of cold, hard cash. For example, if your marketing team generates 5,000 leads, and sales only follows up on 85%, that leaves 750 leads going to waste. At $5, $10 or $20 per lead, that’s a lot of budget misused. The report is clear that a lot of sales tools marketing generates are not being used by sales, but what’s more surprising is how much more sales believe they use than marketing. Over 50% of sales people responded that they use “virtually 100%” of the tools created by marketing. By striking contrast, only 15% of marketers saw it that way. A Guest Post from Samantha Stone, Founder at The Marketing Advisory Network. Is this inevitable? It’s common sense that organizations that rally together around shared goals will drive more efficiency than those where different functions are at odds with one another. Yet, most sales and marketing teams struggle with achieving this ideal and in many ways we’ve come to accept the divide as inevitable....
Marketing and Selling to the Worst People – Best Idea Ever?

Marketing and Selling to the Worst People – Best Idea Ever?

Author’s note: My initial title was going to be “Marketing and Selling to A**holes – A Better Idea Than You’d Think,” but my editor made me change it. Imagine the meanest, most critical, impatient, sadistic sociopath you can. Now imagine that you have to convince that perfect storm of human horribleness that he or she should do business with your company. Oh, and then imagine that everyone you’re targeting with your campaigns, or every contact you have assigned to you in CRM, resembles this paragon of piss-poor personality. What good could possibly come of such a mental exercise? Well, there’s always the evergreen nugget of truth that, when you prepare for the worst, you give yourself the best chance at success. (Optimism for the win!) More practically, though, jerks tend to do terrible – yet, predictable things – when involved in a buying decision. Their patterns of behavior can help you create useful communication conventions and tactics that work extremely well with normal, non-jerky humans, in part because these tactics are designed to placate (for the most part, as there’s no pleasing an assertively humorless, opinionated, loathsome egomaniac) the worst people. Below are four common attitudes of the worst people, along with ideas on how to exploit these attitudes for improved marketing and sales communications. “Nobody Cares” There are few more demeaning things than trying your hardest, only to have someone tell you, “Nobody cares.” But that’s what terrible people do. Even with your best, most polished content asset or sales quote, a jerk will respond with, “Whatever.” The A-hole Antidote: Right from the outset, be crystal clear (and even blunt) about the value you have to offer. Aberdeen’s report, No Longer A Luxury:...
Why LinkedIn is One of the Best Tools Out There for Social Selling

Why LinkedIn is One of the Best Tools Out There for Social Selling

We are truly in the digital age, and sales strategies have changed to reflect that. With over 360 million members, LinkedIn has become the go-to social network for companies when it comes to B2B sales. What used to be considered a site solely for job searching, LinkedIn is putting an end to traditional cold calling sales tactics and providing salespeople with a way to prospect for leads that is both efficient and far-reaching. The old way of thinking about prospecting is changing, and LinkedIn is leading the way. Guest Post by Lindsey Boggs, VP of Enterprise Sales and Social Selling at etailinsights. Before social selling and sites like LinkedIn, sales people were relegated to the “more calls equals more leads equals more sales” model. They had to reach out, either by phone or in person, to a huge number of potential buyers in order to generate leads, leads which may or may not turn into closed sales. That way of thinking is outdated, and LinkedIn is the major player in teaching sales teams to focus more on the quality, rather than the quantity, of leads. The following are some of the ways that LinkedIn helps you find the right leads to prospect, generates more sales, and makes sales teams successful. LinkedIn lets you target the ideal customers. About 45% of the people on LinkedIn are in upper management. They are the decision makers. You no longer have to make it past the gatekeepers to get to them; you can connect with them directly via InMail. LinkedIn allows you to get to know prospects before you reach out. There is plenty of information on a person’s profile,...
Online Community Platforms: Worth the Investment?

Online Community Platforms: Worth the Investment?

No company would question the value of having an active, engaged, and supportive online community. Who doesn’t want people coming together around their products? Nevertheless, as Omer Minkara points out in his recent report, The ROI of Investing in an Online Community Platform, even if you believe at some level that developing an online community would be beneficial, you still need to be able to make the case for investing in the right enabling technology. In order to build that case, Omer recommends considering the following four factors: 1. Impact on Customer Experience People talk a lot about customer experience nowadays. Indeed, many say that, in the not-too-distant future, companies will compete primarily on the experience they provide customers. But customer experience can be difficult to measure. Omer suggests that we look at profit margins to assess whether or not customers are happy and, as it turns out, his research revealed that companies with online community platforms enjoy higher profit margins per account (35% vs 25%) and higher annual increase in profit margin per customer (those without actually saw an annual erosion of profit margin per customer). 2. Impact on Marketing Online communities can be a valuable marketing asset (as long as marketers don’t abuse them). Thus, it stands to reason that we would expect to find improved marketing results from companies that have decided to invest in their communities. This is in fact the case. Omer’s research revealed that marketers who build online communities into their multi-touch and multi-channel marketing programs see 31% higher return on marketing investment than those without. These companies also see a four-fold greater annual improvement in their return on...
How to Get Serious About Marketing and Sales Success [Video]

How to Get Serious About Marketing and Sales Success [Video]

Few business units exist on the bleeding edge of innovation like marketing and sales. To be effective, sales and marketing departments must operate within a synergistic paradigm for optimal effectiveness. When sales and marketing are firing on all cylinders, there’s little that can stop this disruptive dynamic from literally blowing the competition out of the water. How do top performing, game-changing marketing and sales departments maintain their competitive edge? How do marketing and sales professionals continue to kill it in this always-on culture of perpetual, omni-channel bootstrapping? They achieve true win-win alignment by adhering to truth-based, bespoke, best practices proven over years and years of fail-first, fail-fast development. More importantly, though, the most innovative marketing and sales professionals stay up to speed on the freshest, most organically enriched trends. To help you catch these top performers, we’ve compiled everything you need to know in the video below. Did we miss anything? Image Source (Creative Commons): Boss...
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