Marketers should strive to impact sales and boost the bottom line directly. But if your sales and marketing teams are less than aligned, how can you make it happen?
We explored this question with Prue Lotharius, VP of Marketing at Rolling Suds, at November 28’s Craft Marketing event. Let’s be honest: In most organizations, marketing and sales teams butt heads at least a little bit. That’s why marketing and sales alignment is such a hot topic.
However, Prue shared that marketers can use targeted B2B tactics to drive revenue and uplift the sales team. Even if your marketing and sales teams are highly aligned, these strategies are worth implementing to increase your results and further strengthen your relationship.
Let’s dive into Prue’s 4 tried-and-true strategies that help marketing drive sales and how you can put them into action:
4 Targeted B2B Marketing Efforts That Can Help Marketing Drive Sales
1. Spotlight Your Sales Team’s Goals in Your Marketing Plan
- You learned about them in Marketing 101.
- They’re an industry mainstay.
- You might even find them boring.
But they can’t be overlooked. If you’re going to get your ideas taken seriously and achieve your goals, your marketing plan is your vital plan of attack. The key to creating a next-level marketing plan that boosts revenue is to give it a sales spin. That is, incorporate your sales team’s goals into your marketing plan and lay out how you can help drive that. Ask yourself:
- What can you include in your plan that’ll pique the sales team’s interest?
- What new product launches are coming up?
- What products are currently underperforming that could use a boost?
- Are there any plans to expand to new markets?
Sure, it’s an extra step in crafting your marketing plan that will be time-consuming. But it’s a powerful way to directly tie your efforts to sales’ goals, which will help you make more targeted moves and ultimately show sales that you’re in this fight with them.
2. Be Proactive
Your resources aren’t unlimited, so it’s worthwhile to prioritize your efforts. The first step is to understand what type of structure you’re working within. Nobody wants to come up with a fantastic idea only to discover midway that your departmental structure will prevent you from following through.
Prue recommends focusing on determining whether your marketing department is reactive or proactive. Meaning:
- In a reactive structure, you wait for jobs to come to you, likely from sales.
- In a proactive structure, new ideas are embraced, along with taking on requests from sales. As we explored in tactic #1, you can center your ideas around your sales team’s initiatives and pain points.
If you’re in a reactive structure, you and your coworkers’ plates are likely full already, and it might be a tough sell to pitch your brand-new sales-boosting idea, even if you can back it up with data.
Prue’s advice: Do it anyway. Of course, there’s a good chance they’ll turn down your proposal in full. But you can still scale it back into smaller efforts that demonstrate value. Prue recommends finding time for your idea, even if it means taking on a couple of extra hours on the side. Once you prove that there is a different function for marketing than simply taking orders, your proactive approach may gain some supporters, eventually leading to restructuring.
3. Market Internally and Externally
As marketers, we’re pros at marketing to our external audience, AKA our customers and prospects. But these skills can be applied to our internal audience, the sales team, especially when we’re developing and pitching new ideas to drive sales. Treat them like a paying customer buying your product or service, and ask, “how can I make them look great?” Prue shared that while this realization took time for her to learn in her career, once she got used to it, it became rare for people to say no to her ideas.
This “what would sales do/think/want” approach should also extend to our approach to data. As marketers, we’re zoned in on data like open rates, click-through rates, and social media engagement. But these metrics matter far less to other departments, as they may have trouble understanding their impact. So, it’s our job as marketers to explain channel KPIs like these and to regularly highlight KPIs like:
- ROI: This will make it easier for you to justify marketing budgets, calculate efficiency, and help you plan your future efforts.
- Conversion rate: This measures the percentage of users who have taken your desired action.
Finally, give yourself credit. Be sure to broadcast your KPIs’ progress throughout our projects, not just at the end. That means we must ensure all our marketing tactics are trackable so we know when our efforts lead to sales.
4. Choose Your Channels Strategically
The best marketing channel is the one that your target audience uses. That’s why it’s essential to extensively research who your audience is, what they like and dislike, and nail down where they spend their time.
Prue warned that marketers should avoid falling into the “shiny new platform” trap. With all the platforms out there, it’s worth trying out different ones, but know that even if an exciting, fun idea worked on a certain platform for one product launch, it may not work for the next one. The right channel shouldn’t just reach your target audience. It should also foster meaningful interactions and engagements.
Finally, you need an incredible call to action, and the Hook Retain Reward framework can help you here. After you engage them with a stellar hook, retain their attention with compelling bullets about your product, and finally give them a call to action that genuinely rewards them.
See You at Delta Beer Lab for December’s Craft Marketing
Craft Marketing invites you to its next live in-person event at Delta Beer Lab at 4:30 PM on December 12, “Ugly Sweater Mixer.” This holiday-themed social mixer will give you the chance to network with your peers and enjoy a delicious beverage of your choice.
You can learn more and register here.
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About the Author
Kara Martin, Content Writer at Naviant, specializes in written B2B content, from case studies to blogs and beyond. She transforms complex technical information into compelling, data-driven content that helps organizations turn their digital transformation goals into a reality.