What is the marketing teams role in sales strategies
Unfortunately very few companies take the approach of an integrated marketing and sales strategy, as a result both are aiming for the same place, but are on separate roads which often causing internal conflict.
The individual sales hero approach
The most common of all sales strategies is to hire suitably connected sales individuals. The sales revenue target is divided into digestible chunks and each chunk represents one sales individual.
These people use their personal contacts, and they read the news and search for new contacts, and then they push their product or service at the contacts they have, and they hope that at that very moment in time that person requires their product or service.
If there personal relationships are strong enough, sometimes the contacts will find a reason to buy their product or service.
These people are seen as heroes and they really are, they are selling stuff to people who may need it, but are not actively looking for it, and so every success they have deserves massive applause and celebration.
In some companies there is even a bell on the sales floor that individuals get to ring when they close a deal.
The problem with these type of sales strategies is that people are getting tired of being sold to and are blocking out these people. And in the B2B case, businesses have had to put in strict controls to manage the buying process to avoid friends buying from friends.
Individuals that are no longer sales superheroes are booted out
Companies make a huge investment when they hire people, they may need to pay for a recruitment fee and then they need to spend a huge amount of time on training. In the sales field, it may take months before the person sells their first solution, but they earn a salary every month.
With incumbent sales strategies that rely on personal contacts and networking, at some point that persons contacts dry up and they stop selling as much as they used to.
As a result they are put onto a performance management programme, and if that doesn’t fix things, then they’re kicked out of the organisation. This is such a waste of budget and effort.
Inbound sales strategies are the alternative
Instead of focusing on pushing products and services at unwilling people, the inbound approach is to focus on those leads that come to you. These leads are actively looking to buy something and the idea is to focus on delighting them so that they choose your solution over the competitors.
This is a strategy that is highly integrated with marketing, as it is the duty of marketing to get these people to make initial contact. If there are not enough people making contact with you, then marketing efforts needs to be improved upon as they directly impact the bottom line.
No longer is it the job of a sales person to go and find potential customers, and if they can’t they are no longer useful. The sales role is now focused on closing which increases the capacity of each sales person as they now have fewer, more qualified leads to engage with, rather than a lot of unqualified leads.
Content drives inbound sales strategies
When marketing works independently from sales; the choice of marketing tactics is focused on building the brand. Even with highly targeted media channels such as industry specific publications and targeted advertising, the marketing messages often fall on the ears of relevant people, but they still not looking to buy.
One of the best ways to ensure that potential customers that are actively looking to buy find you and so your inbound sales team can be busy is through content.
Content marketing strategies make sure the right content, is found at the right time, by the right people. And the content is further used to convert that right person into a lead and then into a customer.
These type of sales strategies are considerably more sustainable and align to how people and businesses shop nowadays.
Image Credit: Nat Cap Solutions
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