There was a time, not so long ago, when marketing teams had nothing to do with sales teams other than feeding them product information.
Then marketing took over the web portals at major companies. Next it was social media.
And sales just went along – business as usual.
But that model doesn’t work.
When products and services closely mimic each other across entire industries, finding a way to explain why your widget is marginally better than the widget made down the street is a tough task.
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So how does your company stand out from the competition?
One of the buzz words you’re probably sick of hearing is customer engagement. This requires sales people to become more involved – before and after the sale – in order to keep existing customers coming back while also attracting new customers to the brand.
This is a role most salespeople are not used to; “Marketing is for marketers.”
Of course that’s a load of crap. In a business environment where most research is done online – marketing is everyone’s job.
So the number one goal of sales and marketing is to work together.
And the way to do that is to use the strengths of both to make the entire organization stronger.
Sales people are typically very good at communicating the benefits of the products and services they sell. While marketing are great at creating content.
So instead of producing brochures and web content focusing on benefits, marketing teams should instead give sales people content that builds credibility with clients and strengthens the brand.
How does this work?
Let’s say your company sells tires. Your tires might be great. But so are the tires other companies make. So how would your sales person get the attention of a fleet manager at a trucking company?
In the old days they might try emails and phone calls, just hoping to get past the gatekeeper.
But today you can find out a lot about a company simply by doing some research online. On LinkedIn you can find key employees and decision-makers quickly..
Once that’s done, it becomes a exercise in education and persuasion.
This is where marketing comes in. Instead of creating content around specific products, marketing can research and write content that appeals to the buyers’ interests.
Where once it was about telling people how amazing your tires are, the content, in the form of blog posts and articles become about safety tips, fuel efficiency, industry trends and regulatory changes. The tires are the product, but it’s the expertise and credibility that’s being sold.
So is your company still selling tires? You can always get cheaper tires. But expertise and experience are priceless.