According to Forrester Research, only 8% of B2B companies have sales and marketing alignment.
Getting Marketing and Sales on the same page, telling the same story, and working towards the same goals remains a challenge… even when using an Inbound Marketing approach. In fact, aligning Marketing and Sales is probably even more important in website generated leads.
Collaborate on Telling a Better Story
Marketing and Sales must work together. The best technology and perfect processes won’t work if Marketing presents one face of the business, and then Sales, usually through their ACTIONS, tells a different story to the potential Buyer.
Marketing presents the face of the customer. Effective marketing departments continually research marketplace buyers. Understanding how, why and when your buyers make purchases are differentiators support your salespeople need to convert qualified leads into clients.. Having the ability to leverage this knowledge will strengthen the effectiveness of your sales team.
Jointly build a plan to better understand your buyer. Answers these questions to gain insights both Marketing and Sales need:
- What questions does your prospect ask before they buy?
- What sources of information do they trust and use to research their potential purchase?
- What trigger events stimulate them into action?
- What activities must you monitor to gauge their stage in the buying process?
- What are your qualified leads’ objectives and obstacles?
- How do they measure success?
With your Marketing and Sales story in alignment, marketing collateral supports the sales efforts with one consistent message.
Agree on the Definition of a Qualified Lead- What defines a Qualified Lead for Sales? When does Marketing release a lead to Sales? Usually it’s that point when the prospect is actively engaged in looking for a solution. It’s best accomplished when the prospect raises their hand and takes action to engage you to pursue a one-on-one solution.
When using Inbound Marketing, it takes time and patience to move prospects to a Qualified Lead.
Again both Marketing and Sales must reach agreement on when Sales needs to take the lead.
Understand and Take Advantage of Trigger Events- Both Marketing and Sales must have a keen awareness of Trigger Events that cause prospects to move into the active Buying Stage.
Potential Trigger Events for Health IT sales opportunities include:
- A Change in Executive Leadership positions of the prospect
- Announcement of a new service or product
- Move to a new location
- Expanding or contracting staffing levels
- New funding or capital to the organization
- A major industry announcement- a new law, tax change, or economic shift that will directly and immediately impact the organization
Trigger Events are when prospects are most likely to consider a change to current operations. The real trick to successful Marketing and Sales is to deliver your Marketing and Sales story in context of the most pressing current Trigger Event.Trigger Events
Keep Improving the Process- Both Marketing and Sales must commit to continiuos improvement. Often times, your own perceptions of what the Buyer wants during the Buying Process isn’t what you think it is.
Today, Health IT Buyers do 60-75% of their research and education about the marketplace and their options before engaging, or being open to engage, in serious communications with sales.
Having a smooth hand off when prospects are ready to engage sales is a continuation of the Buyers’ Journey story. Follow these four steps outlined here to improved Qualified Leads and better sales success.