Sales Directors – Is your company’s marketing supporting you?
As the business landscape rapidly evolves, Sales Directors are finding themselves walking a tightrope to achieve commercial success. It’s not just a matter of supporting the sales team; it requires strategic planning, a comprehensive understanding of business goals, adaptability, and the motivation to lead. The challenge that many Sales Directors face is that marketing isn’t always aligned with sales strategy. The two disciplines may seem to be pulling in different directions, creating roadblocks to sales success.
For businesses to achieve sales success, the sales and marketing functions need to be integrated seamlessly. Historically, sales have been seen as a push strategy, taking the business to potential customers, while marketing has been a pull strategy, building market presence and allowing customers to come to the business. However, with growing digitalization and fundamental shifts in how business is conducted, the lines between the two have become increasingly blurred.
Businesses that can integrate their sales and marketing processes are finding themselves with a more unified approach and more effective use of resources. Every touchpoint with the customer is a chance to learn more about them, their needs and preferences, and what matters to them. This information can then be used to create more targeted and effective marketing communications, resulting in more engaged inbound leads and ultimately driving commercial success.
By aligning sales and marketing efforts, Sales Directors can create new efficiencies to propel the business forward. The business can focus on its core audience and ensure that all activity is tailored to its specific needs and wants. Additionally, this approach makes both functions accountable for revenue, offering a measurable goal.
Misaligned sales and marketing departments have been a perennial issue in business, creating effort and content without a united goal, essentially moving the business in two different directions. In fact, up to 70% of in-house B2B content is never used because the subject topics aren’t connecting with the people that are actually buying from the business. Keeping the two functions separate can ultimately create a waste of time, resources, and money.
For Sales Directors looking to kick business into a higher gear, better integration between sales and marketing strategies offers several benefits, including:
- A better understanding of the customer’s journey – Understanding which touchpoints matter to customers and where the higher quality leads join the sales funnel can provide valuable insights into the sales process.
- More targeted content – By tailoring content to the right audience, businesses can engage potential customers and increase the likelihood of conversion.
- Consistency, consistency, consistency – Keeping a firm grip on branding and ensuring all cross-functional activity is structured and aligned according to the image the business wants to project.
- Accelerated brand awareness and engagement – Combining the best elements of push and pull marketing strategies can increase brand awareness and engagement.
- Better use of time and resources – Avoiding “content for content’s sake” and making sure that all content is valuable to the business.
- Shorter sales cycle – Increasing the visibility of the business and encouraging new inbound business into the pipeline can shorten the sales cycle.
- Accountable ROI – Optimizing spend by understanding what channels are working for sales teams and focusing efforts where customers are most likely to be.
- Better defined roles and responsibilities – Aligning sales and marketing gives a clearer structure to processes such as inbound leads, qualification, and follow-up, increasing efficiency and likelihood of success.
Overall, the key to driving commercial success lies in aligning the sales and marketing functions. Sales and marketing should not be held as individual silos; they’re two sides of the same coin. By using marketing to inform sales strategy and vice versa, Sales Directors can combine the best elements of both approaches and get a more solid grip of the direction of the business. With better integration between sales and marketing, businesses can improve their understanding of the customer journey, create more targeted content.