Sales and Marketing Alignment Is a Three Legged Stool in B2B

Imagine a milking stool with all 3 legs pointed in different directions.

This is what can happen if sales and marketing are not aligned with how the B2B customer buys their products and services. Alignment of sales and marketing uses:

  1. Common language.
  2. Common sales method.
  3. How the customer makes buying decisions.

Here is a sample company to review using a few extremes on purpose.

Marketing is measured on how many new products they can introduce as well as how many leads they can generate. Their world is full of analytics and demand generation activities which are feature rich.

Sales is measured on how many projects they close, and the overall dollar amount booked per quarter. In their fast paced world, they know which features will fly and which will die.

New product and service development is headed up by marketing with little or no interaction with sales.

Sales and marketing have tried to agree upon the definition of a lead and the result. Marketing sends 1000′s of leads to sales and complains they don’t know how to qualify. Sales complains the leads are no good and goes about locating most of their own leads directly.

Customer surveys provide an overall grade of D or less in the buying experience measures.

Here is the company after they have aligned their sales and marketing.

A common sales method is aligned with how prospects make buying decisions for their products and services. Consultative sales and marketing skills are used to help customers discover compelling needs based on value.

Marketing messages in demand generation and sales conversations focus on business usage, not feature rich statements. These messages need to resonate with words the customer understands, not internal technical jargon.

Sales and marketing have agreed there are two types of leads. Marketing leads to be nurtured by marketing and sales ready leads to be transitioned to sales.

Marketing is measured on the percentage of leads which lead to the prospect saying, yes, I want to meet with sales. They are also measured on the percentage of sales orders in the pipeline which came from a marketing lead.

Sales is measured on their effectiveness of converting sales meetings to orders and managing their pipeline, in addition to total revenue achieved.

Development teams are cross functional and have representatives from sales and marketing. As new features are discussed, the team converts them to business usage and potential value in the eyes of the customer before being considered further.

Marketing messages in demand generation activities are aligned with the types of consultative conversations sales will be having with customers. No longer feature rich, they help customers discover compelling needs based on value.

Both sales and marketing strive to create the Best Buying Experience for new and existing customers. Customer surveys give them an A in this area.

As a B2B customer, which vendor in the above examples would you prefer as a partner?

Article Writing – How to Write Articles For a Sales and Marketing Blog

Sales and Marketing Training Program – Why Don’t People Understand they Need You?

Are you just plain tired of being told “no” either through your marketing, or in your sales appointments? You keep trying to explain, persuade, and tell them what they need to know to “get it”; but it’s like you’re talking to a blank wall. Does your sales and marketing training program seem to be missing a link because it just isn’t getting you the results you want? Perhaps you aren’t getting what you want because you’re approaching things the wrong way.

You know that everyone listens to the radio station WIIFM, what’s in it for me. You also know that telling isn’t selling. Telling is a quick way to get prospects to disengage and lose the sale. When you try to persuade you run the risk of putting your prospect on the defensive. So what are you missing, what is keeping people from understanding they need you?

Unfortunately, it may be your understanding that’s missing. Whether it’s a marketing message or the message you provide in the sales appointment, your message has to be tuned into your prospects WIIFM station. That means before you prepare your message you need to understand your potential customers.

You see, most sales fail because you have a product or service and you’re trying to find someone to sell it to. You will exponentially increase your sales when you understand what your customers want, and you figure out how to give them what they want through what you have to offer, and then you give it to them the way they want it.

Understanding comes from listening to the right people for the right things. You need to build a relationship with your potential customers so they feel comfortable talking around you. They don’t worry when they see you that the conversation is going to turn into a sales pitch. Your number one job right now is doing your research until you’re absolutely sure you know the top three wants of your potential customers. When you know their top three wants you’re ready to begin preparing your marketing message that helps those potential customers understand that you have what they want. When you do that you have people entering your sales funnel who are ready to do business with you because they want what you have and they already know and like you.