Thursday, November 06, 2008

 

Aligning sales & marketing

If you're a business to business (B2B) marketer, the number of resources out there for you to learn from seems to grow by the day. Even B2B services companies, which clearly have their own transparent sales agendas, are producing great content for us to learn from.

Case in point is Marketo's Modern B2B Marketing blog, which recently featured a Q&A with Robert Moreau, a B2B blogger himself.

In his Q&A, Robert talked about three keys to sales & marketing alignment I wanted to highlight here. For the full Q&A (well worth the read), click here:

Otherwise, here are Robert's three keys to successful alignment between sales and marketing in a B2B context:
  1. Customer Buying Process. Study your customers buying process and make sure both sales and marketing understand the integration between the "sales process" and the "customer's" buying process. It's unrealistic to expect marketing and sales to only communicate in certain phases of the buying process. It is imperative that each function know the type of communication that is happening during each phase of the revenue cycle. See The 5 Keys to Lead Nurturing - #1 Customer Buying Process for more detail.
  2. Lead Nurturing. Understand that all your marketing and sales initiatives should complement each other. Dialogue with customers and prospects should be about sales and marketing providing the right content to the right people at the right time, and not one or the other controlling the conversation. This mindset change is one of the biggest transformations I see when working with sales and marketing executives in the technology space.
  3. Consider your data to be one of your most important assets. We often recommend to clients, prior to starting a demand generation campaign, that they first clean their data, develop a data hygiene plan, and consider adding or appending information to records that can help drive better campaign results. Appended data may enable greater degrees of segmentation permitting sharper focus in the campaign messaging. A related benefit of marketing automation platforms is the personalization of messages to each prospect versus sending the same content to everyone. This personalization can be done based on behavioral and demographic data.

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