How do marketing and operations work together

We marketers know the importance of engaging with our Coordinate sales employees closely. Our goal is to do business with our customers in an effective way and generate more revenue for our company. To do that, the marketing team must provide sales with high quality leads and the necessary information on how to best convert those leads. But this coordination and cooperation are not always easy.

We keep mentioning the concept of closed-loop marketing, cross-team internal reporting. This makes it possible to link every lead, every customer and every euro earned with the initiatives they have brought in.

Smarketing shrinks the difference between marketing and sales

According to the classic definition, marketing is responsible for promoting products and services. And, to put it simply, the sales department takes care that the products are available.

But this division of labor is considered obsolete. Marketing and sales should work together as closely as possible and pursue common goals. In this way it is possible to win new customers better and more efficiently and to sell products and services to existing customers. This kind of Marketing and sales cooperation is called Smarketing (Sales + Marketing) or Marketales (Marketing + Sales).

5 important pieces of information marketing should pass on to sales

So you need to communicate with the sales force to make both teams more effective. But what should you talk to them about? What kind of information should you provide to sales? And what should you get in return?

Good question! Here are 10 tips for communication between your teams so that sales and marketing can ideally coordinate and work effectively and successfully.

1) The Marketing Goals

To get your salespeople on the road to success, it is important that they have theGoals of your marketing team know for each month. Your sales reps need to know the number and quality of leads to expect in order to prepare accordingly.

If, for example, you can foresee that you will not generate the same number of leads in the next month as in the previous month, your sales department will adapt to this - for example by treating the few leads more intensively. However, if sales know ahead of time that you plan to increase the number of leads generated by 20% in the next month, sales reps can be more picky about which leads to choose. This is how they spend their time on those who they think are the most promising.

Sit down with your sales manager and draw up a service level agreement (SLA). In it you set clear goals for both departments.

It can look something like this: “We as Marketing department agree to provide this number of leads (of this quality) for you. "

The Sales team says: "We agree to generate this amount of sales from these leads." Since these two metrics are interdependent, it is so important to set the goals for marketing and sales together.

The calculator for your lead goals
Marketing and sales lead goals can be calculated. This Excel template will help you.

2) What content you use to generate leads

You may be thinking yours Lead Generation Strategies only have to be understood by the members of the marketing team ("We'll send you the leads. Why do you want to know where they come from?"). That's not true. It is imperative that sales reps know where your leads are coming from if they are to close deals effectively.

Let's look at it from a sales perspective: someone visited your website and downloaded one of your pieces of content - maybe an e-book. You have never spoken to this person before. And you're about to try to convince them that your product or service would be beneficial to them. So you want as much information as you can about this lead, don't you?

If you can explain to your sales reps what content each lead requested, the Salespeople a good way to start the conversation. He knows what questions this lead is likely to have. With tools such as a central marketing database and a CRM system, this sharing of information with the sales force can be very easy.

3) More information you have about these leads

With that in mind, be sure to provide sales with any useful information you have about your leads - not just information about what content has been downloaded or read. The easiest way to collect this information is to use lead capture forms. That said, before your visitors download any content, ask them to give you some information about themselves.

How big is the company? Is it B2B or B2C? What position does the lead have in the company? At HubSpot, for example, we had a field on our forms in which we asked our visitors to indicate their greatest marketing challenge. This gives the sales representative another starting point to start a conversation with the lead. It also provides a good starting point for identifying the prospect's goals, plans, and timing. These are all factors that are crucial for a targeted sales approach.

If your marketing and sales software collects other important information about lead activity besides demographic data - for example, website visits (which pages, how often), social media interactions, and downloaded content - this information can be extremely useful for your sales reps be helpful.

4) Which department is responsible for the leads in which phase

Lead nurturing is an integral part of the buying cycle. It enables marketers to stay in touch with leads in two different phases:

  1. when the lead Have not spoken to a sales representative yet and is not yet ready for a conversation

  2. when the lead spoke to a sales rep, but not ready to buy yet

Either way, it's important to nurture those high-quality leads rather than just weeding them out. Because they may be interested in buying something from your company in the future.

The leads may be at different points in their customer journey. Some will receive marketing messages from you, others have already been in contact with sales. It is therefore particularly important that your sales department knows which criteria are used to nurture your leads. This makes it possible for everyone involved to understand who is contacting whom and when. With an agreement that clearly defines which department is responsible for leads in which lifecycle stage in the funnel, you can ensure that none of your leads are lost.

5) How marketing nurtures leads

Knowing your lead nurturing strategy is important for your sales reps for the same reasons. Are you sending informative content to leads? Do you contact them in a personal way by asking your contacts to reach out to you with their questions? Do you send them further information about your products / services or the company?

When working together, it is not critical that the sales reps understand in detail how you approach lead nurturing from the marketing side. A general overview of your processes is usually enough to understand how these leads have been communicated and how much they know about your company - before sales have the leads on the phone and a conversation begins.

5 important pieces of information sales should pass on to the marketing team

It's also important to get feedback from your sales team on lead quality. You should be able to find out what has become of them so that you can go back in the future continue to generate high quality leads.

1) General information on lead quality

The sales rep should give you a clear picture of the general Quality of leads that you pass on to them every month. For example, were there more leads this month who weren't interested in your product? Did the sales reps have trouble getting into conversation with them at all? It's just the number of you Track generated leads. However, to understand how the quality of your leads is doing, you need information from sales.

This will help you pinpoint where high and low quality leads are coming from and share those experiences for you future marketing activities use. Did the competition on social networks bring you an excessive number of low-quality leads? Was the e-book you published that was a big hit that generated lots of high quality leads?

2) Which sources and topics generate the best leads

If you're creating a variety of different lead generation offers, Your sales department should process and analyze all leads. Did he find that leads who showed interest in a particular topic tended to be of higher quality? Which topics work better or worse? Not just in terms of the number of downloads, but also in terms of lead quality?

If you implement different inbound marketing strategies, you can generate leads from different sources, for example through your website, search engines, your blog, your social media presence or your marketing emails. Take a look at your lead information. Track where each lead came from and use the sales team to find out which sources are delivering the best quality leads. You can then focus your work on those sources and either further refine the channels that are not delivering high quality results or give them a smaller role in your marketing mix.

3) What the leads are saying about your content

Are the sales reps using the content and offers your leads downloaded to start the conversation with them? If so, they are likely to receive feedback on these offers, which in turn is extremely important for further content. Ask: Did the leads enjoy reading the content? Did you learn something valuable?

Even if the offers did not meet your expectations, this is useful feedback that you can use to improve your marketing content in the future.

4) How many leads will be contacted and lead to deals?

It's also important that you understand how sales are performing and what their metrics are. How many of the leads you send will be talking to? How many of the leads that were interviewed are at one in-depth sales pitch ready? How many of the people who agree to a sales pitch become customers?

Knowing these metrics will help you understand where your salespeople see the biggest problems and support them accordingly. If they're struggling to close a deal on the sales pitch, you could offer the sales reps more in-depth product training or provide them with additional product content to help them close more deals.

5) How marketing can otherwise support sales

In what other areas and processes do the salespeople see an opportunity for the marketing team to get involved and help? Should a specific group of leads be nurtured more aggressively? Perhaps you're skipping a lead segment that could benefit from a particular nurturing campaign or other type of marketing activity. It's also possible that your sales reps just want a better understanding of what you're doing in marketing because it helps them have more focused conversations. Exchange information, keep in touch and be open to suggestions and new ideas.

Conclusion: The job of marketing and sales? Efficient cooperation!

As a marketer, it's your job to nurture leads until they're ready to sell. Because if you simply generate leads and pass them on to sales unfiltered, you will ultimately generate inferior leads - and thus less sales than would actually be possible.

That means: Marketing and sales belong together. Pull together in collaboration and communication. Will you toSmartketing or marketales.

Cover picture: gorodenkoff / getty images

Originally published July 2, 2020, updated 06 August 2020

Recommend this article: