THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK - 5 Tips to Achieve B2B Marketing and Sales Alignment
When we speak about marketing and sales alignment, we most often mean alignment between the two.
There are countless books, guides, and articles written by experts who know how to bring marketing and sales teams into alignment with one another for better effectiveness. However, that’s not the alignment I’m referring to.
What I’m talking about is aligning both marketing and sales with the journey that buyers navigate to make purchasing decisions.
Aligning marketing and sales with one another is certainly a business imperative. Common objectives, integrated workflows, message continuity, and lead hand-off procedures are all key to supporting the business outcomes for B2B solution providers.
But, if understanding the buyer's journey is a one-time activity that is shelved until the next new marketing campaign, lead attribution will be no more than a guess and ROI will be questioned.
The solution is to align marketing and sales operations together with the buyer’s journey. Here are 5 tips to achieve alignment.
1. Have you defined the journey your buyers take to make purchasing decisions, the entire journey? It begins long before they decide to buy something and long before they reveal themselves to sellers. They will complete about 80% of their buyer’s journey before they seek direct contact with sellers.
2. Do you know the biggest and most common issues your buyers are facing? Are they aware of these issues, and if so, how do they describe them? These issues become the central themes of your content marketing strategy and your sales playbooks. Your buyers care most about solving their problems. Connecting the issues they face with your solutions is vital to attracting their attention.
3. Do you have enough of the right kind of content to engage your buyers throughout their journey? For most of their journey, they are not interested in product or service descriptions. This means that you need far more content that is not directly promotional: articles, opinion pieces, research, and studies.
4. Are you able to determine when buyers are engaged with your content, even in the early stages? Knowing where your prospects are in their buyer’s journey helps inform the way you follow-up with them. Treating them like a ready-to-buy lead when they are trying to understand the issues they face will result in them ghosting you.
5. Ok, here is a bit on aligning sales with marketing. Have you defined when a lead transitions from marketing to sales based on where the buyer is in their journey? The outcome of buyer follow-up is to help them advance in their journey, not in your sales process. That may mean sharing additional, helpful content with them, offering examples of how others solved similar issues, and yes, product and service descriptions when they are in the late stages of their journey.
The kind of alignment that will have the greatest positive impact on your business is aligning your marketing and sales operations with the buyer’s journey.
I hope you have a great week!
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Chief Editor | Follow Your Buyer