We’ve been in the content marketing industry for over a decade now, and when you’ve been around the block as many times as we have you start to recognise certain themes. We’ve tackled a few of them in previous lives, but even as we’re busy stoking the new fires of Tulpa Digital there is one theme in particular we are seeing. One that still plagues businesses of all sizes and impacts negatively on content marketing’s success – There’s STILL too big a divide between sales and marketing teams.
Hear us out on this one…
We know that the sales and marketing divide is well documented, but unfortunately it’s still a very real problem. Marketing Managers and creators fight to conjure up relevant new content ideas while the sales team juggle customer questions and wonder why there isn’t an easier way.
We shudder to think about how much content is wasted and will never reach its full potential thanks to a lack of collaboration. You can Throwback Thursday and #FridayVibes all you like, if it’s not mixed with a healthy dose of content that really speaks to prospective buyers, it’s never going to yield true rewards.
If you’re not in regular communication with your sales team, both your sales and marketing processes can become clogged with inconsistent messaging that’s potentially confusing to customers, and can even put a big dent in your brand’s credibility.
If there’s one problem to fix for the end of 2020, it’s getting your sales and marketing teams working in harmony. Unifying your content, sales materials and key messages makes all the difference for building trust, and most importantly, smashing your sales and marketing objectives!
The Best Way To Understand Your Customer Journey Is Through Your Sales Team
As content marketers, we’re all about digging deeper into who our customers are. It’s vital that we understand their pain points, challenges and feelings that drive their buying decisions. Undoubtedly, the best way to really get into your customers psyche is through your sales team.
They’re the people talking to customers day in and day out. They’re taking customers by the hand, guiding them through the sales process, answering questions, soothing any anxieties and building trust to lead them to conversion.
This customer journey is exactly what we marketers are looking to understand – for content marketers, this insight is the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow.
Sales and marketing teams need to work tightly together. It’s not enough to involve the sales team on the occasional big campaign, or when you’ve got a problem you can’t answer; it has to be regular involvement, especially in 2020. Now more than ever, marketers need to be as close to their customers as possible, and what better way than through your sales team?
Top Tip Time:
To keep your marketing and sales messages in harmony, ensure that your sales and marketing teams regularly define:
- Your target audiences
- Your key messages for each target audience
- Pain points for each target audience
To make the most of your sales team’s knowledge, make sure to ask LOTS of questions. We could recommend 20, but to get you started, get going with the 4 below, they’ll make excellent starting points for discussion.
- What are common pain points and how do you help to solve them?
- Are there any frequently asked questions that come up again and again? How are you answering them?
- Are there any pieces of content that would help to strengthen your sales process? Eg. thought leadership, long form explainers or the more traditional case study.
- How often are customers engaging with us currently?
But What If I’m The Sales AND Marketing Team?
We’ve been there. Sales AND marketing as a role is a tough job, and we salute you! With your attention constantly divided between customers and prospects, we know that you’re already well aware of what makes them tick.
However, we do recommend going back to basics and asking yourself those questions. Write out your answers and follow the process through, it will help you find clarity amongst the chaos!
Creating Content That Drives Sales
We’ve seen too many marketers dip out of the sales process when the lead is acquired – often not having much of an idea about how those leads end up converting. To those marketers, we say “not so fast, Skippy!” Content marketing isn’t only amazing for generating new leads, it’s real strength lies in helping to increase conversion rates and drive sales. To be effective at marketing, you should know your sales process upside-down and inside-out.
Content marketing needs to be embraced for every stage of the prospective consumer journey. This means creating content for the middle and bottom of your sales funnel, working in parallel with your sales process. Once you get the two in perfect balance, you’ll be well on the way to hitting your sales and marketing goals.