For maximum successful customer acquisition and customer retention, efficient cooperation between the teams in marketing and sales is absolutely necessary today. Both areas can hardly be strictly separated in the practice of marketing due to the typical behavior of modern prospective customers as well as their associated expectations and resulting possibilities and/or requirements.
Before B2B customers make a purchase decision, they have mostly informed themselves in detail online about possible solutions for their challenges or needs. According to the B2B Buyer's Report 2017, 97 percent of all (potential) customers already know exactly which providers they prefer. In addition, classic marketing measures, such as cold calling on the phone, are increasingly coming to nothing - sales goals can no longer be comprehensively achieved with this and generally through the work of sales alone.
It is essential to take into account the appropriate online marketing methods in the respective company context and to place them in appropriate cooperation with the sales department.
For maximum successful customer acquisition and retention, efficient cooperation between the teams on the Today in marketing is always very central content marketing strategy, which in turn is crucial for - especially in the B2B sector so important - effective lead management . Here, (potential) customers are - to put it simply - first convinced by content with great added value, so that they voluntarily submit their contact details to the marketing company. These serve as the basis of communication for lead nurturing, within which it is possible to subtly guide appropriate people to make a purchase. Within this process, leads reach different stages. Sales-qualified leads (SQLs) are ready to be passed on to sales. If the latter gets to work too early, it can render virtually all of the lead nurturing work moot. It is therefore important for marketing and sales to coordinate precisely when the right time for appropriate communication has come.
It should also be noted that the dialogue with customers usually continues after a successful closing. Those who want to operate competitively in the long term must take into account the entire customer existence, i.e. the customer experience including the buyer's journey - from the prospect to the (at best) loyal customer or even brand advocate. Such a holistic approach can, of course, only be guaranteed if the departments or cross-departmental procedures are followed accordingly and a corresponding attitude prevails.
Generally speaking, if there is a generally good customer experience, the chances of developing strong long-term business relationships increase significantly. This can actually lead to customers becoming true ambassadors for their favorite brand. Today, in times of increasingly differentiated advertising and marketing opportunities as well as a steadily growing awareness of (potential) customers for these, such completely authentic advocacies are de facto highly sales-promoting.
Furthermore, the time from initial contact to closing can be greatly reduced if marketing and sales adhere to a content marketing strategy or if this is also aligned with the sales strategy. This is because sales can also have an enormously positive influence on the customer's ability to make decisions by providing specific content and an optimal flow of information.
So how can B2B marketing and sales be brought closer together and thus really benefit from the aforementioned advantages or fully take into account the corresponding requirements? The following points answer these questions, but of course do not represent a comprehensive marketing and sales strategy. Rather, they serve as cornerstones for the evaluation of such a strategy and offer food for thought in the direction of closer cooperation between the teams.
A customer relationship management system, or "CRM" for short, offers the possibility of organising practically all customer-specific processes. It forms a place where all relevant data is clearly managed and - very important - can be viewed by all departments. For example, no lead is lost due to insufficient information about its status between B2B marketing and sales. With the help of other tools integrated there, such as email synchronization or meeting organization, communication between marketing and sales is also made easier.
Those who pursue common goals not only tend to work very efficiently, but also pull together. As a basis, the buyer personas and the content marketing strategy should be set up in cooperation, if possible. This greatly increases the chance of quickly generating many qualified leads for sales. Whether the increase in lead generation, a general increase in the conversion rate, defined sales targets or other efforts - without the collection of insights via analyses, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs), successes or failures can hardly be adequately interpreted. This means that the - undoubtedly very important - purposeful further development of marketing and sales measures cannot be guaranteed.
As a rule, marketing knows particularly well which target group is interesting for the company, while sales operates very close to the (potential) customer and can thus contribute important facts, for example, for the segmentation of the target group and the creation of corresponding campaigns. The teams of both departments have a wide range of specific knowledge that needs to be brought together instead of being dealt with separately.
With the help of a CRM and possibly other connected tools, corresponding processes can be organized and even automated. Today, this is already highly appropriate due to the fact that there are more and more tasks to be completed in both marketing and sales. Handling them manually is often simply inefficient. The first step is to develop suitable automated workflows. CRM, for example, helps to simplify lead nurturing, which is normally very complex. This means that special content can be automatically assigned to the right customers at the correct time or status within their buyer's journey and in the lead nurturing process. This guides (potential) customers very efficiently through the buying process and ultimately keeps the customer experience high.
An SLA is a service agreement which, in the context of greater cooperation between B2B marketing and sales, is naturally related precisely to this. Here, it is important to define collective goals for the teams of both departments, which makes the cooperation more transparent and easier to arrange. At the base, the SLA includes the introduction of regular meetings, within which the teams introduce common topics and reporting, as well as a generally open, purposeful communication culture within the company. It is also important to establish KPI's that apply to both areas, which B2B Marketing and Sales can use to measure success or failure in achieving their goals. Furthermore, it is important to clarify responsibilities and, in particular, to clearly define priorities for everyone.
- Development of a custom-fit online marketing strategy, definition of smart goals, determination of your desired target groups by means of buyer personas and coordination of meaningful KPIs.
- Setting up targeted Nurture processes to enrich customer profiles.
- Consulting and implementation ofmarketing automation software that meets the requirements of the GDPR.
- Extensive workshops to train your team on Buyer Personae, Nurturing processes.
For success-oriented optimization of digital sales, we are also happy to support you on the subject of lead management.