Build a Sales and Marketing Machine


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As mentioned in some of our previous white papers, it’s no secret that the future of marketing and sales lies in referring to these not as two different but one single department. Some companies have already taken that step and combined the two into what’s usually called Revenue Performance Management department.

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Build a Sales and Marketing Machine

  1. 1. How to Build a Powerful Sales and Marketing MachineIntroductionAs mentioned in some of our previous whitepapers, it’s no secret that the future ofmarketing and sales lies in referring to thesenot as two different but one singledepartment. Some companies have alreadytaken that step and combined the two intowhat’s usually called Revenue PerformanceManagement department.So, why is this sales/marketing alignment so important? The best way to respond to thisquestion is with another question (well, two actually). First, what is one of the mostimportant factors behind revenue growth? Most would agree it’s the conversion rate –thenumber of prospects that actually become your customers. Secondly, what is the mostimportant factor behind the conversion rate? Undoubtedly, an effective sales andmarketing machine, and to have this machine, it’s imperative your sales and marketingdepartments not only work together but are bound by same goals, strategies, policies andprocedures.Apart from joining their marketing and sales efforts, companies are also slowly realizingthat it’s not so much what you sell but how you sell it. Most customers do their ownresearch and don’t want to hear yet another sales pitch. Instead of finding and force-feeding their customers, companies are increasingly focusing their marketing and salesefforts on being found by the customer. One way of doing this is putting out content that isrelevant to the customer because it addresses their needs and concerns and gives themsomething valuable. Another might is engaging the customer in an interactive andmeaningful dialogue through social media, CTAs, etc.So, the process of building a powerful Sales and Marketing machine boils down to twocritical factors: bridging the gap between Sales and Marketing by aligning the twodepartments’ strategies, policies and procedures and being customer-centric (focusing onyour customers and selling on their terms). LeadMaster Australia Pty Ltd – L6, 80 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 | | +611 300 852 599
  2. 2. But before we get into this in more detail, we should define exactly what a powerful salesand marketing machine is and what it isn’t.Concept DefinitionContrary to popular belief, a sales and marketing machine is not merely a combination ofmarketing efforts and sales reps’ pitching techniques that seamlessly lure in and lead aprospect through the buying process until the deal is closed. If one thing is true aboutcustomers, it’s that they are capricious and can change their mind or their preferences atany stage of the buying process, so it’s all about feeling their “pulse” and making the salesand marketing machine work and adapt to this “pulse”.An efficient sales and marketing machine is acarefully designed customer-centric set of lead An efficient sales and marketinggenerating and nurturing processes aimed at machine is a carefully designedturning prospects into customers, an engine customer-centric set of leadthat either lies the heart of an RPM department generating and nurturingor is a product of a tight sales/marketing processes aimed at turningcollaboration if there is no such department in prospects into yet. Sounds simple, right? It actually is.However, there are still so many companiesstruggling with the traditional disconnect between Marketing and Sales, where the two aretrying to work as frenemies at best or undermining each other as rivals at worst.There are various symptoms of this disconnect, most notable of which are:  Sales complaining about the quality/amount of leads receiving from Marketing  Marketing accusing Sales of not handling the leads adequately and losing the deals that should be closed  No clear lead trajectory or leads funnel defined  No singular view of the prospect’s journey through the buying process  Chaotic and/or dysfunctional marketing/sales processIf your company is suffering from one or more of these symptoms, then read on to find outhow to build a powerful sales and marketing machine that will solve these problems,enable you to deliver better results and improve your company’s overall performance.5 Steps to Building a Powerful Sales and Marketing MachineAs mentioned in the introduction, there are two factors that are fundamental to having anefficient sales and marketing machine. First one is bridging the Sales and Marketing gapand the second one adopting an exclusively customer-centric focus as a business. To LeadMaster Australia Pty Ltd – L6, 80 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 | | +611 300 852 599
  3. 3. understand these in greater detail, here are 5 steps to building a powerful Sales andmarketing machine. 1. Align the two departments’ strategies, policies and procedures (SLA)There are various ways you could go about this. Some companies choose to set up a ServiceLevel Agreement (SLA) between the two departments where both state their expectations,goals, amount of leads required and provided, lead follow-up frequency, etc. Hubspotisuggests including the following points in your Sales and Marketing SLA (these of coursecan vary depending on your needs preferences): a. Run a closed loop analysis on your historical inbound lead segments. Calculate the profitability of each segment. b. Classify profitable lead segments as “workable leads”, which are ready for sales. Filter out and/or nurture “non-workable leads”. c. Determine the number of “workable leads” per sales rep per month that marketing is accountable for. This metric becomes your marketing SLA. d. Define the number and frequency of attempts that sales will make against each “workable lead”. This metric becomes your sales SLA. e. Automate the daily monitoring of the process. Key metrics to monitor are:  “Workable leads” produced per sales rep, month to date  Attempts per “workable lead”  Connect rate per “workable lead”  Conversion rate to forecasted pipeline per “workable lead”If you’re not a big fan of SLAs, there are other options. We recommend designing anIntegrated Sales and Marketing Strategy, Procedures and Policies Guide, in which bothteams agree on a joint sales/marketing strategy, goals, lead qualification system, leadterminology, lead quantity and quality features, lead follow-up procedures, pipelinemanagement system, etc. This is very similar to an SLA; however, it does go into moredetail as far as lead generation, nurturing and management procedures, all of which are keyto the conversion rate. 2. Establish a clear and singular view of lead qualification system and customer’s journey through the leads funnelNext step in building a powerful sales and marketing machine is your Sales and Marketingteams agreeing on a clear and singular view of your lead qualification system and all thestages of your leads funnel. The key here is having uniform terminology. LeadMaster Australia Pty Ltd – L6, 80 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 | | +611 300 852 599
  4. 4. Here is an example of a leads funnel system we developed here at LeadMaster Australia. It’sa product of successful collaboration between our Sales and Marketing teams, so there isnever any confusion as to what makes a lead an MQL, SRL or an Opportunity. Moreover,there is a clear scoring system in place, so that there is really no room for the blame game –both teams know when somebody goes onto the next stage and what actions need to betaken to lead the potential customer to the next phase of the buying process. In addition,our LeadMaster CRM allows us to have a homogenous, transparent and efficient leadmanagement system that both teams use to do their share of work. In case a lead regresses,both Sales and Marketing know exactly what needs to be done to get them back into theleads funnel and nurture them again. This, of course is only one example of a uniform leadsfunnel. You can customise and re-customise your pipeline whatever way you like, as long asit’s a product of a continuous sales/marketing collaboration. LeadMaster Australia Pty Ltd – L6, 80 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 | | +611 300 852 599
  5. 5. 3. Work together on the development of lead nurturing tracks, marketing content, etc.The third and perhaps the trickiest step to building a powerful sales and marketingmachine is both teams collaborating on the developments of lead nurturing tracks, CTAs,marketing content, etc. This does not necessarily mean each blog or white paper youpublish should be written jointly by your entire marketing and sales team. Your marketingteam, for example, could develop some lead nurturing tracks and run them by the Salesteam for feedback and suggestions. This allows for a clear understanding of all the steps inthe lead generation and nurturing processes and will hedge you against mutual blamegames in the future regarding the quality of leads, lead capture, etc. In terms of CTAs andcontent marketing, we recommend organising weekly brainstorming sessions where bothMarketing and Sales come up with fresh content or best practices that will capture yourprospects’ attention and make them want your products and/or services. There is noreason why somebody from Sales shouldn’t have a great blog idea or why someone frommarketing shouldn’t come up with a great lead follow-up event. 4. Gather and share insight on customer behavior, needs and preferences and always listen to their “pulse”The fourth and probably the mostdemanding step in building a powerful salesand marketing machine is collaborativegathering of insight on customer behavior,needs and preferences. As mentionedearlier, the only way your sales andmarketing machine will be successful is if it’scustomer-centric. Again, it’s not so muchwhat you sell but how you sell it, so makesure you are always selling on yourprospects’ terms. Today’s customer is notonly capricious but plays very cunninggames with different product and serviceproviders, so the only way to cater to their needs is to gain a full and comprehensiveunderstanding of who they are, what they like and don’t like, what they want and don’twant, who they are influenced by, etc. LeadMaster Australia Pty Ltd – L6, 80 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 | | +611 300 852 599
  6. 6. It is imperative that both sales and marketing teams are involved in this process, as neithercan do their job properly if they don’t have access to this insight. There are five basicguidelines to follow in order to get this insight and make the most of it:  Segment your market and clearly define your target audience  Analyse your prospects’ and customers’ digital body language (e.g. social media)  Instead of putting out sales-pitch content, find out what your prospects’ and customers’ concerns and pain points are and then focus your content on those issues, providing them with real value and establishing your company as a credible industry thought leader (we recommend segmenting your content into three types: educate/empower/persuade)  Vary communication channels and adjust your messages and content to target segmentation (e.g. according to industry, product preference, company size or other criteria of your choice)  Instead of finding your customer, focus on being found (inbound marketing) by providing them with relevant and valuable content and giving out free stuff (don’t underestimate the power of free), proving that you want to engage with them beyond a mere sales transaction. 5. Never settleFinal and the most underestimated step to building a powerful Sales and Marketingmachine is to never forget that the only thing constant is change, meaning you are neverfinished with improving your Sales and Marketing processes. You and your team shouldnever stop asking how you can improve your sales and marketing machine because, justlike any other engine, this one needs to have its oil changed every once in a while. Youshould schedule periodical meetings during which Sales and Marketing can analyse,brainstorm about and improve on:  lead generation and nurturing processes  pipeline management  lead sources (focus on those that have the highest ROI and improve those that don’t)  customer needs  marketing content  innovation through trial and error, etc.Someone once said that Marketing provides the weapons and Sales fights the war. Nothingcould be further than the truth. The sooner you stop thinking about Marketing and Sales astwo different divisions, the sooner you’ll see that the only way for your company to go LeadMaster Australia Pty Ltd – L6, 80 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 | | +611 300 852 599
  7. 7. forward and outperform your competitors, not to mention impress your customers, is byjoining the two into one powerful business engine. Never forget that the only thing constant is change, so you are never finished with improving your Sales and Marketing processes. Follow us:i Hubspot Blog, LeadMaster Australia Pty Ltd – L6, 80 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060 | | +611 300 852 599