Lots of companies invest huge amounts in marketing. When I meet clients, I indeed notice that effort and resources are given to marketing and that is a good thing! A good marketing strategy can really make a salesperson’s job easier.
However, I also find, and all too often, that marketing doesn’t really support sales efforts. After generating leads through marketing, what should we do next? Are these qualified prospects? Is the marketing content aligned with the objectives?
All of these questions are important and you should ask yourself. Today I’m explaining to you what are the most common mistakes that make sales and marketing inconsistent together.
Mistakes to avoid
1- Depend only on inbound marketing
In the technological age we live in, salespeople have found new ways to attract potential customers, and these new ways to buy. Virtual interactions and points of contact have multiplied in recent years and marketing approaches have also evolved.
Today, everyone wants to do inbound or inbound marketing . It has become a real trend. However, I think there is a trap to be avoided, and that is that of magical thinking.
Some sales teams will believe that this marketing approach will generate all the necessary leads. The representatives would therefore no longer need to make their prospecting calls! For many, this can be a great relief. I don’t know a lot of people who are crazy about cold calling. Unfortunately for them, content marketing is rarely the one and only source of leads. It does not replace prospecting. In fact, he comes to support this stage.
Rather, the role of marketing is to educate and make customers aware of our product. I see the combination of marketing and salesperson as an assembly line. Marketing is used to fuel the factory with leads and with content that the salesperson can use in their prospecting and sales process. Then, the salesperson also comes to supply the factory, then has to take the prospect through all the stages of “manufacture”, until the desired end product: a sale.
So while your inbound strategy can turn out to be a great ally, it’s rarely enough to support a fairly full and qualified sales opportunity pipeline.
2 – Not having a formal and structured sales process
Only about 25% of businesses have a formal sales process. It may seem surprising to you, but it is true!
An effective sales process increases the likelihood of closing sales. Inbound generated leads may be different from more traditional captured leads . The first steps of the sales process must therefore be contextualized for inbound leads .
For example, with an inbound lead , you know a little better what the person is looking for based on the resource they’ve uploaded or interacted with. It reveals a symptom, a problem that this person is trying to solve. This should definitely be exploited in the sales conversation. You need to take advantage of the context that marketing has brought to you and build it into your established sales process. Without this process, you may find it more difficult to take advantage of this advantage.
If, however, you are having difficulty implementing a quality sales process, you can check out our free guide to help you: Guide to Building a Sales Process and Pipeline that Supports Predictable Growth
3 – Not offering the right content
Your content marketing should be consistent with the vision of the business and your target customers. For example, if you want to work with companies that have revenue between $ 10 million and $ 200 million, but your content is more aimed at early-stage SMEs, you’re going to end up with the wrong leads.
You have to start by finding who you want to sell to, and then figure out how you should go about doing it. Personally, I consider this step to be reverse engineering. Mathematically, you should know how many potential customers you want to target to reach your sales numbers. How many leads and why? Next, you need to determine what types of leads aregoing to help achieve those goals. Who and why? And finally you can take a stand on how to attract these leads with marketing. How and why?
How to use content marketing when the customer is not ready to buy
Someone who downloads marketing resources isn’t necessarily ready to buy right away, just like someone who makes time with you for a phone call. Content marketing helps you position yourself as # 1 in the minds of potential customers and therefore makes the sales process easier. In truth, this is the strength of marketing. When they’re ready to buy, they’ll remember your expertise and come to you with more confidence.
Also, if you see that the person is not ready to buy, you shouldn’t harass them, but you can still take action. As I mentioned, content marketing gives useful tools to salespeople who are prospecting. You have become aware of a problem experienced by a prospect and you know that you have one or more marketing resources related to that particular problem. It’s perfect! Take the time to write an email to this prospect, making sure to include these resources.
In this way, you hope to gain credibility with your target customers. After a few weeks, you could write a second email to review the resources sent and ask if they were helpful.
The first step is to make sure that your marketing strategy is consistent with your goals. Then you have to make sure that the marketing experience offered to the customer is good, in order to establish a bond of trust. Next, you need to incorporate what you have learned from your prospect through marketing into your sales process.