How to align Sales and Marketing Around a Common Sales Method - Part 3
A Common sales method is wrapped within how individuals make buying decisions - Part 3.
We ended part 2 with consultative based selling stages aligned with how individuals make buying decisions, the customers buying process.
In part 3 we move into the details of creating a common sales method to build out the final leg of our 3 legged stool on how to align sales and marketing. The next step is to drill into the sales stages and match up the potential detailed sales steps with how customers buy your products and services and help configure a common sales method.
To create the Best Buying Experience, align the sales methods with how customers make buying decisions.
Tip 1: Let's start out with what can be one of the more difficult areas to gain consensus between sales and marketing, before we jump into the detailed sales steps of a common sales method. What is a Lead?
Current practice is to define a "marketing lead" and a "sales ready lead".
In aligned companies, marketing is responsible to nurture marketing leads until the individual says, "tell me more" and they begin to identify needs. The individual at this point is moving from a latent need to an active need.
When an individual moves from a latent to an active need, they begin to focus on the people who can help them the most. It is at this point individuals want to engage with people who can have business conversations around their needs and potential ways to help them achieve their needs.
Shortly after marketing identifies an active need with a marketing lead, begin the transition to sales as an active buy-sell cycle. It is a gray area and each business needs to review current and planned resources, (personnel),and determine the best point to transition.
Tip 2: In aligned companies, marketing is measured on the percentage of orders in the sales funnel which were initiated by a marketing lead. Meaning leads obtained by marketing demand generation efforts, not referrals or leads sales discovered with their own efforts.
Marketing is also measured on the leads which transition to a sales ready lead. It is no longer a numbers game to generate 1000's of leads. Marketing is held accountable to obtain leads where the potential prospect will say, "tell me more". With marketing feeding better quality leads to sales, conversion of sales ready leads to orders is now a meaningful ratio for sales.
Sales people are held accountable to manage and convert sales ready leads to orders, in addition to their normal quota's.
Paradigm: It is not about the quantity of leads marketing generates, it is about the quality of the sales ready leads.
Tip 3: The customer focused messaging in part 1 was built around individuals by title and market who are the key decision makers when buying products and services. Capture the important attributes in the lead management system and use a cross functional team of sales, marketing and subject matter experts to improve the effectiveness of demand generation tools used by both sales and marketing.
Paradigm: It is more important to know which messages resonate with prospects by their respective titles and markets,
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