Planning for FY20 is well and truly under way! If you’ve been paying attention to us over the last few months, you’ll have noticed just how much we believe in having a perfectly aligned sales and marketing team and that we know now is the time to re-strategize to enable department alignment.
Alignment, or blended sales and marketing as we refer to it, has been on the radar for a while. Involving not only a strategic shift but also a company-wide shift in perception, many will have pushed it to the background of their conversations as at first it seems a little daunting. However, treating these two departments as a single organism working in unison to support a healthy buyers’ journey is a goal worth striving for. It really is time for you to bring this transformation to the forefront and ride the alignment wave into 2020.
Blended Sales and Marketing will remain a key trend in FY20, only sidestepping out of the spotlight for a select few competitors. One of these is the rising star - social selling. “Well that’s not how selling is done” we hear you say, but let's have the results can speak for themselves...
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According to Salesforce, Social selling is a lead-generation technique in which salespeople directly interact with their prospects across their social media platforms. This allows these salespeople to engage with their prospects, providing them with relevant content at a time and in a format in which they are most receptive.
When planning for the success of your upcoming marketing efforts, ensuring your sales and marketing team are aligned (especially when it comes to your organisation’s social strategy) is a key factor for success! 30.4% of organisations still do not have this alignment, missing out on a possible increase in win rates by 15.2%. The potential is huge.
If you are thinking of implementing a social selling strategy in 2020 here are the 5 key points to consider:
- I know we keep saying it but, align your Sales and Marketing teams. This is especially important in terms of their social strategies; Get rid of the ‘handover’ from marketing to sales and have the teams work together to ensure that the journey your prospect goes through is as seamless as possible. The tone, voice and messaging must be consistent throughout their entire experience with your brand.
- Focus on your prospect, their needs and their journey. This is of particular importance for global campaigns as there are huge differences in the buying journeys across different regions. For example, between the UK and US, salespeople will have slightly differing roles and purposes. In the UK buyers tend to reach out to a sales representative to be educated whilst across the pond in the US buyers generally reach out to sales once they’ve already completed their own research and are ready for the next step.
- Integrate social selling within your campaigns. Ensure you optimise your messaging for all possible communication channels, including social media and social selling platforms.
- Invest in Social Selling training. Prospects will buy into your salespeople. The old adage “people buy into people” is as true now as it ever has been. Make sure you give your sales team the correct tools and skills to support your prospects. Your sales teams need to be knowledgeable, empathetic and trustworthy for your prospects to fully engage.
- Finally, enable! Enable your marketing teams to create content that sales can use. Enable your sales teams to build genuine relationships. Enable your aligned teams to fully work together in order to provide the best experience for your prospects. This helps ensure that your strategy and structure allow your blended marketing and sales team to offer the informative, invaluable and engaging content needed to provide solutions for your prospects pain-points.
“The golden rule of selling is just as important via social; always provide value before you ask for value.”- Rich Stone, the VP of Sales at TechTarget. This key point is frequently over-looked by sales teams who become too focussed on the a ‘win’ and side-lined by marketing teams who become focussed on looking to generate leads to pass to sales. This disconnect creates a disjointed customer journey where the prospect is treated more as a statistic than as a person with a need. Your 2020 strategy should focus on your prospects and how you can benefit them.
Head over to our forum to discover some of the trends being discussed at the moment. Are any of these trends relevant to your marketing and prospects pain points?
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