Did you know Tribute Media hasn't had a real "salesperson" for more than a year now? While I wouldn't recommend that for most businesses, it works for us (as of this writing) because we've invested years of effort and expertise into building an inbound marketing machine that brings in enough leads who are already qualified, well-educated, and nurtured. From there, it's much easier for me to see them through to "closing the deal." As president of the agency, I wear many other hats and have much more responsibility beyond selling, so keeping track of active leads in HubSpot's CRM and using automation tools is essential to sustaining this model.
Inbound Marketing Blog
I don’t know about you, but I like to check out several companies (online and in person) when searching for a particular product or service. If time permits, I could be searching for several hours. Researching is always my go-to when I'm on the hunt for something specific. You wouldn't believe the time my husband and I recently put into finding a new mattress. In our search, there were a few factors that really swayed us in our decision. Quality of the product and how it solved our needs were obviously the top two. But the third factor had to do with the companies themselves. Our online experience with each company played a huge part in determining which stores we actually wanted to take time to go to in order to try the mattresses. Let me tell you, there were a lot of brands we dismissed right away. Maybe their product WAS as great as they tried to market it to be, but the experience we had on their websites and the reviews they had floating around swayed our minds away from doing business with them. Why was that?
When I first started hearing about this idea of sales and marketing being a strained relationship, I didn't really understand. At that point, I think I had just been very lucky that all my experiences with marketing and sales alignment were positive. It was just a big ol' love fest over here at Tribute Media.
But I've seen the data. I've watched some of our clients struggle. And ultimately, the proof is in the numbers in the State of Inbound report.
Only 22% of respondents reported that their teams are tightly aligned. Forty-four percent report they are generally aligned, which isn't a bad place to be.
However, for as many people who feel tightly aligned (22%), there are even more (25%) who report some contention in the relationship between sales and marketing (either that they are rarely aligned or misaligned).
For those looking to improve the relationship, alignment and general understanding between these two departments, here are a few super simple ideas to get you started.
Years ago, in a different life, I was a sales manager in a different industry. I had ten sales associates working for me in outside sales. We won some and we lost some.
Whether we won a deal or lost a deal, I would ask my sales rep to debrief. I wanted to know how it all worked out. I was always much more interested in the reasons we lost deals than the reasons we won deals.
In that highly commoditized industry, more often than not, the reason for losing a deal came back as, "We were too expensive."
That always frustrated me; not because we were over-priced but because the sales rep didn't understand that price is only one part of the buying decision. It's usually not even the most important part.
Let me get to the switch on that bait right off the bat. Your sales pitch is probably okay. What really sucks is your sales approach. But, that might not make you feel any better.
The sales world is changing. In my opinion, the consumer isn’t really changing but, instead, the options available to consumers in they way they buy makes the consumer realize they don’t have to put up with the crap traditional sales people spin. Inbound marketing has changed the way people buy and if sales people are still using the old methods of selling the consumer simply gets angry.
We have a philosophy here at Tribute Media- client success is our top objective. When I meet with a client, I want to learn about them, their business, their business goals and objectives, and how we can assist in making those goals and objectives come to fruition. We do not take on an account unless we are confident we can help our client be successful. At times, that could mean turning someone away. In order to maintain the level of integrity that we all believe in at Tribute Media, we have determined that a few prospects would not be a good fit, and ultimately declined the opportunity to work with them.
A study called "Engaged Social Followers Are Your Best Customers” sheds some light on how social media can affect business. The first thing is to look at the four-step life cycle of the social media follower and how the social touchpoints play out. Here are the four stages of the journey.
1. Discover a company and products.
2. Explore whether what the company offers is right for them.
3. Buy your products and services.
4. Engage with the company, and with their friends and peers, after their purchase.
Traditional marking strategies will get your B2B marketing only so far. Today’s business has to think outside of the box to grab the attention of not only the business but also the decision makers. B2B digital marketing has a tendency to feel boring and mundane, but that does not always have to be the case.