Reducing the cost of misalignment between Sales and Marketing.
Sales and marketing used to be considered synonymous, which is understandable, given that they both aim to increase business revenues by generating leads. But nowadays, more and more companies are starting to distinguish between the two, establishing separate departments and creating different indicators to measure their success.
This shift isn’t unsurprising, though, because we now recognize that the two are more different than they are similar. As defined by Meredith Hart, a staff writer for cloud-based CRM platform, Hubspot:
“The term, sales, refers to all activities that lead to the selling of goods and services. And, marketing is the process of getting people interested in the goods and services being sold.”
While sales and marketing are independent units, the gap between them should still be closed, so that both teams can effectively and efficiently cooperate with each other. Without this bridge, the departments would be unable to operate at their full potential. Needless to say, this would prove to be disastrous for the business.
On the other hand, closing the Sales-Marketing Gap would bring countless advantages to the table. Here’s a glimpse of a few of them:
How long do projects usually take from start to finish? How much time was spent trying to get approval for a specific campaign? Could there have been faster progress if the team didn’t have to wait days for feedback on their output?
“One brand I spoke with told me they had to cross the street, go to another building, and leave a post-it note on someone’s desk to get content approval,” shares Anjali Yakkundi, a contributor to MarTech Series. “Another brand told me it takes them over 40 days to get any new experience approved, even though their customers wanted experiences delivered immediately.”
The huge gap between the processes of both departments will cost your business time, money, and customers. Consider the following statistics – 59% of marketers believe they know what kind of content the sales team needs them to create. However, only 35% of sales representatives agree with this.
More Efficient Resource Management
Are the sales and marketing departments on the same page about the current status of the project? Is the workload balanced among all members? Or is one employee taking on too many responsibilities, resulting in haphazard output and missed deadlines?
Unfortunately, 68% of marketers believe that the sales department doesn’t take full advantage of the content they produce. But how can they when there’s no transparency and visibility in the process?
Bridging the gap between the two departments will enable your business to efficiently handle resources. This will translate to a more effective sales funnel, wherein more leads are converted into actual paying customers.
Closing the Sales-Marketing Gap will result in more revenues for your business. Take a look at the following numbers – companies that have aligned both departments experienced a 36% boost in their customer retention.
In contrast to non-aligned companies, those that have bridged the sales and marketing teams also boast revenue growths that are up to 19% faster, as well as a 15% increase in profits.
Speed in Answering a Lead is Crucial
There are many ways to bridge the Sales-Marketing Gap but arguably one of the most effective methods is to create a more efficient system when dealing with inbound leads. In some companies, emails are received in a dedicated sales account, while others invest in software that automatically updates their CRM system. Regardless of what method is used, it’s important to be very responsive.
Your internal system should be automated, updating the minute something new comes in through the company website or appointment scheduling tool. It should also be linked with sales engagement platforms to allow team members a more comprehensive view of what exactly is going on.
To increase the speed of their response rate, many companies use AI-based chatbots, which ensure that customers can have easy access to the answers they need. However, this software has proven to be incredibly disadvantageous – not only are its responses limited, but it can also deliver negative experiences. In fact, nearly 73% of consumers have said that they’ll never use a chatbot again.
Make it Personal
These days, consumers crave empathy and compassion, so make sure to invest in solutions that deliver personalized experiences. Essentially, this means that your business will do better if your sales representatives are actual human beings trained to figure out what a customer wants, while simultaneously guiding them through the entire purchase process.
Keep in mind that 66% of consumers expect brands to understand their individual needs. However, this is impossible if you stick to chatbots and other AI-based solutions. Such tools may deliver quick responses, but the quality of the experience they deliver is subpar.
Rather than chatbots, opt for live chat instead. This will connect consumers with a human representative who will immediately deal with their concerns and inquiries. Its response time might be a bit slower but the customer experience that they deliver is second to none.
Have a look at the following statistics:
Live chat is the number one service choice for online shoppers between the ages of 18 and 49 (Gartner, eMarketer)
These figures make it clear that initiating face-to-face sales after a website lead is extremely important. Besides delivering a personalized experience, customers will also feel more valued by the business, which means that they’ll be more likely to come back for more.
But before initiating an in-person meeting or introducing a video chat tool, you must first understand who your customers are so that you can identify the best solution to the problems they’re encountering. Doing this will allow you to tailor the information you deliver, as well as how you deliver them.
For instance – what payment options are available? How does your business differ from its competitors? What benefits will you bring to them? Customers will be more receptive to your explanations if you can relate them to their problems.
Apart from this, it’s also important to have this conversation within minutes of the initial lead from the website. This means assigning specific representatives who are laser-focused on responding to potential customers. As challenging as this may be, it ensures that high-value leads are fresh and receptive when they make the next point of contact with your team.
Focus on the Important Things and Trust Your Soft Skills
The main purpose of the Sales Development Representative (SDR) in an inbound sales call is to respond to the needs of the lead, turning their relationship personal so a deal will ultimately be landed. During this process, some aspects might need to be shaved off, even if they seem important.
For instance, audio and video calls must be embraced to increase the representative’s response time. They must also be prepared to infer what a lead is looking for without carrying out in-depth research. Comprehensive knowledge of the company’s products, services, and policies is non-negotiable too since there may be times that an instant answer is required.
The immediate availability of human representatives may not be the most modern approach to sales, but it certainly helps increase conversions. After all, catching a lead when they’re at the peak of their interest means that they’ll be more receptive to whatever is being pitched to them.
If an SDR is skilled enough, then they’ll be able to close a sale within hours from the first website lead. This might seem impossible, but it definitely isn’t if your business adopts quick response times.
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