We had a meeting yesterday with a client who was midway through launching a new service offering. Just another marketing meeting, right? Not quite. This meeting included members of the client’s sales team, weaving their voice and experiences in our marketing conversations. We had invited sales to the table to learn firsthand what they were hearing in their conversations with prospects. Specifically, what was working, and what was not landing?
Their insights were powerful. “The challenge is this. Our materials are geared toward an enterprise client who understands all of the jargon and terminology. They’re experts. The clients we’re getting in front of are small to mid-market businesses, and the jargon isn’t landing as well with them. In fact, some of the terminology is actually confusing them. We need to speak to them in the language they’re already using.”
As we dug into this a bit deeper, we uncovered something else. The prospect they were speaking to held a different role in their company than we expected or prepared for. We had anticipated marketing to a more technically-savvy buyer, and we targeted our content to them. Six months into the launch, the real customer conversations were happening in a different part of the company. Because the prospect’s roles were different, their needs and what they want are different as well.
It was time to make some tweaks.
The only way to unlock insights like these is to bring marketing and sales together and have this kind of collaborative conversation. Unfortunately, the two are often kept separate. Their goal is the same – to grow the business – but their efforts are not always aligned. Creating that alignment requires creating space for exploration like this.
Understanding each group’s role and experiences is crucial. It’s also important to see the way the two areas support each other. We explain it this way… Marketing creates interest. Sales closes the deal. The two need to work hand-in-hand.
Hubspot explains sales and marketing like so. “Marketing informs and attracts leads and prospects to your company and product or service. Sales, on the other hand, works directly with prospects to reinforce the value of the company’s solution to convert prospects into customers.”
An article in Forbes put it like this. “Marketers lob the ball to the batter, while sales smashes it out of the park.”
However you describe the relationship between sales and marketing, it’s essential to realize they are different but very connected. And, understanding their connection, it’s critical to create that space we talked about above where the two roles can communicate and collaborate together.
This goes for all the areas within our business. It’s vital that sales understand the needs of finance, and finance understands the needs of the ops team. Too often, we stay in our silos and never meet collectively to ask the tough questions… When we skip this step and are not talking, we miss valuable insights that can transform results.
Be intentional (if you’re not already doing this) to make room for these conversations between marketing and sales, sales and finance, and finance and ops. The more we step out of our silos and work to understand how our role is truly a partnership with the other contributors in our companies, the more successful we’ll all be together. That’s the most important word… Together.
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