In a perfect world, we'd be able to market our products or services without the need of pesky sales. After all, some consumers shy away from websites and companies when they realize that they're being targeted to purchase something. Wouldn't it be great if your business could be successful from nothing other than the marketing of your product, regardless of whether you ever sold anything?
Unless you're one of the select few who are creating YouTube videos and getting millions of hits every day that allow you to siphon off money without actually doing anything productive, sales is going to be a part of your inbound marketing strategy no matter what. So let's discuss some facts about this that will help you strive.
Filling a Consumer's Need
Although we're all in business to make money in this fantastic free market that's been created for us, we also want to match up what we have to offer with what a consumer actually needs. This philosophy will separate the businesses that truly care about their customers and those that only see dollar signs when it comes to customer interaction. If you can convince your potential customers that you are part of the former by demonstrating that what you offer will benefit them in some way, then you're already halfway there. This type of strategy will allow you to break down the walls that have been put up by consumers due to the constant bombardment of advertisements and sales that they must deal with on a daily basis. This will win over the customer very quickly, paving the way for a lifetime commitment.
Aligning Sales with Marketing
In any business, the more people -- and departments -- get along, the better chance that the company will find success. When departments butt heads, it can cause a ripple effect that negatively damages a campaign. This is especially true when it comes to the need to align your inbound marketing and sales departments. Since everyone has the same goals, you'd think that being in sync would be simple. Unfortunately, the opposite is often true, because while the sales department may want to concentrate on something like product reviews, the marketing department could prefer educating potential customers without ever mentioning the product itself.
How do you bring these two teams in sync? Here are three quick ways:
Share content tasks -- One job of marketing personnel is to always have their ear to the ground as to what consumers are in the need for, which means they're in a great position to create content that focuses on those needs. By handling the creation aspect and disseminating this information to the sales team, who will then distribute this information in a way that draws in customers, the two teams will be working together in an effective manner.
Encourage collaboration through metrics -- It is somewhat common for sales and marketing departments to be at odds because the metrics that are used to measure the success of each department don't mesh well with each other. Take a look at the metrics you're using for each department's goals. If they don't allow the two teams to work in tandem, choose metrics that do.
Improve communication between departments -- Too often, the sales and marketing departments are each in their own little worlds, separated by walls, desks, and distance. If you want the two teams to mesh, improve their ability to communicate by physically moving their desks closer together, conducting weekly meetings with both teams involved, and agreeing on terminology that everyone can use when discussing various topics.
Bringing sales and marketing together can sometimes be a difficult task, but if you concentrate your efforts, the rewards can be astounding. And once they're in line with each other, it is highly unlikely that they'll backslide to their old ways of doing things.