7-10-2014 3-26-30 PMGetting your marketing efforts aligned with your sales staff can be challenging. Often we get wrapped up in our own world and tasks, and fail to see the work and goals of others around us. Stepping back from time to time and reviewing others in our company can be beneficial in making you better in your job. Starting with Sales is always a good place. Ryan Sauers wrote a wonderful book entitled “Everyone’s in Sales,” as he saw the benefit of studying and emulating a successful sales team.

The first, and most important goal is communication. Talk with your sales team. Get to know and understand them. Know what makes them tick and how they plan their day/week. Here are a few things you can learn from and about your sales team:

How do you define a qualified lead?

Qualified leads are like gold to a sales person. These are leads that are the most likely to turn into sales. Having a solid definition of a qualified lead will help you and your sales staff prioritize efforts and ultimately close more accounts.

Talk to your sales team. Ask them for a list of qualifications that they feel are necessary for closing a sale. Make sure each qualification is clearly defined. Putting a plan in place to achieve those qualifications is the final step. Once everyone is on the same page, the flow between marketing efforts and sales will be smooth and effective.

Making sure marketing efforts support the entire sales process.

Every marketing effort has one specific goal. Move your leads through the different stages of the buying process. Whether you blog, tweet or email, each activity should support a different stage of the buying process.

Talk to your sales staff. Ask them for ideas and suggestions on articles that may bring a lead to the top of the funnel. Find out what common questions are asked during the sales process by prospects and write a blog article answering them. Knowing the effect of your activities is incredibly important for you — it helps you better prioritize what to do when you have a million things on your plate.

What are common customer objections?

Smart sales people know that there is a difference between sales objections and sales rejections. Objections are usually pushbacks like, “I am not ready to buy,” or “I do not think your service will solve my problem.” Sales Veteran and NAPL Vice President, Bill Farquharson, refers to objections as “requests for more information.”

One of your main goals as a marketer is to create targeted content that answers your potential customer’s questions and needs. What better place to find out what those questions and needs are than to see what prospects are saying to your sales team?

Many sales teams keep a document of common customer objections, used to train new hires on how to respond to the most frequent questions and concerns prospects have. Ask your sales team if they have a list of common customer objections. Take a look and think about what marketing content you could create to preemptively answer these questions.

How does Sales Works Leads?

Having a clean hand-off between your marketing efforts and your sales team will lead to a more fluid effort in the company. Being sloppy in the process, or not having a clear, defined pass can lead to serious miscommunication and lost sales. Think about the following:

  • How does the sales team get notified of a new lead?
  • How long does it take them to start working that lead, and why?
  • What causes sales reps to disqualify a lead?

Eliminate the misconceptions by learning how sales reps at your company work a lead from the moment it enters their queue until they either disqualify it or it becomes an open opportunity.

What else can marketers learn from their sales teams? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!