This is a guest blog post from our friends at Sagefrog Marketing Group, a top ranked B2B marketing agency with specialties in healthcare, technology, industrial and business services.
It’s a known problem in business: marketing teams are tasked with generating as many leads as possible, and sales teams are challenged with closing the leads they receive. Meanwhile, the two teams don’t look beyond their own duties to understand how they can best support each other’s success.
This breakdown in communication and alignment can be detrimental to your company’s brand trust. Who trusts a brand that generates buzz, but can’t close deals?
Once a lead is generated, the clock is ticking to build trust with that individual. Content offers, personalized emails, and chatbots can be a great way to start, but how that conversation looks to the lead is your biggest challenge.
To improve your internal communication and external conversations with leads, let’s look at how these two successful companies have achieved marketing and sales alignment to build brand trust.
1. Follow HubSpot’s Lead and Align for Better Communication
HubSpot ranked near the top of the 2019 Trusted Brands Report, and one look at their marketing and sales program could tell you why. Just last year, HubSpot disrupted the industry when it announced that marketers should ditch the traditional marketing funnel, and look to the flywheel to nurture, generate, and convert leads.
Unlike the funnel, the flywheel shows how marketing, sales, and service departments need to work together to surround the customer with helpful information and touchpoints. It teaches that different teams need to collaborate to keep customers moving through the buyer’s journey.
When teams collaborate, the biggest thing to pay attention to - according to HubSpot - is ensuring teams don’t overlap and repeat one another. If a prospect already visited your company’s website, for example, and used a form to request a consultation with sales, they shouldn’t then receive an impersonal marketing email that introduces your company. This type of overlap reflects poorly on your company’s internal communication, which is devastating to brand trust.
Storing extensive lead information in your CRM before leads are passed to sales is the first step in improving internal communication. When your sales rep can jump into the conversation without the prospect needing to retell their story, it builds brand trust by demonstrating that your company is fully attuned to what individual prospects need and want.
2. Follow Caterpillar’s Lead and Align for Efficiency
Marketing departments obviously don’t intend to pull in leads that aren’t useful to their sales counterparts, but it’s a natural consequence of using marketing tactics that cast too wide of a net.
Looking at a highly trusted brand like construction giant Caterpillar, we observe that even companies with marketing dollars to burn know that bigger isn’t always better.
Caterpillar has considerable resources to make elegant, interesting marketing content, but they only bother reaching leads through specialty sites and targeted content offers and campaigns. This way, the only leads their marketing efforts generate are those that represent the genuine possibility of a sale. That’s how Caterpillar aligns the needs of its sales team with the tactics of its marketing team.
As your company generates leads, using CRM platforms like HubSpot and Salesforce can help you capture and analyze data on which marketing tactics bring in the most qualified leads for sales. By tracking this information, your marketing team can spin up what’s working and turn off what’s not to ensure no time or dollars are wasted. How does this relate to brand trust?
Word travels fast in the modern marketplace. Constantly pitching to people who aren’t interested can garner a reputation of being overeager to make sales. To gain brand trust, your company needs to appear professional, sought-after, and in control. That appearance comes from careful, targeted communications with prospects who you are genuinely interested in, and similarly, who are genuinely interested in you.
Being a successful marketer isn’t about how many leads you generate. Being a successful salesperson isn’t about chasing down sales leads because you don’t know where to find eager prospects. Successful marketing and sales is about collaborating towards the common goal of finding quality, qualified leads and guiding them all the way through the buyer’s journey and into a long-lasting, trust-filled partnership.
Mark Schmukler, CEO and Co-founder of Sagefrog Marketing Group, LLC, brings more than 30 years of global marketing and consulting experience to the agency, leveraging his B2B background to lead brand strategy and business development.Based in Doylestown, PA and Princeton, NJ, Sagefrog Marketing Group is a full-service B2B marketing agency with specialties in healthcare, technology and business services. Founded by Mark Schmukler and Suzanne Morris in 2002, Sagefrog’s mission is to accelerate client success through integrated marketing including branding, digital, public relations, social media and traditional services.