The book, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” takes a humorous approach to why we always think the opposite gender is so confusing. When thinking about sales and marketing, I couldn’t help but notice that they seem to hit a similar obstacle.
There a long running joke that marketing and sales can never seem to see eye-to-eye. But, it’s really not funny when sales feels like they are not getting quality leads or marketing doesn’t understand why it’s so hard to sell their products when they have “great” content. Sometimes sales teams doesn’t feel the benefit intangible results of marketing like brand recognition and overall buzz. Then, marketing gets frustrated because monthly quotas come before their long-term goals.
To help correct this miscommunication, we’d like to share how we are closing this gap. We’ll take a dive into the three biggest problems when facing this gap and how to build the bridge to overcome it.
Problem 1: You’re using the same words, but with different meanings
The problem can start as small as what both sides mean when they say, “lead”. Are your meanings so different they shouldn’t be called the same thing? It’s very common to differentiate leads between an MQL (a marketing-qualified-lead) and an SQL (a sales-qualified-lead). The key here is to sync up and determine what makes them different for your company and needs.
“Lead” may not be the only word you are using that has some ambiguity. The best thing you can do to overcome this disparity it to talk about it. It seems simple enough, right? Well, marketing and sales wouldn’t have such a wide river dividing them if everyone actually did this.
Lead scoring is a great way to further alleviate this friction. We have spoken recently about our success with lead scoring, and the more we do it, the more we realize how beneficial it can be! Lead scoring helps you understand your current customers and former customers. Maybe sales spent too much time on a lead that wasn’t a good fit for the company and therefore spent less time on a good one. Ultimately they were never able to retain a good lead’s attention.
Lead scoring has showed us what kind of customers benefit most from Socedo. When sales started lead scoring, we, on the marketing side, started listening. By having a defined target audience and refined buyer persona, marketing is able to create good content and capture relevant leads. In turn, sales will have more leads to pick from. What happens when sales has a fresh pick at leads? They’re not rushed and forced to close deals that will end up churning in the near future.
Problem 2: Leads don’t find your content relevant
We just touched on great content. Lead scoring is one way to get this great content – but it’s not the end-all, be-all solution to creating good content. Ultimately, the sales team gets to hear most of the pain points that customers have once they have reached them in the conversion funnel. As marketers, we should ask sales, “What are the biggest questions leads have?” If we cannot answer those questions with content, it may be too late by the time a sales person reaches out.
At Socedo we also found that the Customer Success Managers are another great source of content ideas. They hear the questions customers have after buying, as well as hear about positive ways customers use your new features. Customer Success and the sales team are ripe with case studies and content ideas; why not pick their brains for free ideas?
Problem 3: Sales and Marketing care about different metrics
Many marketing teams think it’s a success when they reach a record number of clicks, page views, or signups. Let’s face it, we’ve all done a happy dance when we’ve reached a new record. It’s like all our work is paying off! You have a right to be excited. But when sales is getting frustrated at high churn rates or they’re unable to close a record number of new deals, there’s some kind of disparity happening.
I’m not saying that clicks, page views, and signups are not important, but they are not the only metrics you should be dancing over. TO fix this disparity, your sales and marketing people should set goals that align with each others’. You do not have to give up all your marketing rights – after all, you might know more about those clicks and page views than sales does – and sales shouldn’t give up their sales goals. But, knowing what metrics are important to each side will help you optimize the channels that provide both marketing and sales with the desired outcomes.
Ultimately the sales and marketing sides of your company are like the couple that refuses to admit they’re more alike than they think. Each one compliments the other, and both have similarities. To close the gap between sales and marketing, both need to have a clear understanding about what certain words mean to them – whether that be lead, MQL, SQL, opportunity, or account. Having a consistent definition is the best way to make sure nothing else is lost in translation. From there sales can qualify and score leads that come in based on the content marketing creates. See how all this weaves together? Sales and marketing may come from different planets, but they must inhabit the same galaxy.