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Smarketing: Keeping it real between sales and marketing

A sales and marketing team collaborating in front of a whiteboard

As account-based sales and marketing continues to be adopted as an effective growth strategy for many organizations, bridging the gap between these two teams has become a top priority. According to Hubspot, sales and marketing alignment results in 38% higher sales win rates and 20% additional annual revenue growth. Great relationships, integrated processes, closed-loop reporting, and cohesive messaging are all key ingredients for productive collaboration. 

But like most ideas, what works in theory is tougher in practice. Data shows that, while a prospect will touch at least 13 pieces of content before they are ready to buy, only 20% of sales reps actively share content during sales conversations. Chances are, because of this, 60-70% of the growing collections of marketing-created content at many B2B companies is going unused. Where’s the alignment? 

We can help you find it with some solutions for building a strong relationship between your marketing and sales teams. 

Reduce content waste by optimizing distribution channels

Recent Forrester benchmark data suggests that marketing-created content waste is an issue for 77% of B2B marketing organizations. Sales reps often won’t leverage marketing content for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they don’t feel it’s relevant for their prospects, or maybe they just can’t find what they’re looking for. You can solve this by reviewing the content distribution process and feedback loops between your marketing and sales teams. Strong communication ensures marketing is building content that sales can use, and that the sales team knows what’s coming down the pike. 

Once you’ve got your communications locked down, we’ve come up with a solution to help sales find the content they’re looking for, fast. Sales Assist allows reps to easily find relevant, brand-approved content they can use to increase the effectiveness of their outreach. 

Be consistent with your brand message

A brand resonates more powerfully with every consistent, cohesive form of communication. Marketers should provide salespeople with the guidelines, content, ideas, and tools to promote a strong brand message throughout the buyer journey. 

While sales teams shouldn’t stray from their company’s brand and positioning, it’s also important to allow them to be flexible and creative in their correspondence with prospects. Guidelines are good, but freedom to experiment and to personalize messages that sound genuine is especially important. Salespeople are at the forefront of customer-facing, human-to-human interactions. 

We’ve taken these ideas to the next level in our solution for personalized content destinations, Sales Streams. Sales Streams is the easiest way to enable sales reps to independently create personalized destinations for relevant content with marketing’s branding and messaging. Putting together attractive, relevant, and engaging content has never been so easy! 

Educate about the “why”

A recent Forrester report stated that 84% of the time, buying decisions are made by three or more people. In other words, the buyer journey has multiple stakeholders, is often not linear, and your sales reps could probably use your help engaging them in a meaningful way. 

Help your sales team understand why marketing content can be the most effective and engaging resources to help them engage their prospects and win business. You should also educate yourself on where, why, and how your Sales team could use support. That way, you can align your content to the priorities of the team. 

Smarketers aren’t shy; communicate openly

As many as 87% of the terms used by sales and marketing to describe each other are negative. When sales and marketing don’t realize they’re on the same team, sales tends to think that marketing restricts or holds them back from selling, while marketing thinks sales is difficult and doesn’t play by the rules. It’s imperative to communicate openly about what’s working and where conflicts exist so that you can develop the strongest content, the most appropriate brand, and the highest conversions possible. 

This way, marketing can share their insight, and sales can provide feedback on what is and isn’t working. The path to this could be as simple as a weekly meeting or a Slack channel. Overcoming obstacles, reducing competitiveness, and creating a symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing is well worth the work.