Six Tips For A Seamless Marketing And Sales Relationship

Marketing And Sales Relations - 6 Tips to Improve

The relationship between marketing and sales should ideally be symbiotic. Marketing identifies and attracts valuable leads, while sales closes the deals. However, marketing and sales alignment can often be a challenge – especially if there’s a lack of communication between departments.

While sales and marketing work toward a common goal, all too often there is tension between departments. This is especially so when one department feels their needs and concerns are not being heard or met. As sales and marketing rely on each other, marketing and sales alignment is vital for your company’s well-being. A recent study actually indicated a strong partnership between departments led to a 208% increase in value from the marketing department.

Alignment between sales and marketing departments can increase conversion rates, improve lead generations, and benefit your company’s long-term growth. We will go over some quick tips below to get your teams on the same page to foster overall growth.

Marketing And Sales Alignment Means Messaging Is In-Sync

No one likes a bait and switch. One surefire way to cause tension between sales and marketing is having both departments putting out very different messages. This makes closing leads difficult for sales. The sales department ends up dealing with hostility from prospective customers who felt they were roped in with false advertising.

You need to ensure the message marketing is putting out aligns with what sales is actually offering customers. Regular meetings between departments will ensure messages reflect each other. Oftentimes, marketing is not intentionally making false claims, but their wording can be slightly off. Having sales sign off on marketing campaigns, social media ads, and other aspects of lead generation ensures a smooth process for everyone involved. 

This does not just lead to less friction between sales and marketing either. It betters customer relationships and your company’s overall reputation. Keeping your messaging consistent across departments fosters trust during every step of the buying process.

Create Buyer Personas Together

Buyer personas inform a lot of marketing strategy. The sales department often has invaluable insight about who is actually buying your product. While marketing can draw a lot of information from data, sales can bring in real world experience. When combined, these two perspectives can both enhance your overall strategy and lead to increased sales.

The sales department communicates with prospective customers every day. They can identify gaps in current personas and assist in creating new ones as necessary. Having regular meetings between sales and marketing teams to create and adapt target personas can generate more marketing qualified leads. This may make closing deals easier on the sales team.

The sales department understands customers’ needs, hesitations, and pain points at various points throughout the sales funnel. This takes away a lot of guesswork and speculation on behalf of the marketing department. Working on personas together helps identify how different demographics interact with your product or service. This helps marketing fine-tune their message from first contact to retargeting campaigns. 

Establish Clear Metrics

When sales and marketing metrics are out of sync, this leads to tension. The sales department may feel marketing is not generating adequate leads. The marketing department may feel sales is failing to close enough deals.

If one department feels the other is not meeting expectations, this is a recipe for stress. Both teams need to be clear about reasonable goals and expectations.

Companies often base expectations on dated metrics. If your metrics were established months or years ago, have regular meetings to review and adjust. Current events, changes in your industry, and other factors can affect reasonable expectations for leads, conversions, and so on. 

Schedule a recurring meeting in your company calendar to review and update metrics for both departments. This way, sales and marketing will be on the same page with expectations. This allows both departments to hold one another accountable and offer help when needed if one department falls short.

Make Sure Marketing Knows What Sales Needs

Marketing serves to enhance and expedite the sales process. Oftentimes, the marketing department is unaware they are failing to meet the sales team’s needs. If a particular campaign or approach is not working, feedback from sales is important.

Regular meetings are always helpful, but there are several concrete steps the marketing department can take as well:

  • Take over email templates and designs for the sales team. The marketing team is often a strongpoint of creativity in a company. Compelling language and design can help sales close more deals.
  • Keep an eye out for industry news that could affect sales numbers or prospects. Keeping the sales team informed on the latest trends ensures they’re proactive about both opportunities and setbacks.
  • Write white papers and case studies. These are excellent sales tools that can speak to your company’s values.
  • Reach out to customers and ask for reviews. Providing testimonials in sales pitches can help close deals.

Marketing and sales alignment allows your marketing department to work smart, not hard. The sales team will appreciate being given documents and information that makes their job easier. This smooths over any friction and bolsters overall company growth.

Work Together On Content Marketing

While content marketing is often seen as exclusive to the marketing department, collaboration can be hugely beneficial. Asking the sales team for feedback and insight can help the marketing team create higher quality content.

Content is often at the top of the sales funnel. Your marketing team needs to create buyer-focused content that will generate interest in your product or service. As the sales team understands – probably better than anyone in your company – what appeals to customers. They can offer invaluable guidance.

Ask the sales team about pain points, challenges, and trends you can incorporate into everything from blog posts to video marketing. For example, say you work for a catering company. The sales team may hear many common complaints about customers struggling to determine the correct budget for different types of events. Marketing could turn this information into a blog post breaking down the rough catering costs for different event types.

Celebrate Wins Mutually

If people feel underappreciated, this is a recipe for internal tension. The sales and marketing department both play a vital role in bringing in new customers. Therefore, wins should be celebrated mutually rather than attributed to one department or employee. This fosters feelings of solidarity between sales and marketing, encouraging teamwork and collaboration.

If a marketing initiative increases sales, this is a net positive. During company meetings,  make sure to praise both teams equally and give specifics about how each department contributed. This helps with marketing and sales alignment as it makes it apparent that teamwork yields success.

In addition to celebrating wins, it is always a good idea to get both teams together outside of work to help foster stronger relationships. From happy hours to work lunches to company picnics, creating personal relationships can reduce tension and create a better company culture overall. In general, people feel more comfortable collaborating and communicating during work hours if they have a mutually respectful relationship outside of work.

Marketing And Sales Alignment: The Bottom Line

Aligning your sales and marketing team can help you achieve better results. Sales and marketing are highly related, so ensuring both departments are in-sync is vital to success. Sales can offer marketing invaluable insights on what customers want and need. Marketing, in turn, can provide sales with the tools necessary to close deals.

Marketing and sales alignment is an ongoing process that requires continual work to succeed. Putting in the effort is well worth it. Not only will it lead to an increase in revenue, it will help create a positive company culture overall.

Need some help? At LookinLA, we build data-driven marketing strategies for clients to help them become industry leaders. We have experience working with a diverse range of clients. You can read success stories here and reach out to book a call here to talk. We look forward to hearing from you.

Conversation Rate

How To Improve Your Conversion Rate With SEO

For years, business owners have struggled with one major question regarding their website:

Should they tailor their site design to satisfy the humans who visit it, or should they tailor it to satisfy the search engines that lead visitors there in the first place?

It’s not an easy choice to make. You need the search engines to love you in order for people to find your site. But you need humans to have an excellent experience on your website if you want those visits to turn into conversions.

Fortunately, there’s no longer much need to choose between SEO (search engine optimization) and CRO ( conversion rate optimization). In fact, the more sophisticated search engines become, the more SEO and CRO go hand-in-hand.

After all, search engines have one objective: to identify the web pages that will be most useful to the human beings searching for them. With advancements in technology, the bots are increasingly sensitive to the nuances of the user experience. They’re no longer just trolling for keywords (though keywords are still important!). Now search engines collect hundreds of clues to determine how informative, intuitive, and engaging your site is.

This means search engine optimization is also a stellar guideline for improving your conversion rate.

If you’re still just keyword-stuffing in an attempt to get more eyeballs, you’re a couple steps behind. The good news is that there are countless moves you can make that will boost your search engine rankings and inspire more conversion rate at the same time.

Here are some game-changers to start with.

Add Video Content

If you’ve been following our blog regularly, you know we love video. It’s such an incredible tool for raising brand awareness, inspiring a more personal brand-customer connection, educating users about your product or service, and ultimately boosting conversion rate.

Another great benefit of video is that search engines love it. They love it because they know people love it. Plus, video increases the duration of visits to your site. Generally speaking, you’re doing fairly well if people spend 30 seconds to 2 minutes on your site. If you can get above 2 minutes, you’re really rocking it, and the search engines notice.

And what’s one reliable way to get visitors to stick around that long? Providing something that will keep them engaged so they don’t go anywhere. It could be a longer video that’s deeply compelling, or it could be multiple short videos on the same page. It could even be a combination of video, infographics, and really killer content.

So video engages your visitors and gives you more credibility with search engines. But what about conversion rate? Well, here’s a fun fact:

77% of buyers say they’ve decided to purchase a product or service after watching an explainer video.

Video is an essential part of the strategy. And don’t feel intimidated if you’ve never tried video before. There are now tons of beginner-friendly video content tools like Animoto and Biteable to get you started.

Create Content with Real Value

On that note, it helps to make sure all your content has value to a human audience. Use a combination of written content, images, infographics, and video. Provide information that’s useful or ideas that are entertaining. Not only does this help increase your average duration of visits, but it’s also important to write for humans because the search engines scan for things like relevance and readability. Search engines love blog posts that are around 1,000 words or more. They prefer short, simple, easy to read sentences.

Frequent paragraph breaks are great, too.

Another idea worth considering is whether there is a way to create dynamic content for your website. Dynamic content is content that adapts depending on the locations, needs, and behaviors of the individual visitor. An example of dynamic content would be an ecommerce store featuring a banner advertising free shipping to the visitor’s specific state. Dynamic content also includes purchase suggestions we see so often on sites like Amazon.

Dynamic content is AI at its best. It helps search engines connect your site with people looking for the very specific goods and services you provide. And once those people find you thanks to stellar search engine rankings, they’ll see the specific answer to their specific pain point laid out in black and white. Boom. Conversion.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

While we’re on the topic of providing very specific solutions, let’s dig into long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are those specific phrases Internet users search for. Rarely does a human being type “used cars” into the search box. They’re much more likely to search for “used cars in San Jose,” “pre-owned BMW in San Jose,” “how do you know you’re getting a good deal on a used car” . . . you get the idea.

People search for specific solutions, not a general theme. Which means the more you can tailor your content and keyword strategies to resolve a specific search request, the better your chances at getting on the first page of the search results. And, in turn, the likelier you are to get visitors who are actually looking for the very services you provide.

There are many keyword tools that can help you figure out what your prospective customers are looking for and which words they’re using to search. We recommend Google Keyword Planner and KW Finder.

Increase Site Speed

Nobody likes a draggy site. Human beings don’t have patience for it, and neither do the bots.

Optimizing your loading time is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your SEO and your CRO in one step. It’s one thing business owners all-too-frequently underestimate. But we’re willing to bet you’ve abandoned a website before because you just weren’t willing to wait for a sluggish page to load. You can assume your target audience would do the same.

If you’re not sure how well your site performs, speed-wise, run it through Google PageSpeed Insights. This should give you some idea of whether it’s time to look into kicking your speed up a notch.

Optimize for Mobile

How does your website perform on mobile devices? If it looks sloppy or is confusing to navigate, you’re losing yet another opportunity to tell the search engines your site has value.

You’re also losing customers. A lot of them. In fact, nearly 40% of all online purchases made during the 2018 holiday season were made on a mobile device.

If you’re not sure if your page is mobile friendly, run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. When you run this test, you get one of three results. Your site may deemed mobile friendly, end of story. You may learn that it’s mobile friendly, but there are some issues with loading a specific page or two. Or you’ll learn that you have some major issues to address. Fortunately, Google tells you exactly what they are so you can resolve them without too much guesswork.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Modern search engines look at literally hundreds of details when weighing the value of your website. But the bottom line is that SEO is absolutely essential for your business . . . not just because it helps buyers find you, but because it shows you how to give buyers the best experience possible.

You should care what the search engines want, because the search engines want what humans want.

That said, we know improving your website’s SEO can be a sizeable and confusing undertaking. If there’s anything we can do to help, we’re always here and happy to talk to you. Drop us a line.

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