steps to align sales and marketing

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steps to align sales and marketing

The marketing and sales departments in most businesses seem to follow parallel paths that are nowhere to be found. Those of us who have gone through both of these functions of business have a lot to say about the relationships between these departments, which sometimes seem to be in constant war

Marketing usually claims that if salespeople follow his advice, all the problems they face will be resolved. And sales are always expecting something different from marketing. Sellers are looking for one that will convince even the most skeptical to buy…

The different way people view sales and marketing is the root cause of this situation. For the marketing department, selling is a sequence of steps that lead to an expectation. These steps are based on the rationale of the product market and the job of the marketing department is to provide the tools to move that expectation to the next step.

At the same time, salespeople have to work with one unpredictable factor in this process: people. Their job is to formulate a strategy for each account, based on the people they are trying to sell.

As a result, there is constant friction between these two functions of the business.

Salespeople feel they have to translate what they see as theoretical arguments of marketing into practical messages, while marketing often thinks that the sellers themselves are the problem because they do not follow the positioning of the product. Having analyzed hundreds of sales cycles and conducted thousands of interviews for Fortune 1000 customers, Steve W. Martin * proposes four consecutive steps that identify the sales intuition needed to align sales and marketing departments.

1. Recognize customer decision policy

The principle, on which most marketing departments are based, is that the customer follows a perfectly reasonable decision. So the best products should naturally win the sales battle – and of course, they believe their products are always the best. However, prospective clients have their own views and are influenced by the policy of their own organization and the personalities involved in making the decision.

The first step is to understand the people involved in the sale. Analyze, at least thirty key sales you have made recently (the entire cycle of each sale) as well as a corresponding number of successful and lost customer accounts. Map all the people involved in these cases. Make a list of these people’s titles and roles in their organization, and make assumptions about their personal interests that motivate them to make a purchase decision.

2. Identify the milestones of the sales cycle

Each deal contains a crucial moment that identifies the winner and the loser. In some cases, this point is easy to spot. For example, when a salesperson presents his solution to the prospective customer, he encounters an objection that he finds difficult to refute. Although the customer may remain cordial, this was the focal point that broke the deal. Recognizing the time and cause of the momentum lost during the sales process is necessary to prevent it from happening again. Create a list of hotspots for each of the sales cycles analyzed in step one.

3. Analyze your lost and lost customer accounts

The analysis of lost and lost accounts is very important, but unfortunately, it is a lost art. Real win-loss analysis, based on extensive customer interviews, is the best way to understand their behavior in their selection process. Your goal is to have a customer feedback on the business, the selection process, and the competition, as well as to give you their own understanding of the sales cycle experience and their opinion on the products. You should strive to give you their advice and recommendations.

4. Check your marketing tools

The final step is to configure the elements of the steps above to control the marketing tools. Summarize important qualitative information regarding the policy, organization and technical aspects of the customer decision-making process on common issues. 

Then compare them to find gaps between the marketing tools (such as successful customer cases, product demonstrations, competition comparisons, analytics reports, etc.), and the material needed to eliminate professionalism. or technical objections to overcome key nodes that can cancel or destroy a deal. Once you have completed the audit, the heads of the sales and marketing departments should, in turn, determine the nature of their relationship and how they will interact in the future.

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