How to get sales and marketing working together to generate leads

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BBH Blog picGenerating leads is one thing: converting them is another matter entirely. In all stages of the purchase cycle, you need sales and marketing to collaborate to generate, nurture, and then convert leads. Find out how you can use social media to do just that:

The way consumers purchase products has changed. No longer does the buying process purely involve a prospect discovering your company online, downloading a whitepaper produced by your marketing team and the sales team arranging a meeting.

Social media has changed the way consumers research and purchase products, with the average consumer consulting 10.4 sources when making a purchase decision[1].

Not only are consumers consulting multiple sources during the purchase process, they are also making decisions before speaking to you. The average consumer travels almost 60% of the sales process before engaging with a sales representative[2] – regardless of price point, which means they are already making up their mind about your company and what they want before they engage with you.

What does this mean for your business? It means that collaboration between your sales and marketing teams is a must at all stages of the purchase funnel. Comments like, “Sales never follow up on the leads we generate for them”, or “marketing produces content that is no use to us” is not an option: only by working together can you be successful in producing, nurturing and converting leads.

Read on to discover how you can foster collaboration between sales and marketing during the lead generation process.

1. How marketing can help sales

No longer does the marketing team’s role stop when the customer first registers an interest. Leads need to be nurtured and customers need to be persuaded to go from the awareness and consideration phase to purchase. The sales team needs to be supported by a commercially minded marketing team.

Your marketing team will likely have a wealth of content and collateral at their disposal; make sure they share this with the sales team, who can then use this to tailor to individual prospects and their specific requirements and/or pain points. Find out more about how you can use content in the lead generation process.

Top Tip: As part of your reporting on social media platforms, be sure to report on the prospects that you have engaged with and who have downloaded any content. This information can then be passed onto sales teams to follow up – and it can be a good conversation starter. Find out more about how to use social media as an alternative to cold calling.

2. How sales can help marketing

Great content is nice for a business to have, but content only becomes great when it resonates with your customers. Enter the sales team. It is critical that the sales team get feedback from customers on their specific challenges and what topics resonate with them. The sales team can use this information and work with the marketing team to get high-quality, targeted prospects that they can then use to nurture, and then convert, leads.

Top Tip: Rarely does the hard-sell work – and especially not on social media. Work with the marketing team to stay up to date on current industry events or conferences that your company is attending or speaking at. This is a great way of meeting them and taking the conversation offline – and it gives you a useful conversation starter in future.

3. After the sale – how to keep the prospect engaged

Just because a customer has purchased from your company does not mean that the work has finished. Whether it is repeat business, exploring other products and services, or recommending your business to others, it is crucial to continue to engage with your current customers. A brand advocate is 83% more likely to share information than the average customer, and they will likely recommend you to others, both offline and via social media.

The sales and marketing teams can work together to develop a retention and advocacy programme. Whether it is exclusive offers or insightful content, sales and marketing can help create brand advocates that will either purchase again or encourage others to register their interest.

From raising brand awareness to painting a picture of prospects, social media is an effective way of generating leads. Find out more in our guide on using social media for lead generation.

Do your sales and marketing teams work well together throughout the lead generation process? Share your thoughts on @BlackBerry4Biz


[1] http://www.google.co.uk/think/collections/zero-moment-truth.html

[2] http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/emea/featured/the-digital-evolution-in-b2b-marketing/

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