There has been a long term tension between sales and marketing and almost 80% of the businesses out there don’t align their marketing and sales strategies. This means they are losing out on huge growths in revenues and profits that they could otherwise reap. Moreover, not aligning your sales and marketing agendas can also lead to increased costs, something no business wants to face, especially in this competitive environment. Gone are the days when marketing could create a lead, toss it to sales from where opportunity would be created and the deal made. These days, things are all about the customer.
Today’s buying environment is much more complex than before and it is necessary for businesses to build deeper relationships with their customers. Therefore, it has become crucial for sales and marketing to work together so they can promote successful social selling. These programs are a must because social media is all the rage these days, but how can it be done?
There are three aspects that need to be merged for this to happen and they are discussed below:
If a business wants any of their social program to work, they have to align it with their customers. Essentially, it means that marketing needs to be done for figuring out who the target audience is and sales are used for getting feedback from them. It starts with product marketing, which identifies the problem that can be solved with the business’s product or service. The primary messages are articulated and the target audience is analyzed. Marketers have to figure out a way to position the product in relation to competitors. This data is communicated to the sales team.
Now, marketing and sales both work together to identify where the target audience can be located. Nowadays, it is a given you can probably find them on different social networks. The product is marketed to them and the sales team provides constant feedback to let them know what is working and what’s not.
A business can only achieve successful social selling if they have solid content marketing processes. If there is no content, a business or its sales representatives will be rendered ineffective. They will be unable to educate, attract, nurture and then persuade buyers and this can be a major downside because the business will not be able to tap into the potential offered by social networks. This is where marketing teams step in and talk to key stakeholders for assessing the content needs of the company. These stakeholders include the sales department and social media marketing managers.
A content strategy and calendar is created and the content produced is promoted on social platforms for encouraging social selling. The sales team uses the content for engaging buyer and decide the networks they should use for this purpose. They also work as a marketing team by actually moving into the market to lure in customers rather than wait for the clients to come to them. They can do so by using content for starting conversations on social media. Eventually, they report to the marketing team and let them know the kind of response obtained by the content. This helps in eliminating ineffective content and focusing more on beneficial and effective content that customers wish to see.
Last, but not the least, messaging also plays a role in your sales and marketing alignment strategies for successful social selling. Every business has different modalities as far as messaging. Some opt for a ‘command and control’ policy where the marketing department monitors and approves all wording where others leave some room for customization and personalization by the sales and marketing teams. This can depend on the kind of industry a business is working in and also the audience. There are also businesses that take a democratic approach where individual messages may be crafted.
The marketing team has to come up with the messaging and branding process and the policy and modalities used by a business can determine how this is done. However, restricting the sales team to pre-written texts can be a mistake as customers don’t want to listen to the same old thing over and over again. The best way to achieve successful social selling is to let the marketing department teach the sales leaders and members about the core values of the brand and let them craft new messages accordingly. This can provide great results as customers are able to relate to them and not think of them as corporate buyers. Moreover, the authenticity will resonate with the target audience and bring them into the business fold.
Every business needs to consider these three elements and align their sales and marketing strategies accordingly if they wish to carry out successful social selling in this competitive market.