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4 Tips for Improving Sales and Marketing Communication

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Historically, sales and marketing have struggled to work together. And it’s no secret that tension, and sometimes even resentment, exists between the two departments. This disconnect is often deeply ingrained in corporate culture, manifesting in the form of departmental silos and a lack of communication.

 

A Forrester study found that only 8% of B2B companies have tight marketing and sales alignment. Even so, most organizations are pretty adept at recognizing that there is a problem and developing piece-meal solutions. The challenge is identifying and enacting a strategy that promotes enduring change within the company.

 

Why is Sales and Marketing Communication Important?

A lack of communication results in two big problems that have a major impact on bottom-line results: broken processes and inconsistent metrics. A recent report from App Data Room and Marketo determined that sales and marketing communication and alignment can generate 209% more value from content, make an organization 67% better at closing deals, and reduce friction by 108%. On the flip side, poor alignment can cost B2B companies 10% or more in annual revenue.

 

Further, the fast-paced nature of the buying space and the increasing complexity of the buyer journey demands better communication between sales and marketing in order to leverage resources and drive revenue. Read ahead for a few more reasons why improving communication should be a priority.

 

Communication empowers reps to have value-add conversations

Almost every B2B deal is influenced by content; making it imperative that reps know what content to share, what to say, and when to communicate these messages. Unfortunately, two out of three customers feel that sales reps are unprepared for initial meetings and unable to engage in meaningful conversation. More often than not, this poor customer service can be attributed to the lack of knowledge on relevant content and resources they could use to prepare for meetings and add value to the conversation. With proper communication, sales reps would know what to say, and when to say it, in order to advance the deal.

 

Communication increases the organization’s productivity

algorithms-1641852_640A CMO study found that up to 40% of a rep’s time is spent looking for or creating content to share with prospects. But with communication and alignment around organizational goals and sales initiatives, marketing can equip the sales team with best practice content, research, and industry data so that sales can engage prospects in relevant conversations and more effectively advance deals. As a result, companies can expect to see up to a 40% increase in closed deals and about 50% fewer accounts churning.

 

Communication leverages and maximizes resources

The average B2B marketing team of 10 spends about 14,000 hours per year, or 155 entire days each, creating collateral – but 85% of that content is never used by sales. At the same time, 95% of sales reps indicate that content is essential to advancing prospects to subsequent stages, but they can’t find it, don’t know what content to use, or lack the confidence that it will progress their deals. The result? Missed opportunities, lost revenue, and increased discord and finger-pointing between marketing and sales. This presents a lose-lose situation for the organization. Better communication would get marketing’s content used and help sales more effectively advance their deals.

 

Communication improves the customer experience

Your customers and prospects can tell when there is a problem and a lack of communication at a company. As the buyer journey continues to evolve, it’s increasingly important for sales and marketing to be on the same page and work together in presenting a united front to achieve sales success. Communication and alignment lead to greater team morale, which has a positive impact on the pipeline.

 

How Can Sales and Marketing Communicate More Effectively?

It’s clear that sales and marketing communication should be a priority for any B2B organization, and Q1 is the perfect time to begin these initiatives.

 

Follow these tips to get started.

 

1) Go to the top: obtain support from senior management

The level of support and participation from executive leadership can play a significant role in the success of your communication initiatives. To succeed requires consistent implementation across the organization, setting precedence for information sharing and instituting cultural change.

 

2) Build your tech stack: acquire technology to support communication initiatives


To effectively support sales and marketing communication, technology must be accessible, consistent, and easily incorporated into each department’s’ workflow.

 

A sales enablement tool, for example, promotes improved communication by using real-time data to determine what content most effectively advances deals at the highest ROI. It then surfaces content based on the sales situation – directly into reps’ CRM and email. Marketing uses this data to gain insight into what content works and where there are gaps in the content library, helping them focus their time and optimize their efforts. Together, these pieces of information enable sales and marketing to make informed decisions about strategy and process.

 

3) Identify key performance metrics together

Traditionally, marketing is measured on top-of-funnel metrics (i.e. brand awareness, lead generation, and campaign performance), and sales is measured on bottom-of-funnel metrics (i.e. closed deals, revenue, and renewal rate). But it makes sense for sales and marketing to share performance metrics, as both departments should be working toward the same goal – driving revenue. When sales and marketing are both graded based on pipeline development it’s easier to share goals and priorities, measure and benchmark progress, and work together effectively.

 

And on the topic of metrics, the organization needs to share data and use it strategically in decision-making. Data is how marketing knows what content to create and how sales knows what content to share. It’s how both teams know what is working, areas to improve, and opportunities for new and improved strategies.

 

4) Create a ‘shareconomy’ of knowledge

puzzle-1721465_640The best way for companies to increase their bottom line is to work smarter and more efficiently. Thus feedback (and with it, change) is very important. After all, if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll continue to get the same results.

 

So what types of information should be shared? Consider the following examples:

  • Sales people are on the front-line, talking to prospects and customers on a daily basis and gaining insights into their needs, challenges, and pain points. This information should be shared with marketing so that they can create relevant content.
  • Marketing creates content specific to different stages in the buying process or for particular sales scenarios. Marketing should ensure sales is aware of this information and knows how to use the right content at the right time for engaging in value-add conversations with prospects.

These types of information offer a more holistic view of the customer experience, which is beneficial to both sales and marketing.

 

Marketing and sales communication is critical to selling effectively in today’s ever-changing marketplace. These tips will help your organization overcome the communication problem and improve departmental alignment, ultimately driving bottom-line results.

 

About the Author:

Shelley Cernel is the Senior Marketing Manager at KnowledgeTree.

Top 10 Ways to Increase Sales Productivity

ways to increase sales productivity

As a sales rep (or the manager of one) it’s always a priority to increase sales productivity. Productivity is a key factor in the success and overall health of your business. Sales productivity is measured by the rate a salesperson increases revenue for a company. The art of improving sales productivity focuses on making a sales rep more efficient with their time.  The more productive a rep is, the better they are at selling and forming connections with clients and leads.  Nurturing these relationships is an important factor in a company’s longevity.

Tracking the amount of time you spend face-to-face with customers, emailing, and planning future meetings gives you a clearer idea of your sales productivity. As a sales rep, you want to focus on the actual time you spend selling. It’s just as important for a sales manager to keep track of these metrics in order to understand what reps are focusing on and how they can become more productive.

Sales are the bottom line for your company. Your ultimate goal is to sell as much as possible, in as short of a time as possible, to maximize revenue. Reps and managers should use this guide to increase sales productivity and reach that goal more quickly.

Continue reading “Top 10 Ways to Increase Sales Productivity”

Sales ROI Calculator: Analyze Your Investments

sales roi calculator for investments

As a sales manager, you need to understand ROI to evaluate productivity apps, analyze new employees, or buy new equipment. Knowing how to calculate ROI helps you figure out whether your investments are going to be profitable or a waste of money.

If you aren’t familiar with ROI calculations, we’ve got you covered. This article was written to give you a better understanding of ROI, it even includes an ROI calculator for sales investments to save you time and effort when evaluating the benefits and losses of your investments.

Continue reading “Sales ROI Calculator: Analyze Your Investments”

7 Ways To Improve Email Open Rates

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Is your email fighting for attention in your prospects inbox? Does your email have what it takes to stop prospects in their track? If you’re wondering why your emails don’t do well, they might still need some work. In this article, I am going to share some of the best tips to improve your email open rates.

Ready to learn how to increase not only your open but your reply rate as well? Then keep on reading.

Continue reading “7 Ways To Improve Email Open Rates”

7 Useful Tips on Crafting the Perfect Elevator Pitch

elevators

The Elevator Pitch is one of the most crucial skills for a salesperson to master.

Have you ever bumped into a business partner or client, only to have them ask you about your product? You’ll have about 60 seconds (or less!) to introduce your product and create interest. In some cases, this might be your only chance at getting their attention. Failing to catch their attention in that minute could cost you a customer! Don’t fret, because we have compiled 7 useful tips on crafting the perfect elevator pitch for salespeople.

 

1. Know how much time you have, then decide content

know your time, then decide content

Elevator pitches are called elevator pitches because they are delivered at times when you don’t have much time to speak. You will usually have around 15 to 60 seconds. Here is a break down of what your content should be depending on how much time you have:

15 seconds: explain who you are, and what your product is about

30 seconds: explain who you are, what your product is about, and why it is relevant to the customer

60 seconds: explain who you are, what your product is about, why it is relevant, and how specifically it can help the customer.

Continue reading “7 Useful Tips on Crafting the Perfect Elevator Pitch”

Focus on the Moment (Podcast Recap)

Focus on the moment

 

Full podcast available here

The IA Path is a podcast dedicated to Insurance Adjusters. Our CEO Steve Benson had the chance to sit down with the host of the IA Path, Chris Stanley, to discuss his start as an adjuster and the value Badger creates for the industry.

Why should an adjuster/salesperson use your product over something free?

We’re built on top of a free product, but Badger was created with the professional in mind. People who need to manage accounts or claims in an area can do so much more easily with Badger than with Google Maps alone. Continue reading “Focus on the Moment (Podcast Recap)”

4 Top Features Of Sales Force Automation (SFA) & Their Benefits

 

Sales Force Automation or SFA in short, is probably a term that should seem to be a synonym for Sales to any business concerned about Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

If your business deals with more than a handful of customers and sales is the primary objective, SFA is your new best friend.

 

Continue reading “4 Top Features Of Sales Force Automation (SFA) & Their Benefits”

11 Sales Territory Management Tips For Your Reps

sales territory management tips

 

Intro

Managing your territory is a hugely important way to make yourself and your sales team more productive throughout the day. All sales reps on the field should have a system set up ensuring that they are as efficient as possible. We have compiled sales territory management tips for your reps so you can maximize your opportunities to the very best of your abilities.

Continue reading “11 Sales Territory Management Tips For Your Reps”

5 Meditation Tips to Increase Sales

This ultimate meditation guide for salespeople will specifically focus on how to train your brain to stay focused and productive in sales. This guide will help you achieve this in five steps: take in the good, express gratitude, perform acts of kindness, be a single-tasker, and practice mindful breathing. 

 

 

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  1. Take in the good

  2. Express Gratitude

  3. Perform Acts of Kindness               

  4. Stay Focused

  5. Practice Mindful Breathing

 

Living in the information age, we keep developing our technological consciousness to be more and more productive. Most companies are still waiting for the pay off as the era of productivity has given rise to the age of distraction. Three in four employers estimate that at least 2 hours lost daily to distractions, according to the survey.

Continue reading “5 Meditation Tips to Increase Sales”

7 Amazing Sales Canvassing Tips for More Efficient Coverage

Sales Canvassing Tips: Door Knock
Sales Canvassing Tips

With so many ways to reach customers remotely, door to door canvassing seems outdated and inefficient. However, effective canvassing is a tremendous way to comprehensively manage sales territory. Of the many nets a rep can cast, canvassing is the one with the smallest holes. The intimacy of a face to face interaction ensures that no potential deals can slip through the cracks left by online and inside sales techniques. Canvassing can be daunting without proper guidance, but these sales canvassing tips will set you up for success. Continue reading “7 Amazing Sales Canvassing Tips for More Efficient Coverage”