With the 2016 Rio Olympics over, it's clear to see that Team GB really did us proud. The final medal tally was a whopping 67 medals; 27 gold, 23 silver and 17 bronze, and the country is still united in unparalleled support and admiration for our athletes.
As B2B marketers though, one sport that’s particularly caught our attention was synchronised diving. Adopted as an Olympic sport in 2000, it involves two divers forming a team and performing dives simultaneously – working together, much like sales and marketing teams should. So, given that Team GB have been awarded their first ever diving gold medal this week (in spite of the green pool…), what can this discipline teach us about aligning sales and marketing? Let’s dive in and find out…
Find a like-minded diving partner
The first step on the road to gold is selecting a diving partner. In order for a synchronised dive to look good and score highly, the divers need to be aesthetically comparable. This means they’ll be of similar builds, heights, and skill levels, enabling the dive to be executed at a parallel height and speed and increasing the chances of a high score.
For B2B sales and marketing teams, having a similar outlook and streamlined approach is imperative. Both teams need to be on the same page regarding who their ideal customer is, with an in-depth understanding of prospects and leads. Persona documents play an important part for both sales and marketing here.
Plan the dive
Before each competition, the diving team needs to plan the dives they will perform. The two competitors need to dive simultaneously, and are judged both on how they individually perform their dives, and how well they synchronise their performance.
Developing and planning the most appropriate messaging is also a key part of B2B marketing. Executing a comprehensive multi-channel strategy based on buyer personas will generate the best results, and this involves creating key messaging and writing engaging content that will attract and nurture prospects. Importantly, this plan needs to be shared with both sales and marketing teams, in order to ensure they both know what they have to do… and when.
Practice, practice, practice
Synchronised divers who are getting ready for a momentous competition like the Olympics train 5 hours a day, 6 days a week. They are determined and focused and they never lose sight of their goal – getting the best possible score from the judges.
As all B2B marketers know, when it comes to targeting prospects the key is staying focused. Sales and marketing teams need to work together and stay true to plans and processes that have been previously agreed on. And, with the ever-growing timeframes of B2B buying cycles, remaining determined is essential for a successful lead nurturing strategy.
Form a united front
The skills required from a team of two synchronised divers are different than those needed when an individual performs alone. Successful synchronised diver teams play to their individual strengths and form a united front, to ensure the dive itself showcases their combined skills and talent.
They work together at all times, and it’s the same in B2B marketing. For example, further down the funnel when sales teams are making calls to qualified leads, it’s essential that they have access to the content produced by marketing. They can then reference the information in the content pieces in order to help educate and nurture the lead, and increase the chances of converting them. It’s also important that they feed back information such as objections to the marketing team, so they can factor this in to their future messaging.
It’s clear that we can learn a lot from the way synchronised diving teams plan, practice, and execute their dives. They work together at every step of the way, play to their individual strengths, and stay determined and focused for both the duration of their training, and the performance itself. Similarly, in B2B marketing, only when sales and marketing work together and focus their attention firmly on the prospect will a business be able to increase leads, sales and revenue.
To find out more about the possibilities that can be unleashed when sales and marketing are aligned, and to hear more about how to avoid a marketing belly flop… download our free ebook today…