Companies that are best-in-class at aligning marketing and sales experienced an average of 20% growth in annual revenue - Oracle
On Saturday, two of England’s most successful football clubs will meet at one of the world’s most iconic stadiums to compete for the oldest domestic trophy in the world – pretty important stuff. But then again, so are B2B sales.
There are lessons that we, as B2B salespeople, can take from the two teams competing in this year’s final. Arguably, neither can be counted as one of the best two teams in the competition – both the Premier League leaders Chelsea and league champions Manchester City exited the competition in preceding rounds.
Arsenal and Aston Villa are in the pivotal game because of their strong teamwork and tactics throughout the competition.
In some respects, this scenario is similar to B2B sales. Teams comprising the best salespeople don’t necessarily generate the best results. While it makes it easier to convert more leads with stronger individuals, it is often the teams with a mixture of the top talent, strong tactics and good teamwork – not just among the salespeople but also with the marketing department – that have the highest conversion rates.
Yes, the strikers (salespeople) score the all-important goals (sales). But, without an equally strong defence and midfield (marketing) to support and provide them with the ball in goal-scoring positions, strikers cannot win games alone.
Assists (leads) are crucial if the strikers are to get the golden opportunity they need to score goals. To make things more complicated, different strikers need a different kind of service from their midfield – do they need the ball played to feet, put high into the box for a header, or played behind the defence to run onto? To ensure the most effective service is provided, they communicate with their midfielders and strategize before each game.
In the same way, salespeople need to communicate to the marketing team what they are looking for in a qualified lead. Defining what makes a contact, a qualified lead, a sales opportunity and set targets, will boost conversion rates, meaning your team are using their time more efficiently and ultimately, increasing its ROI.
Persona documents are the tactics board for this game. Good B2B buyer persona documents will include collated input from both the sales and marketing teams and should be signed-off by both before finalisation. This way you and the marketing department can accurately assess a lead’s behavioural traits and pain points to ensure they’re a good match for your offering.
The result will be qualified leads delivered to your sales team at the right time and in the right place. If you would like more information about creating effective B2B buyer personas to improve your sales conversion rates and ROI, download our free guide.