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The B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment Process

Posted by Kenneth Connolly on 18-Mar-2014 17:46:00

Uniting sales and marketing and focusing their attention on the needs of the prospects are sure-fire ways to generate leads, sales and revenue for your business. To see the best results from this alignment though, there needs to be a continuous collaboration and a commitment to information sharing between the two parties.

The B2B Sales and Marketing Alignment Process

Start by creating two-page persona documents for each of the key decision-maker groups. The information needed can be gathered via online surveys, telemarketing and speaking to prospects at events. Sales can also look at existing customers and analyse their behavioural patterns and trends when they were at the prospect stage. 

Before any marketing can begin, sales need to clarify exactly what they consider to be a lead. The criteria they provide will include information such as the lead’s geographic location, their challenges and the content they have downloaded. By clarifying this information early, marketing and telemarketing now know exactly when to transfer leads to sales. 

Marketing can now use the information that’s been gathered to create targeted messaging for each of the decision-maker groups. It’s vitally important that sales are kept in the loop here because when they speak to leads, they can either provide them with your company’s thought leadership content or direct them to the specific landing page where the content can be downloaded. The worst case scenario would be a lead that references a piece of your company’s content that your sales team have never seen. 

The next step is for both sales and marketing to start interacting in the places where prospects are most likely to be found i.e. social media sites like LinkedIn. If sales are unsure about venturing into the social media space, then marketing can show them a best practice approach and explain the benefits of this activity. When your sales and marketing teams are showing thought leadership in online groups and discussions, prospects are more likely to pay attention when they start offering your content. 

Once leads have been sufficiently nurtured (with relevant content and telemarketing) and have met the criteria initially set by sales, then it’s time to pass them over. The data that marketing hands over to sales when transferring leads needs to be comprehensive. The more information they can provide, the easier it will be for sales to convert the lead to a customer. 

As you can see, the relationship between sales and marketing can only provide the best results when these two work hand-in-hand throughout the process. To find out more about your B2B sales and marketing teams…

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Topics: b2b sales leads, B2B marketing, B2B Sales, B2B Sales and Marketing, B2B Sales team