How B2B marketing must support B2B sales

By Anders Björklund

How B2B marketing must support B2B sales

Most marketing departments perform their duties with little interaction with the sales team. Instead, they only explain what they occasionally do and expect the sales team to carry out the remaining responsibilities. Increased alignment between marketing and sales will lead to improved business outcomes for both sales and marketing. If sales and marketing work together more, it will help the company grow meaningfully.

What could you do as a marketer to make life easier for your sales team?

The role that marketing should play in assisting sales:

  • Generate relevant leads
  • Identify the qualified leads
  • Harmonise the sales process with the lead qualification process
  • Automate the process
  • Establish mutual KPIs
  • Bring insightful information pertinent to the business
  • Keep sales informed
  • Embrace alignment

Generate relevant leads

You're ahead of the curve by generating leads through your website. But how can you know if you generate enough leads and if they're qualitative enough? First, of course, quality is always better for sales leads. Do you generate enough qualified leads?

You can work backwards from your lead-to-customer rate to determine how many leads are needed for sales to hit their goals. For example, if you're getting 100 monthly charges, your sales team is closing new customers at a 5% rate. If your sales goal is 20% growth in new business, you'll need to get this number to six unique new customers, which takes 120 leads using your current lead-to-customer rate.

To get here, you need to do one thing above all else: create more relevant content offers (eBooks) and provide them on landing pages. How?

HubSpot has a few statistics showing how:

  • CTA's promoting content offers (eBooks) get almost twice the click-through rate of emails promoting webinars.
  • Companies with +30 landing pages generate seven times more leads than those with -10.
  • The companies with +40 landing pages get 12 times more leads than those with only one to five.

Could you identify the qualified leads?

One common objection that sales reps have is that marketing gives them too many low-quality leads that take their time away from finding and convincing prospects to become customers. Sometimes they have a point. However, it happens too often that marketing hands over leads that need to get qualified.

Marketers can help develop criteria for identifying leads likely to be a good fit for a company's products, solutions, or services. Sometimes a lead scoring methodology is established by assigning values to these criteria.

Harmonise the sales process with the lead qualification process

As your company generates more leads, separating early-stage leads from those kicking a purchase decision is essential. The best sales reps and KAMs can interact with leads at any stage in their process to offer helpful advice and turn them into genuine sales opportunities.

It will help the entire sales organisation understand where their leads are in their buyer's journey and enable them to reach out effectively, tailoring those conversations based on the lead's needs.

Automate the process

Proper workflows and automation increase sales productivity. Automating your company's marketing tasks allows you to create workflows and gather data about contacts and leads. Once data has been collected, your marketing team must warm up cold leads using automated nurturing campaigns to guide your leads through the sales funnel.

Establish mutual KPIs

Your marketing and sales teams need to set mutual KPIs. Establishing mutual KPIs that help the business enables the sales and marketing teams to reach common goals, targets and KPIs.

Reviewing common KPIs during weekly meetings will improve efficiency and the workflows. 

Mutual KPIs will make it easier for people to collaborate and develop new and better ways to reach your company's sales and marketing goals and targets.

Bring insightful information relevant to the business.

Your marketing team should do a competitor analysis to determine how your competitors market and sell their products or services. The research should tell you about your competitors' products, solutions, services, and industry trends so that you can see where your company's strengths and weaknesses lie. Then, your sales team should use these insights to differentiate your company during sales interactions with leads and prospects.

Keep sales informed

Your company's customer and marketing data shall enable your sales team to enhance their efficiency and relevance and tailor the sales approach to meet potential and existing customers' expectations, challenges and needs.

Ensure your sales team reviews previous prospects' questions and objections during sales calls. Your marketing team shall use this data to analyse your leads and prospects' pain points and develop a customer journey map to help you adjust your marketing funnel and approach to address the lead's pain points before the outreach.

Embrace alignment

These things make marketing more relevant for your sales team and the company. And they'll undoubtedly make your work life easier. It is much easier to show ROI and that you are needed as your company gets more business.

If you want to learn more about sales enablement, we have a guide that can help. It covers this effective tactic's whats, whys, wheres, and hows.


View the sales enablement guide

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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