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Can (content) marketing and sales go hand in hand?

Can (content) marketing and sales go hand in hand?

Sales departments today don’t have the easiest task: on the one hand, they have many tools and methods available to automate their activities. On the other hand, they often don’t have time to implement such solutions or they get frustrated and return to manual handling. Failure to understand the processes and problems of sales departments may lead to conflicts and issues in other departments, and thus, the way the entire company functions. One of the victims may be the marketing department, which might have a difficult time supporting sales through marketing campaigns because of inefficient cooperation.

It turns out that the appropriate cooperation between the sales department and the marketing department can clearly affect productivity and give a different effect: a new or present, satisfied customer. How can these departments can help each other in terms of planned goals, and what is the role of content marketing in the closing sales? Find out more below. 

Marketing and sales: dog and cat

Often, sales and marketing don’t match up with our expectations. Sellers expect marketers to measure the effects of the campaign, marketers accuse sellers of inaccessible closing of sales and lack of feedback. Internal communication, understanding your own needs, verification and optimization of results often fail. As a result, sellers lack the necessary materials to finalize transactions or test new methods of reaching, while marketing lacks information about campaign transfers and what customers are looking for. 

How can marketing help sales? 

Although many sellers can laugh and say that marketers do not contribute to the sales team, the truth is quite different. Proactivity in the marketing department can help the sales department determine the appropriate goals and strive for their effective implementation. Marketers are responsible for the research of not only keywords and trends, but also competition – and such information is certainly valuable for the sales department. Equally important here is the issue of configuring paid campaigns and selecting good target groups to which a carefully selected marketing message reaches. Marketers should not, however, ignore organic activities that are about growth hacking, to facilitate not only effective work for themselves, but also the sales and customer service departments. The role of content marketing is particularly important, especially in the B2B area, where we will focus below. 

How can sales help marketing?

At this point, marketers would laugh and say that the sellers can’t really help in their daily work. Nothing could be more wrong. Thanks to the feedback from the sellers or customer service employees, marketers can prepare valuable materials for the sales funnel, product presentations or relevant forms and bookmarks on the website. One example of bookmarks can be the FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions. People responsible for marketing can properly prepare such a list provided by the sellers and put it on the site, the same, for example, reducing the number of questions sent (because customers in a given situation can find the necessary information on the site). Without feedback from the sellers, marketers could only guess or view similar sections from the competition, which could be deprived of value, quality and response to the real needs of customers and potential customers. 

Creating content based on the sales funnel

Since we have already agreed that marketing and sales should go hand in hand, it’s worth taking an interest in the even closer cooperation of these two departments. What content should these two departments co-create? 

A sales funnel is a visualization of the customer’s journey and the entire sales process, which we divide into several stages: 

Recognition  

The first stage of the funnel is aimed at increasing the brand’s recognition. It’s at this stage that the first purchasing impulses may wake up, the brand may exist in the mind of the recipient who wants to explore it further – which can be considered as the success of the stage of observation. The role of sales is extremely important here, because thanks to the information provided for marketing, marketers can prepare materials that will actually attract attention and respond to doubts or problems of customers. These activities can also be supported by paid campaigns. In turn, sales can get valuable information about potential customers. 

What actions can be taken at this stage? 

  • monitoring of social media in order to find references to the company, product, services or competition
  • campaigns in social media (in subsequent stages you will be able to use more advanced mechanisms – for example remarketing) 
  • preparation of PR content – articles in media, interviews, guest posts, events
  • guides or webinars answering basic questions and clients’ needs
  • use niche social media for organic activities.

Example of marketing activity: a series of interviews with influential people in the world of e-commerce. An exclusive interview can be widely shared by both sides of the interview and people interested in the subject, while supporting the reputation and recognition of the fair in Berlin. 

Interest

At this stage, the main goal is nothing more than to arouse interest in a potential offer by showing its value and quality, not intrusive sales. Marketers at this stage may cool down the salespeople’s enthusiasm, and sellers can prepare themselves for cooperation with marketing and perhaps the first potential leads.

What actions can be taken at this stage?

  • running a company blog (preparing content aimed at solving specific problems and showing the strength of a given offer or company)
  • personal branding activities for key employees of the company (eg preparation of publication plans for sellers)
  • more detailed, covering narrow issues, tutorials or webinars
  • preparation of e-books and premium content – the second stage is the right time for this type of activity, we don’t require clients to provide data at the moment of the first point of contact with the brand
  • remarketing activities
  • email sequences 

Trust

In the third stage, the goal becomes a determined willingness to cooperate and a smooth transition to the fourth step – the joyous exclamation “we have a deal!” However, before marketing and sales departments celebrate the next transaction, it’s worth taking care of the stage of gaining trust. They can do it in several ways.

What actions can be taken at this stage?

  • personalized demo or one-on-one meeting, where sellers take contact with marketers
  • further nurturing through premium materials and contact forms
  • preparation of case studies and submission of testimonials, testimonials – to increase the credibility of the services and quality of a given brand
  • remarketing activities,

Conversion 

Although it may take some time to say the magic words “let’s work together” to sign a contract, it’s at this stage that the efforts of the marketing department (lead) and the sales department (deal) meet. However, this is not the end of activities.

Loyalty 

The final stage is creating brand attachment, obtaining recommendations and potential chances for subsequent projects with a given client. Of course, a lot depends on whether the project was actually successful or if there were any misunderstandings and delays. Assuming an optimistic scenario, it’s worthwhile to involve sales and marketing departments to work together on, for example, case studies, which can be used not only as a summary of successful cooperation, but also as a lead magnet for new, potential clients. 

What actions can be taken at this stage?

  • case study from a given project
  • getting recommendations on the website
  • recording material about cooperation with the client, after its acceptance

Useful tools 

  • CloudTalk.io – a cloud-based tool to handle phone calls. By accelerating and automating the collection and processing of data, sellers can focus on what matters most: closing transactions. In addition, the tool can be integrated with many other applications (for example, CRM systems), which can also be viewed by marketers and thus, without engaging sales, they will gain access to information about customers, their problems and needs and can react to them. 
  • Livespace.io – the sales team needs intuitive CRM, and it’s worth highlighting Livespace. Interestingly, marketers in some cases may also use such databases for the purposes of their campaigns (eg creating a Custom Audience based on a list of emails) if all consents are obtained to process addresses for marketing purposes.
  • Brand24.com – monitoring of social media is very important for each stage, but its impact in the first two stages of the funnel is the most visible. Brand24 will help you find interesting mentions. 
  • Stackfield.com – good cooperation between marketing and sales has no right to work without proper internal communication. Thanks to Stackfield, task sharing, information exchange and file storage will be easier and more secure than with many other messengers and tools.
  • Kontentino.com – marketers can have their hands full of sales support activities. Kontentino will help you automate your post scheduling in social media, thanks to which marketers can cross out this task out of their lists. 
  • SlidesCarnival.com – if you don’t have the appropriate templates for marketing materials or they are out of date, this site can become even a temporary solution for boring marketing materials.
  • PayByShare.io – you can build a landing page for your premium content, but you can also use the power of social media’s virality. 
  • RocketLink.io – a useful tool for advanced campaigns using remarketing. Retargeting can be used while conducting the target group through each stage of the sales funnel, and thanks to special remarketing pixels, it is possible to reach a wider group of recipients.
  • Harmonizely – as both marketing and sales team should closely cooperate, you might need this tool for scheduling meetings without exchanging unnecessary emails.

Sharing is caring

Marketing and sales departments can really work together if there aren’t as many requirements as willingness. Sharing knowledge, insights, feedback from customers and recipients allows you to optimize internal processes and produce even more valuable marketing materials. Marketers may use such materials in communication, and sellers – during conversations with potential customers. The strong division between marketers and sellers is also blurred – in every marketer we can find the seller’s element, and in the seller – the marketer.