Sales always comes first — think of it as the power source to your business. It doesn’t matter how good the product or the marketing is, because if your sales process isn’t working, nothing else happens. Validating sales ensures that when the marketing strategy gets rolling, the wins will come.
What you track, you improve. Marketing doesn’t stop at generating leads — it goes all the way through the sales process. Knowing the quality of the leads, where they fall off through the sales process, when they close and for how much are important marketing numbers. Customer Relationship Management systems are an easy way to track all leads, prospects, wins and losses. If you have a CRM, use it to its full capability. Adopt the saying, “If it’s not in the CRM, then it didn’t happen.” If you don’t have a CRM check out Pipedrive. It works best for our efforts.
Sales Vocabulary / Pipeline
It is important that sales, marketing and leadership teams understand the terminology and the different pipeline buckets sales is using. Defining and knowing what a prospect really means, what a good lead really means, creates companywide clarity and a more efficient business. In the pipelines we set up, we use the categories Suspects, Prospects, Qualified and Closeable and then, with the help of everyone in the company, we define them together.
There is effective sales messaging happening in your organization. Finding it, honing it and making it easy to use for everyone in the company is the hard part. Proving the sales messaging first, then adapting it to marketing tactics makes for a faster, more effective marketing campaign. Define a company-wide “this is what our company does,” single-sentence, “30-second commercial” sales can use. Once you’ve refined that messaging, incorporate it into marketing efforts.
Instead of tracking sales numbers, track behaviors. When you track the numbers you are looking at the past, but behaviors indicate the future. Marketing needs to know what drives sales so it can execute its primary role: supporting and recharging successful sales behaviors. Whether it’s cold calls, emails, social media or something else, identify those productive sales efforts and use marketing to support and increase them.
Low Hanging Fruit
Every organization has opportunities for easy wins with minimal effort. Those may be a partnership that hasn’t been defined, a database that hasn’t been used, or a social platform that hasn’t been leveraged to its full extent. Decide what to pursue, assign someone to drive the effort, define how its progress will be tracked and what constitutes success, then execute your plan.
Focusing on these sales tactics align sales and marketing. Everyone must know what each department’s efforts are, understand how they are measured and share the results of those efforts. After this clarity has been established, energy fills the two revenue-generating departments of your company, resulting in company-wide momentum. And momentum is what every business wants.