Asking these questions can help you align your marketing with sales process

Sales-and-Marketing-Alignment

Businesses often fail to see the critical and intricate connection between a marketing and sales team. A marketing team sets the foundation for a sales team to effectively do its’ job and achieve its’ goals.

While a sales rep is more focused on one individual at a time, a marketer can target mass quantities of specific buyer personas. Marketers aid prospects through the buyer journey and nurture them into a sales qualified lead. Their goal should be to have prepared a prospect through the majority process of deliberation by the time the prospect is ready to speak with a sales rep.

However, to achieve this it is crucial for your marketing and sales team to be aligned and on the same page. Both sides being aligned aids the company in creating an efficient culture of sales enablement. To ensure this happens the most important step would be communication between the sales and marketing teams. You have to be asking the right questions to create a robust strategy that would assist your company in attracting the best leads.

 

Questions a marketer should ask his sales rep.

 

1. What does the sales process look like?

 

While it may seem like it is a simple and straightforward question and you may know the basics that go into this operation you need to understand that because you are not the one going through the process yourself there may be important details that the process may entail of that you are not fully aware of.

For instance, do you know:

How does the conversation begin? How long the process takes? How much time do they spend on the phone with a lead?

It is crucial for you to decipher how your sales team works your leads. Once you fully understand the process, you will have a foundation for your strategies, and this will help you boost your effectiveness which will help complement the sales process rather than counteract it.

 

2. What makes a lead “good or bad”?

 

You may already have your system in place to qualify your leads. However, thorough and detailed feedback from your sales team will help you enhance your understanding of what makes a lead strong or weak. You may even realize that the answers you retain from your sales reps may be different than what you have been looking at.

Get a better understanding of what their deciding factors are on which leads to approach. You can use this to work out how you can generate more of these leads for them.

While just generating any leads may be more straightforward, you need to be focused on generating sales-qualified leads. This is a point you would want to revisit with your team quarterly as it will keep changing because of constantly changing trends. Being on top of this will also aid you in creating a successful lead nurturing strategy.

 

3. Are there specific marketing offers that indicate a particularly strong or weak lead?

 

This gives you a narrower emphasis on what specific content works or does not work with your leads. Perhaps as your lead generation you may be creating ebooks and hosting webinars you would want to focus on which would make a lead more likely to convert into a customer. The ones that download your e-book or attend your webinar? You can then get more specific and ask what would work better regarding the particular strategy. For example, if your eBook was targeted at teaching your readers about your specific product in comparison to a facet of the broader industry?

You can also find out if there are any other marketing offers or strategies that your lead conveys they would want. If several leads are showing this concern, you can introduce those offers too. For example, perhaps your leads wish there were more videos provided regarding your product or service, you can then work on getting them what they want more effectively. While this is a square aspect, by questioning your sales rep you may get better insights as they get these insights straight from the sales-qualified leads. You may not have discovered these factors on your own because you are not in direct contact with your leads.

 

4. Do leads have the right expectations about what they’re getting? Are they too high or low?

 

Messaging is a critical part of marketing. However, if not done right it can be problematic. You need to make sure your message is clear, concise and effectively conveys its’ purpose. Your sales rep can help you decipher this.
Get a better understanding of whether leads are aware of why sales reps are contacting them, do they know that they have signed up for a free trial of your product? Are you calls-to-action clear in stating their objective? Are your subject lines for your emails misleading? Your sales rep can help you identify these factors so that your company is getting the best results and at the same time you are not wasting your sales reps time.
You also need to get a better sense of whether you are setting the right expectations for your leads, if it is too high or low it can be problematic. You need to be able to find the perfect balance. This is important because if you set your lead up with too high expectations, you are essentially setting them up for disappointment regardless of whether your product is of good value. In turn, you’re a creating a difficult challenge for your sales team to overcome, resulting in your leads refusal to do business with you out of resentment. They may even take it a step further and spread negative reviews about your business, and thus you are set up for failure.
Whereas, if you’re setting up too low expectations you are deliberately pushing your leads towards competitors.
By collaborating with your sales team, you can come to a conclusion which results in a better balance of how and what expectations you need to set for your leads.

 

5. The number one thing leads like and dislike about your offers?

 

Your reps may be providing free trials, assessments and conducting demos of your products. Since they are the ones on the field performing these offers they are your best resource to understand how well the offers are doing, what is working and what’s not? What kind of feedback are they receiving from the leads? Getting better insight into this will help you further improve and refine the format and delivery of your marketing offers.

 

6. Why isn’t your lead closing?

 

As a marketer, you are not only generating new leads for sales but holding your leads hand and helping them through every stage of their buyers’ journey. Nurturing leads that are not yet qualified or sales reps were not able to close because they were not ready.
By having a conversation with your sales reps and asking them the right questions such as, what were the reasons given to you by a lead saying they were not ready to buy? Perhaps they aren’t well informed about your product, don’t see its value, it’s too expensive, or they aren’t at the particular stage in their buyers’ journey where they are ready to make a purchase. All this information will help you segment and target these leads according to their queries. It gives you the benefit of better addressing their pain points and effectively nurture them until they are ready to be approached by your sales team again. This time with much higher chances of closing the deal.

 

7. What can Marketing do to help or do better?

 

It is important to remember that because your sales team is consistently in direct contact with leads, they will have better insights into needs, challenges and specific behaviors of your leads along with sales cycles that you may not have. Thus, they are the best source of information to aid you in doing a more effective job.

Furthermore because of their direct contact with leads they may be able to catch trends, the positives, and negatives of your strategies and possibly insight into something you may be missing much faster than you may catch on to it along with more precision. It is essential to conduct your research too, but sales reps are the ones having actual conversations with these leads, they are getting more detailed information, and have the benefit of truly understanding your leads through, conversation, tone, and feedback.

Speaking to your sales team and having constant effective communication while asking the right questions is crucial for success. It gives you the opportunity to address all of your leads significant concerns, question, objections and objectives before a sales team approaches them. You are converting your lead into a sales qualified lead ready to be closed by your sales team and profoundly boost your sales. You are minimizing the interaction required to be put in by a sales rep and increasing the opportunity for them to increase the number of leads they can approach and close.

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