Many organizations still operate under the theory that sales and marketing serve two distinct functions: marketing blindly generates leads for sales and then sales reps qualify those leads in the hopes of realizing revenue from them. One of the greatest opportunities for improving business performance though, is when sales and marketing are, instead, aligned.
Alignment as an Inbound Marketing Strategy
Traditional sales methods of prospecting leads are less efficient by themselves in today’s business environment. Cold calling, mass mailing, and other legacy marketing methods still play a role, but sales and marketing alignment can shorten the sales cycle and ensure that ROI is the responsibility of the whole company, not just individual departments or teams. The more marketing and sales are on the same page, the easier and faster it is to close a sales cycle.
Organizations that successfully align sales and marketing not only achieve a faster three-year profit growth, they also close more deals and achieve higher marketing revenue.
How Inbound Marketing Drives Sales
Marketing and sales teams that work with and not against one another know inbound marketing drives sales in three important ways:
- The content created for your website’s home and landing pages, blog posts, and forms acts as a digital sales rep, converting visitors to leads by providing the information they need to solve their problems.
- Marketing drives sales by taking your customers through the buyer’s journey, nurturing them in an engaging and enjoyable way. When marketing takes on top of the funnel activities like blog posts and calls to action to educate the audience, it propels them to become fully qualified leads.
- By the time leads reach your sales team, reps are better informed about whether they are ready to make a decision to purchase your product or service.
Ultimately, sales and marketing alignment is about the customer, not your product or service. If you want to engage an audience with relevant and useful content, it’s important to adopt a thought leadership mindset. That means embracing ahead-of-the-curve ideas and foregoing those methods that may no longer be useful in increasing overall conversions and ROI.
Does that mean forgetting all that’s gone before? No, but successful inbound marketing depends on using lessons learned in traditional methods to help you discover and create new ways of solving your customers’ problems. Bringing marketing and sales together makes for a more effective team that can better meet customer needs and achieve greater business results.