Everyone knows it in theory, but many companies are still struggling with the practical implementation: marketing and sales need to work more closely together in order to increase lead conversion and thus company revenues. Learn in this article how you can use your content marketing as sales enablement and thus close the gap between marketing and sales.
More Conversions through Targeted B2B Content Marketing
Studies have already shown that 95% of all customers prefer the company that offers them the best content experience, i.e. the content with the most added value
Experienced B2B marketers know that content marketing is essential to positioning yourself as the company of choice with customers
The problem: If the efforts of B2B marketing are concentrated exclusively on lead generation and the question of lead conversion is ignored, an almost unbridgeable gap between marketing and sales quickly arises. As a result, many leads are lost again, which causes resentment between the marketing and sales teams. Because they then assume, supposedly logically, that the other department has not done its job properly. But this could be avoided with simple means. Learn more in this article:
what the causes are behind this marketing/sales gap
why closing the gap between marketing and sales is so important
how to increase your sales with B2B content marketing and a marketing/sales alignment
Marketing and Sales up to Date: Closely Connected and Yet Strongly Separated
For the end customer, it is irrelevant who creates the content for a company. They want to be understood - they want someone who has identified their pain point and offers them a corresponding solution.
While Content Marketing Addresses the Customer's Needs and thus Piques Their Interest ..
This is also where the marketer comes in: He tries to take the customer's perspective in order to deduce with which content he can address the customer's needs in the course of the customer journey in order to generate leads. Although this approach is most familiar in B2C marketing, it should also be the case in B2B marketing. Because here, too, the decision to buy or not to buy is ultimately made by a single person. And classic advertising texts have long since ceased to be sufficient to persuade customers to make a purchase - whether in the B2C or in the B2B sector.
... the Sales Department Is Working at Full Speed to Increase Sales.
The salesperson, on the other hand, is primarily focused on closing deals, i.e. on increasing sales. For him, it is above all important to turn a prospect into a customer and to bind him to the company. At first glance, this sounds like a perfect division of labor: one person arouses the interest of the potential customer, while the other ensures that the customer actually makes a purchase and, at best, becomes a long-term customer
Reality: There Is a Gap Between Marketing and Sales.
In practice, however, the collaboration often looks different: While studies show that almost 70 % of all marketing employees state that they adapt their content to the four stages of the customer journey, only just under 40 % of those surveyed have the feeling that their sales colleagues actually use the content at the right moment
Almost half of the experts surveyed stated that there was insufficient alignment between marketing and sales
In addition, resources and information are often held back in data silos, i.e. stored in places to which only the respective department has access.
Goal: Close the Gap for More Customers and Revenue
Due to this gap between marketing and sales, many leads (and thus potential customers) are lost, especially because there are often different opinions in the two departments about what a "promising" lead is - and there are also arguments about "good content".
Content Marketing as Sales Enablement: How to Turn Your Leads into Paying Customers.
In order to solve this problem, a change in the minds of your employees must first take place. Marketing should not only be focused on lead generation, but should be seen as an integral part of the buying process.
Avoid data silos! Data must be up-to-date and easily accessible for all teams
Content, in turn, must be planned along the entire customer journey - i.e. not only for the first two phases (Attract and Engage), in which the potential customer's interest is to be aroused and leads generated, but also for the two subsequent phases (Convert and Delight), which are supposedly primarily the responsibility of the sales team (and customer support).
Sales as Marketing Enablement: Addressing Customers in an Even More Targeted Manner and thus Retaining Their Loyalty in the Long Term, Even after the Initial Purchase
In order for marketers to be able to create suitable content for all steps of the customer journey, they are conversely dependent on the input of the sales staff - they know exactly what is on the customer's mind at the moment. They also have better insights into what posts generate the best leads and, most importantly, what data they need to effectively turn leads into delighted customers.
B2B Content Marketing and Marketing Sales Alignment for More Conversions
So, in order to close the gap between marketing and sales, some profound changes need to take place. In terms of content, the following points are particularly important:
The goals of both departments must be aligned and unified as much as possible.
Relevant data and resources must be easily accessible for all parties involved. In addition, buyer personas should be created jointly.
Regular communication is the be-all and end-all. Interdepartmental meetings are essential.
Ideas for suitable content must be collected together.
In addition, there must be continuous feedback on the effectiveness of the individual measures and the quality of the resulting leads - keyword: analyzing and reporting.
When such a marketing-sales alignment has taken place, it is easier to automate various processes in both marketing and sales. This allows your employees to complete their routine tasks even more efficiently and have more capacity for the essentials - such as creating content that is perfectly aligned with your customers.
Conclusion: A Clear Plan for Your Content Will also Help You with Marketing & Sales Alignment
So if you want to take your business to the next level and close the gap between marketing and sales, you should take the time to do a marketing sales alignment. This involves merging the goals of both departments, as well as their resources, as much as possible. After all, only when they pull together as one team, so to speak, and content marketing is used as sales enablement, can prospects be effectively converted into customers. For this, a continuous and open exchange is essential. This includes defining what is actually relevant. Furthermore, data silos must be a thing of the past and instead general access to that information must be possible - for example, to jointly created buyer personas.