As discussed in our Series on Aligning Sales and Marketing with smart outsourced b to b demand generation, our core job as an sales and marketing outsourcing company is to fill the pipe with sales qualified leads. Then with an outsourced sales engagement our job is to close that business. To do this we are required as an outsourced inside sales team to support or execute to the following marketing goals and objectives. And we are also tasked with creating the following deliverables to ensure our clients success (which are significant value adds) for our New Product Launch sales outsourcing clients:
1. Creating a Marketing Qualified Database of Customers – As part of a launch we consult with our clients to go after a very focused set of targets. By the time we are done your core market will know who you are, what you offer and what makes you different. The market will be ‘branded” and profiled so that your marketing team can continue to nurture the right accounts “not yet ready to buy” and ignore those accounts that will never transact.
2. Digital Sales Content – The quickest way to create “sales” content that will move the deal forward is to leverage digital platforms with authentic content that supports what prospects are being told by sales reps. This can be short video clips, quick blog posts and webcasts. By the time we are done with an initial campaign your content will be tested and proven (or dis-proven) and can continue to be used by the sales team or additional channels to drive efficiencies and accelerate pipe velocity. You have created content that you know works. These messages and initial content can be shared with a creative agency to polish and refine. It can then be taken to the mass market or leveraged with a publisher as part of a media spend.
3. Tested Messages for Direct Marketing Team – As part of our initial B2B demand generation efforts we will have tested messages, tested pains and tested some nurturing campaigns. You will know what messages will drive opens (and ideally conversions) as you decide on how and what to budget for direct marketing, pay per click and SEO efforts.
4. Sales Process Map – As we build an outsourced b 2 b demand generation and sales outsourcing solution understanding the key events in a buyers cycle is critical. Once this is mapped and proven this map can be used for creating a longer term digital content strategy and social media outreach campaign. The map can also be used to set work flows in a a marketing automation platform for lead nurturing campaigns to reduce your inside rep head count costs as the pipe grows.
5. Ability to Forecast the Sales Cycle – As we are measuring all the key success metrics, as deals flow through the pipe, we are also able to start evaluating the key buying signals for the client. This data is also anchored in cold call metrics. This allows our outsourced sales partners to understand what causes and a customer to move. It also helps them to understand when a customer is moving from “educating” themselves to getting serious about ‘making a decision and evaluating vendors”. We provide hard data that helps our clients to decide what digital content is most important to invest time and effort developing with a publisher or creative agency.
For more information on the additional strategic benefits of working with a sales outsourcing company like Gabriel Sales, and what we can do to put deals in your pipe with a b to b demand generation program, please feel free to CONTACT US. For additional strategies and tactics you can leverage for a New Product Launch feel free to visit our Resource Center dedicated to Go-To-Market approaches.
“The war of sales vs marketing is both legendary and debilitating. And yet it’s probably fair to say that the future of your company lies in your ability to make the two work better together.”
Geoffrey James wrote a great and succinct piece today on “Why Sales Hates Marketing: 9 Reasons- Here’s why your marketing team and your sales team can’t get along. Hint: The sales team is probably right.”
This is probably the best summary we have ever seen on the challenges that a company faces in the in B to B marketing and we felt like it was appropriate to reduce the blog entry from a Top 10 to a Top 9. We also felt like it made sense to simply include Mr. James thoughts (although redacted in quotes below, to include his fix and then to include our best practices as a sales and marketing outsourcing company that builds b to b demand generation engines as part of sales machines.
We agree with every point Mr. James makes below and before we jump in would like to recommend you read it in its entirety. There is another link at the end of this blog.
1. Marketing Acts Superior
“Many marketers have business degrees, so they think they’re better than sales reps who don’t…” The Fix: Make certain that every marketer you hire has at least six months of experience selling something.
When building a b to b demand generation engine we think it makes sense to take it a step further. The manager running that machine should have experience selling media and advertising.
2. Marketing Doesn’t Believe in Sales
Marketers are often taught in b-school that good marketing makes a sales force unnecessary. However, unless a product is a plug-and-play commodity, your only differentiator is how you sell it. The Fix: Make it clear in the charter of the marketing team that they are there to support the sales team, not to replace it.
3. Marketing Thinks Selling Is Easy
…Many “demand creation” activities don’t create all that much demand–especially in B2B, where customers generally ignore ads, brochures, and such. The Fix: Have the marketers make sales calls–or field inside sales calls–so they can see how hard it is.
Design your b to b demand generation program anchored in what the customer is telling your sales reps. Make these feedback loops a required part of your inside sales teams comp plan.
4. Marketing Avoids Being Measured
…Marketers generally get paid when they produce leads, brochures, white papers, and so forth–even if none of that activity results in a single sale… The Fix: Compensate marketers on the ability of the current sales team to generate revenue and profit from the sales leads that marketing produces.
If your products price tag is 20K or greater and you are doing more than 20 deals per year (I know this is somewhat weak but we are talking minimums) you need to implement a marketing automation platform like Pardot. (as full disclosure we are a Denver CO Pardot Partner). This software gives you the ability to measure marketing’s digital content contribution to the sale. If you need a hard ROI calculation at other figures we can help you run those.
5. Marketing Claims to be ‘Driving Sales’
…I’ve heard this phrase dozens of time from marketers who are trying to take credit for sales, even when they had absolutely no impact on making those sales take place. The Fix: Make Marketing subservient to Sales on the organization chart.
Once again implementing a marketing automation platform will allow you to measure marketing’s contribution.
6. Marketing Pretends It’s Strategic
Brand is a reflection of product and service. If those are good, the brand is good; if not, the brand is bad. The Fix: Reward marketers for behavior that directly results in a measurable increase in revenue and profit.
Not to keep hitting on Marketing Automation but it gets rid of some of this issue. We also recommend that you have your inside sales team become involved in helping to create your digital sales content map DISCUSSED IN OUR BLOG ALIGNING SALES AND MARKETING YOUR B 2 B DEMAND GENERATION blog series.
7. Marketing Wastes Money
…Sales is perfectly capable of wasting money (big time)…there’s also no question that marketers often expend cash on fancy brochures, advertisements, and trade show junkets that have little or no business value. The Fix: Give the sales team veto power over all pricey marketing activities.
There is no reason not to market test all of your content digitally. As an outsourced sales organization most of our clients have failed before they get to us and over 50% of the time we generally find that about 70% of the material (especially designed for print) has lost its initial impact within 6 months. We are living in dynamic times which requires a dynamic approach to content.
8. Marketing Pretends It’s Engineering
While marketers often attempt to set a firm’s technical direction, most of the time, the marketers have never even spoken to a customer–and have no idea what’s technically feasible. The Fix: Let your engineers do the engineering.
B to B demand generation is not about engineering it’s about stage management. Your demand generation strategists job is to move the actors the customers wants to see on an off the stage. Stage management is about 60% science (driven by data); it’s knowing what to put the spot light on during the sales process. It’s about 30% listening (where do you get the applause and who comes back from intermission) and 10% heart (caring about getting the prospect to the proposal). Closing is about 33% product knowledge (knowing your lines inside and out), 33% business (being able to make the business case) and about 33% art (charming enough to take center stage when required).
What you want from demand generation strategist is the ability to listen to the customer, the skill to analyze the numbers and the ability to clone the closers. You need your demand generation manager to manage that stage.
9. Marketing Argues About Lead Quality
Marketing frequently provides Sales with lists of unqualified or under-qualified leads, and then accuses Sales of being clueless because it can’t close the deals…..a lead is only good if it’s possible (or even easy) for the sales team to close. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time. The Fix: Reassign (or fire) marketers who can’t provide leads that the sales team can close.
Gabriel Sales can cover all or part of your outsourced demand generation and sales and marketing outsourcing needs. We invite you to learn more about our approach that lets sales reps skilled in marketing help to bridge the gap between customer feedback and marketing and our tactics for helping our clients drive sales and marketing alignment. We do this out of self- interest as a sales outsourcing firm because when sales and marketing is aligned you have happy customers and happy customer means more closed business and everyone wins.
Thanks to Mr. James for providing the material for us to comment on at: on “Why Sales Hates Marketing: 9 Reasons- Here’s why your marketing team and your sales team can’t get along. Hint: The sales team is probably right.”
To learn more about how Gabriel Sales can help you can CONTACT US or check out more tactical tips in the B2B Demand Generation Education Resources section of our website.
This blog is the second part of a three part series that discusses the difference between sales content marketing vs. other types of marketing and how you can approach creating a successful Demand Generation b to b solution (with or without outsourcing) by aligning sales and marketing. In this blog we provide a simple framework for driving success. CLICK HERE FOR PART ONE.
As an outsourced sales organization we firmly believe that every outsourced demand generation b to b effort needs “to start with the end in mind”. That “end” is closed business. Therefore, b to b demand generation requires sales. As a company we build High Velocity Sales Machines. The marketing services we provide to support the sales efforts are focused on improving two areas: Demand Generation and Overcoming Specific Sales Objections. Our focus when executing marketing services in these areas is to create the feedback loops required for the marketing team to create content (or in many cases to produce the initial necessary digital content ourselves) to ensure that the sales content meets the need of the buyer exactly where they are in their buying cycle. You need to match your sales function to the customer buying cycle. Typically:
- B2B Demand Generation – helping the customer define their problem and establishing your credentials as a thought leader to help them.
- Sales Engagement and Qualifying – helping the customer to compare your solution to other solutions in the market. And to evaluate their alternatives.
- Closing – sales starts when the customer says “No”. This content needs to overcome specific objections so that the customer can verify the ROI and confirm what you have already told them so they are comfortable committing to you.
For Gabriel Sales, sales content marketing is not strategic, it is tactical and measurable. The job of sales content marketing is measured. And when we make recommendations or create content that content starts by addressing a specific need or objection that we have heard directly from a customer.
Below is a simple framework we use when creating digital content or providing feedback loops to the marketing teams we work with.
We are giving our marketing efforts “A Sales Quota.” To do this you need listen and document the conversation with the customer. As part of our services we map the entire sales conversation to identify the objections, and then create authentic digital content that addresses those needs and objections specifically to get deals through the pipe.
To summarize, smart sales content marketing is a simple as:
- Getting everyone to agree that the Sales Marketing job is to close business
- Listening to the Needs and Objections of your customer to understand the “Sales Conversation”
- Creating Authentic Content that addresses the client’s needs for where they are in the buying cycle
As an outsourcing b to b demand generation company we are not delusional. We know what we are the best at, and what other solutions are more effective. We are the best at building outsourced demand generation engines that:
- Generate b to b sales leads with cold calling efforts
- Take cold call leads and inbound marketing qualified leads, listen to the customer and understand their needs and sales objections
- Move deals from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads by:
- Creating and distributing great “Sales” content that move the deals forward
- Training reps how to use that content
- Providing great feedback loops to marketing teams so they can expand on that effort once proven
With a full pipe we then transition to the close by staffing enterprise sales reps or inside reps as the need dictates.
The final blog will discuss how internal “marketing” teams and external agencies can build on smart sales driven demand generation and sales content marketing to put more qualified sales deals in the pipe.
If you would like to learn more about how an outsourced demand generation solution can help accelerate this alignment and scale, please feel free to CONTACT US for a free initial strategy conversation. Or visit the B2B Demand Generation Resources section of our Website.
To review Part 1 Top B to B Demand Generation Requires Sales Content Marketing CLICK HERE.
To view the final blog in this series on Successful Demand Generation b to b please CLICK HERE.