The practical difficulty of building a combined sales and marketing strategy
B2B sales and marketing have traditionally worked towards a separate set of goals; for example, salespeople might miss out on product strategy discussions despite taking responsibility for selling those products. This can create inconsistencies between marketing’s message and how salespeople pitch the product to buyers.
Sales teams and marketing teams need to align their objectives for the best results. A B2B sales and marketing team that cannot align their strategies risks losing more deals.
How can a business build an effective combined B2B sales and marketing strategy?
Resolving the conflict: A combined B2B sales and marketing strategy
Sales and marketing functions have traditionally worked in silos – working separately toward the same goal. Marketing teams manage the top half of the sales and marketing funnel and hand over leads to sales to close the deal.
However, with the B2B digital transformation, this linear approach is no longer effective. Customers are constantly engaging with brands both before and after purchases. A successful business must create a combined B2B sales and marketing strategy that harnesses and aligns the strengths of both functions.
This guide will enable businesses to develop a combined B2B sales and marketing strategy that generates revenue while providing customer satisfaction.
1. Identify shared goals
The first step in aligning your B2B sales and marketing strategy is identifying the goals shared by both functions. Your combined team should have a precise, shared idea of these goals and expected outcomes. These goals can include:
- Increasing company revenue.
- Increasing customer awareness of products and services.
- Reaching a wider customer base and retaining old customers.
Combining these three aspects provides a clear picture of the purpose of the strategy. You should also identify what resources you will allocate to your B2B sales and marketing strategy and which channels you will leverage.
2. Establish a single customer view
Many B2B business owners can provide a list of companies they want to target. However, that does not define who the customer is. Establishing a single customer view is a vital part of understanding your target customer base.
A single customer view has several benefits, including:
- Accurate dialogue between sales and marketing.
- Assisting the team with making informed sales and marketing decisions.
- A complete view of your customers’ needs, preferences, and habits can help you create a personalised purchase process.
- Closing the sales and marketing loop by providing feedback on lead outcomes.
- Customer lifecycle marketing.
A single customer view allows businesses to streamline their B2B sales and marketing strategy efforts, saving both time and resources.
3. Segment your market
Market segmentation is the process of dividing your target market into smaller and more manageable groups based on the common ground they share. A combined B2B sales and marketing strategy requires you to identify and segment your target market according to customer needs and challenges.
Common segmentation criteria include:
- Customer company size
- Segment growth
- Experience with a customer
- Competition level
- Customer product specifications or needs
Different market segments have different needs. When a business knows its customers well, it can meet these needs satisfactorily.
4. Track joint KPIs
Measuring performance is essential for every business, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a reliable means of doing this. Sales and marketing often have separate KPIs, creating a longstanding challenge in their alignment.
Combining sales and marketing KPIs unites them under a common goal. By measuring them with the same metrics, you can monitor their joint effectiveness and identify gaps.
A good joint KPI measures the outcomes of both sales and marketing efforts. Some examples include:
- Return on marketing investment (ROMI).
- Total sales and revenue.
- Sales from new ventures.
- The conversion rate of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).
5. Create a messaging framework for B2B sales and marketing alignment
Content marketing is now a popular B2B marketing strategy. It is highly effective at guiding leads through the sales and marketing funnel.
To increase the effectiveness of your B2B sales and marketing strategy, you might consider a messaging framework to help guide communication and content development for both sales and marketing.
Your B2B messaging framework should include the following:
- A proper understanding of your target market and their pain points.
- A unique selling proposition describing your products or services can solve the customer’s pain points.
- CTAs that capture the value of your products or services.
- Proof that supports your company’s key positioning.
Resonate is a B2B sales and marketing agency that can help your business achieve a commercial result through leads, opportunities, and closed revenue. To learn more about our approach to marketing and sales, please get in touch.
RK (Rahul Kumar) is the Founder & CEO of Resonate.