Sales and marketing teams are notorious for not getting along with each other in most companies. They tend to work as separate entities and have these friction points. For example where, Marketing says, “Why can’t you close deals, we send you plenty of leads.” Sales say, “We’re not getting good leads from you.”
The real problem, however, is when sales and marketing are not in sync, the buyer and consequently your company suffers.
Statistics show that companies with aligned marketing and sales are 67% more efficient at closing deals, could have 209% more revenue from marketing, achieve up to 38% higher sales win rates and have 36% higher customer retention. Also, misalignment between marketing and sales teams costs companies an average of 10% of revenue per year.
The big question is, how do we get sales and marketing to work together in service of the buyer?
I listened to an enlightening Podcast featuring Resa Gooding, our Chief Marketing Sales Strategist at Cacao Media, on Helping Sells Radio. I found her answer to the question above brilliant! She said ‘Maybe it’s about creating experiences, not generating leads.’
Here are some more remarkable nuggets she shared that shed light on that line of thought, and how she implements it for our clients using HubSpot.
Migration to HubSpot
Migration to HubSpot can be hard on your sales team for various reasons. For example, if you were using Salesforce, which was only designed for sales and usually has a system administrator to update the accounts for the sales team, in HubSpot, the sales and marketing softwares are integrated into one system and you won’t need an account manager. HubSpot is designed to allow your salespeople to make updates on their own.
With the advancement in technology, one of the most critical changes of our time is how we as customers, become aware of brands, how we gather information about products, and our ability to share our opinion about products to the world.
Consequently, the traditional buyer’s journey where we have the awareness stage, consideration stage and decision stage and the traditional sales funnel where we have leads, marketing qualified leads, sales qualified leads have to change. Customers don’t shop that way anymore.
A customer can come in in the middle or even at the end of the funnel. That is why, at HubSpot, we have shifted to using the ‘Flywheel’ model.
In the flywheel model, the customer is at the Centre and our focus is on providing a better customer experience. Adopting this model will lead to all other opportunities you are looking for. For example, a happy customer will bring referrals or recommend you positively, and write better reviews online. So when people encounter your brand, they are already expecting a great experience.
This should also translate to your website, where you change from lead attention to experience creation.
Teams that use HubSpot tend to work closely together because having integrated sales and marketing Hubs into one, the system almost ‘forces’ them to work together.
This is important because when using salesforce only, the sales teams miss the beginning of the buyer’s journey. This, in many cases, leads to a less satisfying customer experience.
Helping Customers Transition to HubSpot
It would have been nice if the system was like an iPhone where you ‘plug and play’, but it isn’t like that.
Although many businesses have special and unique finer processes, the basic steps are usually similar.
To help businesses transition to HubSpot successfully, the following steps have worked well for us:
- Start by understanding the client’s business and their processes. Understand their workflows and how they sell. Your aim is to make the process clearer and more efficient.
You can do this by:
- Identifying where there is disorder, friction or disconnect.
- Pinpointing the non-itemized things that sales and marketing teams are doing, such that a new person coming in won’t know the processes. The good thing with HubSpot is that the system forces you to go through the deal stages.
At this stage make an effort to reduce the work the salespeople are doing. Most salespeople hate logging into and updating anything in the system. Most of them were accustomed to having a system administrator check the gaps and update the system for them.
With HubSpot, Medium-sized companies don’t have to hire a system administrator. The salespeople can update the system on their own. HubSpot has made it as easy as possible for them by embedding automatic logging of emails, calls and now even WhatsApp messages with the HubSpot WhatsApp Integration. This makes updating less burdensome, saves time and reduces the frustration of finding out what’s going on with a lead.
- The next step is to replicate what the customer does in HubSpot.
HubSpot already has a flexible builtin process that helps you think about how your process should look like. If it works for you, you could adapt and use it, and if not, you could edit it to suit you better.
The most complicated part is not the sales process because it’s linear. For example, the sales process generally follows these steps: phone call – negotiation – contract – then closing.
What’s confusing is how sales channels should/will work especially if you want different access and communication for different segments like channel partners and distributors.
Tips to help customers successfully transition to HubSpot.
Usually, in the beginning, customers need a lot of hand-holding.
Always endeavor to meet with your customers in person to better understand the kind of customers you are dealing with. There are other benefits of in-person meetings like,building confidence in the customer, overcoming the language barrier better, like in our case, where we have to deal with non-English speaking clients a lot, something that’s harder to do via video calls.
Visit your client regularly. For instance, a best practice we have is getting our team to visit our clients regularly during the implementation stage over the first 60 days. Then, we do short follow up calls with the clients.
Visiting helps to build relationships and establish a personal connection, and thus you can upsell them better.
Helping Customers Achieve Outcomes.
Helping your customers achieve their desired outcomes is paramount for the success of any business, especially when proposing or introducing a new solution or platform.
Many customers propose to pay when they see the result or outcome – somehow expecting the platform to work magic for them. However, you need to invest in the system to see the results.
It’s one thing to buy the software, but if you lack knowledge, the software is meaningless. For example sending a poor/wrong email, from the best platform, will give you poor results. I.e. poor input equals poor output.
The fastest way you can encourage a new user is by showing them quick wins. For example, using the prospects tool on HubSpot, they can tell which companies are interested in their company from the list of people coming to their website.
Become better at sales and marketing
Many sales and marketing teams are stuck up on tactics and strategies. It’s good to have strategies, however, marketing and sales profession changes so quickly and many people are remaining stuck with outdated tactics and strategies.
It’s crucial to keep up to date with how buyers are buying today. To do so you need to:
Understand your personas – find out who these people really are. To do this:
- Collect data in a soft way- Interview them. Today, it’s hard to collect data, especially from B2B clients. Use events like tradeshows to collect more data, and not just get leads or make sales.
- Start developing relationships.
Sell the experience.
The main reason Apple became so successful as a brand is when Steve Jobs was marketing Apple products, he didn’t focus on selling the products, he focused on selling dreams and experiences.
If you haven’t adopted a system that allows you to integrate and align your sales and marketing, it’s the high time to do so.
Running your business on a traditional model leaves you at a disadvantage. Sooner or later you’ll realize that your competitors are not sitting around. They’re adopting the system, and they, therefore, have better and more efficient ways of doing things. You’ll realize:
- You’re working too hard
- Your market share is decreasing
Adopting systems will give you better visibility, enable you to run your business in a much more transparent and efficient way to support growth, always keep you updated with what’s happening in every area and give you back your time.
‘Don’t work for your system; let your system work for you.” Resa Gooding.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed listening to the podcast. Let us know your thoughts below.