7. Supply strategic and tactical intelligence to help sales team with making plays
Step 7: Support Sales with Intel
This deep dive into the six step of the Marketing Optimized Framework posted previously.
- Although Sales drives the actions at this point, Marketing has done a lot of leg work and collected a lot of data that can help inform Sales actions
- We are a team and it’s everyone’s job to do what they can to help close business and retain customers
In this step, Marketing plays the supporting role to the Sales Team working the prospects. These are the processes where marketing supplies a structure for tracking these prospects, useful information and options to support the Deal process driven by the sales team.
From Step 6, we have prioritized the prospects and assigned them for follow-up. Now we move to a support role while the sales team takes the driver's seat.
The structure for managing the prospect will differ depending on if you have a lead-based marketing funnel or buying group based. The Stage and the Rejection reasons should be on the object that is used for tracking the engagement to the Sales team. Just like how we have a Deal (Opportunity) object to track the engagement with a Company (Account)… for a lead-based funnel, a similar relationship with Contacts and the engagement object Leads added to the mix. I cannot stress more how important it is to have accurate data here as it informs us on how to improve our scoring and other processes. To that end, we should always be looking for ways to automate… things like stage changes Biz Dev folks would have to change manually after making a call or sending an email, etc. With some platforms used to organize the workflow of the salesperson, we can automate the changes. If we can’t completely automate find ways to trigger alerts for input. There is a delicate balance of enough details and too many options (if you find salespeople seem to pick the first option a lot… you have too many options) Automating reduces the frustration (error) of manual process giving us clean data.
(This deserves a deeper discussion, comment below if you like to see a post on this)
Throughout the marketing process, we have and continue to collect data on prospects. Just because Sales started to “work” the prospect doesn’t mean everyone at the company has stopped consuming content. Examples of useful intelligence:
- Company level news or industry events
- these may trigger conversations
- Summary of top contacts activity consuming (filter by topic/product group)
- to understand who might be good contacts to reach out to (if not in Buying Group)
- Summary of internal activities (calls/meetings etc)
- to help coordinate efforts on the sales team (especially those on ABM List)
- Summary of content consumed (filtered by time frame)
- to plan the conversation starting with what they see to be interested in
There are also marketing run events (user conference/groups, training events, etc) and promotions (discounts, limited demo units, etc) that sales can tap into to help win over key contacts. This should take the form of recommendations for the salesperson to request/reject/pause (like those you might get from a GPS app for restaurants nearby). There will also need to be a request review, fulfillment, and quota process tied into this so it’s not abused. Redemption of these items should be reviewed regularly to ensure it has a material impact on winning deals or deal size.
Leverage Marketing Assets and Top Performer’s Best Practices
Having sold your product for some time you will have found common objections from prospects, and best practice assets and tactics top performers on the sales team. Marketing should work with the sales team to create/collect/organize assets that work well to support the deal process and templates for communications (email, social, messaging, etc)… ensuring everyone in the sales team can benefit from the learning of the top performers and we have consistent brand and message. These should be inserted in sales workflow management tools and reviewed regularly for new learning and customizations.
Integrating Sales into Marketing Properties and Campaigns
Another collaboration effort is on extending the reach of the sales team with a web chat tool design for sales. This is invaluable as you are able to chat with someone while they are at a very interested state (actively doing research on your website). You may want to build some filters that exclude companies/people that are not a good fit (can use score here). Here you will want to be able to Proactively ask the visitor if they would like to talk to a salesperson. First you should have a bot vet the visitor (are they looking for support, ask questions if you haven’t ID’d the visitor like what is their roles, etc). If they see to meet the criteria we can connect them with a salesperson. Some chat tools have apps to reach the salesperson on duty or the owner of the prospect… knowing they may not always be online and available to chat… if they are not available it should let the visitor send a message for later follow-up or schedule time to speak with the salesperson. If your site gets lots of visitors chat is a great place to prospect. A key component in proactive chat is the ability to see company characteristics and the person’s info and activities and scores. This lets the salesperson filter down to the best visitors to try to initiate a chat with.
If you have a Buying Group based funnel, then you have collected together the Buying Group into one object for the sales team to work. The salesperson can reject the entire Buying Group or individual contacts that should not be part of this buying group.
See a chart of sample Rejection reasons at https://marketingoptimized.wixsite.com
Here are some tools I have had exposure to, comment below if there are others… share what kind of user it is good for and what it can do for operationalizing Company Segments and Target Contacts.
See a chart of Tools at https://marketingoptimized.wixsite.com
Originally published at https://marketingoptimized.wixsite.com on February 16, 2021.