Achieving success with inbound marketing, whilst aligning Sales with Marketing.

align-sales-marketingCollaborating effectively with your sales team is essential to achieving success with inbound marketing. However, getting sales on board with your inbound efforts can sometimes be quite challenging. It has been shown that companies with strong sales and marketing alignment grew their annual revenue. If your company wasn’t one of them, it is time to start and to look at:

  • Why marketing needs to train sales 
  • What sales needs from marketing in terms of qualified leads. 
  • How to bring marketing and sales closer together 
  • How to define your company’s Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

How do you create a marketing mindset?

What do marketers hear most of the time from sales:

  • “There aren’t enough leads coming in the door” 
  • “The leads that do come in are appalling”
  • “Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) never close” 

A disconnect between Sales and Marketing has grown over time making it difficult to communicate strategies effectively. Sales may be unaware of your current marketing efforts and the far-reaching changes marketing has made to the quality of your leads. Sales still thinks of marketing in terms of your promotional efforts which they can’t measure or prove its effectiveness.

It is our job to take the first step in aligning sales and marketing into one big, happy family. We need to re-educate sales and show them marketing is on their side.

So what does Sales Need from Marketing? 

Sales needs only a few things from Marketing in order to feel satisfied:

  1. An increase in lead volume
  2. Improvement of lead quality
  3. Greater insight into lead information
  4. Measurement of lead close rates

So How Can Marketing Help Sales

As inbound marketers we can give sales everything they dream of by:

  1. Increasing lead volume by creating optimised top of the buying cycle content like blogs, podcasts, videos, presentations, ebooks, and news releases to drive qualified traffic to the website that can be captured as leads
  2. Promoting new content to social media and through email campaigns to drive awareness and gain more traffic to the site that can convert into leads
  3. Optimising the content we create so that the right visitors find the website. This means using keywords and other site optimisation strategies to get found in search engines
  4. Nurturing leads to get them to take the next step in the buying process thusly creating a faster sales cycle
  5. Integrating the CRM to the marketing automation system so that sales sees a complete picture of the lead’s lifecycle. This will show them the leads’ activity so that all follow-ups can be customised
  6. Measuring each campaign to show whether or not it worked. Sales can work with you to provide information on what they believe a qualified lead will need before committing to buy. When you run the campaign, you can share the data to encourage even more brainstorming and involvement between each team
  7. Collaborating on what creates a Marketing Qualified Lead. Sales knows their audience and what they need better than most teams. Use this to your company’s advantage. Work together to develop the most defined MQL and then target them with your inbound efforts

So start now it is never too late to start the journey of Marketing Sales Alignment!

 

How to Keep Marketing While Enjoying the Christmas Break

With Christmas here and the New Year just around the corner, many business owners are worrying about how will 2013 perform after the Christmas break. Will the sales force be at full throttle come end of January? Will the Sales funnel be full?
During a well-deserved break should you worry about letting your marketing efforts from 2012 slip? Luckily, there are several ways to ensure you don’t skip a beat while you enjoy the holidays.

Here are some tips for marketing when you’re not in the office.Preparing his content

1          Automate Content delivery

There are services within the products that you currently use that allow you to pre-schedule the distribution of press releases, tweets, WordPress blogs and Facebook posts. Simply pick the date and time you want your content to appear, and with a few clicks it’s ready to go!

2          Mobile apps are there to assist

There’s pretty much a mobile app for anything these days, and plenty that can be downloaded to your phone or tablet to help keep things “business as usual” while you are out of the office. This includes blogging apps, Twitter, Facebook, and more. If you run out of time before you head out on holidays, you can still keep the content coming and no one will know the difference.

3          Delegate or Outsource

Enable one of your staff members to manage certain pieces of your marketing communications. If you’re used to doing most of the work yourself, why not let someone else give it a try and see what they can do with it? As long as you give them some guidelines, your client base would probably enjoy getting some viewpoint from another voice in the company.

4          Integrate your efforts

If you’ve pre-scheduled your press releases, tweets and Facebook posts, you should also have your blog ready to go as well. This means scheduling its distribution while you’re out – and then using those previously scheduled tweets and Facebook updates to promote it!

A little pre-planning combined with a readiness to take advantage of all the automated and integrated marketing tools out there will make it easy to organise marketing efforts before you take off – and help you enjoy some much-deserved time off!

Build Your 2013 Marketing Strategy NOW!

Young-businessman-drawing-marketing-strategy-concept-isolated-on-whiteThe New Year will be here in just under a month and it’s time to get your 2013 marketing strategy ready.

As well as looking forward, it’s also time to look back. Developing your strategy is a two-step process: reviewing your 2012 successes, and planning ahead for next year.

If you need assistance to get through these steps to get a solid plan in place and start the New Year with a bang. (Call me on 03 86691162 or email at info@millan.com.au)

Christmas can be chaotic, which is why it’s important to plan and get ahead now. You don’t want to waste January playing catch-up when you could be using that time to get ahead of the competition with great content, events and campaigns. Let’s get you started in 2013 with a strong, strategic marketing push!