Do you have a fantastic marketing team and a well-trained sales department? Yet, it seems your marketing team’s efforts aren't reflecting on your sales expectations. Do you constantly hear your sales team complain that your marketing teams aren’t giving them the right support? Trust us, you are not alone in this boat.
We know it can be frustrating but a disconnect between sales and marketing is more common than you think. At the end of the day, the reason for adopting content marketing strategies is to increase sales and improve revenue. So, you'll want to figure out why your content is still not aligned with your sales goals. Below, we’ve listed three main reasons for the mis-alignment, along with suggestions for improvement.
1. You are too focused on the volume of leads
It’s normal to expect your marketing teams to come up with more leads after investing in a couple of content marketing materials. Perhaps, you even employed the services of a content marketing agency, it’s only natural to expect lead volume growth.
However, handing over a list of leads to the sales team doesn’t automatically translate to closed deals. This is the outcome of being overly leads-driven without consciously considering the priorities of the sales team. Meaning, marketing may suffer the risk of creating content that doesn’t align with the sales teams’ focus.
What’s the solution? Direct some of your focus on closing deals that the sales teams are already working on, and perhaps, almost at the finish line. This way, you are not just after leads, volume, or quantity.
2. There are too many miscommunication & rare collaborations
Miscommunication in every type of setting, be it home or business environment, doesn’t turn out well. It’s almost always a recipe for disaster in the long run. Miscommunication often leads to a waste of time and unaccomplished goals. In most sales and marketing companies, it leads to a waste of resources, missed opportunities, and loss of revenue.
Okay, so you've raised a sufficient budget for the marketing team to make different sales-driving content, but you can't see any significant improvement in sales after a while. So, what things can you look out for to spot miscommunication issues among your team? We’ve listed a few below;
● You'll notice supposed creative content that doesn't truly align with products or services being sold by the sales department. That's because your marketing team doesn’t have a comprehensive knowledge on what your sales team is selling. It sounds weird but that’s the situation in many organizations.
● You'll notice the sales team engages customers from an angle different from the content marketing materials. Your sales team won’t understand what your marketing goals are if there is no synergy when content is created.
So how can miscommunication exist between two departments in the same organization? Firstly, this is common when there's no established protocol and a follow-up platform of communicating vital information like new leads. Secondly, content created by marketing can literally go to waste when there’s little to no collaboration between both departments.
Research shows that content marketing is a major driver of B2B leads or deals. Therefore, if you are going to make the best out of it, it’s crucial that the sales team or reps know what content to share with potential customers that’ll lead to the closing of a deal.
So what should you do? Basically, there should be an avenue or platform for effective communication between sales and content marketing teams. So, establish platforms of communications, feedback, and effective sales follow-up that has an equal goal, i.e to close deals. The marketing and sales teams should both determine what content will effectively progress specific deals, so that sales reps can adopt them based on the individual sales scenario.
What’s more, both your sales and marketing teams should both collaborate regularly, especially on an effective follow-up of leads brought by the marketing team. At the end of the day, if your sales team fails to close virtually all leads generated by the marketing department, it's as good as there were no leads, to begin with.
3. Different KPI measurements
In many organizations, the performance of the marketing and sales departments is measured using different KPIs. For the sales team, it’s all about the numbers. They are paid based on the number of sales and rewarded. If they are going to get fired, it’s the same numbers that determine their exit. On the other hand, marketing is measured against qualified leads supplied to the sales department.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying these are poor performance-measurement metrics. It’s just that everyone will get paid at the end of the month based on the deals that get closed. So, why is one contributing party getting off the hook halfway before the deal is closed? It's like a flaw in many organization's systems, but that's the norm in many firms.
Yes, we know it’s hard creating opportunities. However, heads of staff should realize that even though both sales and marketing are responsible for different things in the same customer journey, they are both contributors to the same customer journey. Invariably, they should both be accountable for the outcomes. However, since the reverse is the case, marketing technically doesn't care beyond the volume and quality of leads.
So, what should you do to align marketing content and sales goals? Sync both teams’ performance indicators. This way, both the marketing and sales team are driven by one goal. What’s more, detecting any flawed points in your deal closing process will be easier. You’ll be able to fix as a whole instead of in parts when both teams are separate.
So, what now?
While the roles of sales and content marketing may be different, both are contributors to the customer journey and the overall quality of content you deliver. Making one party more responsible for the deal closing when both can reach the finish line together is only reducing the goals that can be achieved by the synergy of both departments.
Aligning both teams' goals, performance-measurement indicators, and mode of operation can go a long way in improving your sales and revenue from content marketing.