Connecting and streamlining siloed revenue teams is such an old and common problem that it can seem like an overwhelming task, but there are some simple things you can do to improve your sales and marketing alignment. Here are five of them:
1. Get your customer-facing teams to submit content recommendations or requests
Documenting content recommendations and requests in a more concrete way is a fantastic way to ensure that Sales and Marketing both know what one another are prioritizing, and that the resulting content is the content that benefits both teams and customers the most. Since introducing the right content to the right customer at the right time is paramount to modern buying journeys, it is an essential first step that will help improve your sales and marketing alignment.
Create a survey or form that includes an area for respondents to type their suggestions, as well as an area asking why they are requesting that content to help in prioritization for those managing the requests and content creation. Keep it simple. Once created, distribute the form to the appropriate people. You can do this either by compiling a list and distributing a link via email, or, if you’re a Bigtincan customer, create a form in Bigtincan. You can then assign it to the relevant teams and send out a push notification to inform everyone that it’s live. Be sure to track who has responded and who hasn’t in order to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. When working toward alignment, isolating or leaving anyone out is counterintuitive to your goal.
2. Create your buyer personas
Buyer personas are a way to use qualitative data to make educated inferences about your prospective customers. Buyer personas help sales and marketing teams get into the heads of their buyers, so they can use the proper messaging and content that will resonate with them. It is also a great way to get the two teams to work together on a project and exchange their respective knowledge.
The first step in creating your buyer personas is establishing what your key personas are, specific to your business. For example, they could be Marketing Director, Sales Manager, and CEO. Once you’ve established what your personas are, it’s time to build them out. Creating buyer personas typically consists of internet research, and interviewing your customers and prospects to gain insight into demographic information, goals, challenges, career path, and collect quotes.
3. Map your content in a matrix
Too much content with too little context can devalue any content marketing initiative. In many cases, the Marketing team is constantly churning out content, but the sales team doesn’t know what is there, why it was created, or which content to send to which customers. One way to improve is to create a content matrix that will be consistently updated, and is available for the sales team to view.
Start with a basic matrix, like the one below, that includes your key personas and buying stages (awareness, consideration, and decision is a good place to start).
Once you’ve mapped your content, take a look and determine where your gaps are. For a more advanced content mapping process, use Bigtincan for Salesforce and the power of ontologies to do this content gap analysis on an opportunity-by-opportunity basis. You’ll be able to determine which opportunities don’t have relevant content that a salesperson can use to move the deal forward.
4. Create editable templates for your sales team
Templates with editing controls can encourage content usage by sales teams, while also ensuring branding and regulatory/legal control. Content that is delivered to prospects and customers is personalized, editing is easy and clear for Sales, and Marketing can still hold the reigns. Everybody wins!
Bigtincan's document automation tool is the simplest way to create editable templates. With Bigtincan, marketers can build templates, import assets, and define content areas as either fully editable, swappable, or restricted. Templates can then be delivered to the customer-facing teams via Bigtincan Content Hub where they can edit them on the fly.
5. Coach your teams on proper messaging and pitching
Nothing is more confusing to a prospect that receiving six different answers to the question “So, what does your product do?” from six different people. Consistency in messaging is key. One way to combat that pitfall is to utilize video coaching to ensure everyone is using the same language and telling the same story when writing or speaking to customers.
Check out The Business Case and Playbook for Data-Driven Sales Coaching to learn more about the value of coaching in aligning revenue teams.
Bigtincan Learning offers video coaching capabilities that allow managers to assign tasks to their team and rate and review their submissions through time-stamped comments and stars. Submitting a pitch is easy for the sales team, simply recording directly from their device (or re-recording if necessary until they’re happy with it) and uploading it into Bigtincan. Managers are notified when submissions are entered, and the salesperson is notified when their submission has been reviewed. Using this process, marketers can work with sales enablement and sales managers to create messaging pitch assignments for reps and give sales a direct line to the latest product and brand updates from marketing.
These five projects are a great way to improve your sales and marketing alignment. Schedule a demo to see them in action.