Sales and Marketing: 8 tactics for better collaboration

7 min read
Apr 29, 2024 10:02:55 AM
Sales and Marketing together today are the key to more customers. In today's online landscape, Sales and Marketing are increasingly becoming one; the two parties can no longer operate as isolated islands. Together they form the commercial team of the organization and therefore they will have to work together at every stage of the funnel. How do you do this in a structured way?


Working together for more leads and more customers

Many companies have already found that the success of (Inbound) Marketing is largely determined by the degree of cooperation between Sales and Marketing. How well these two parties are intertwined and work together determines how successfully your organization brings in leads through online. So you can safely say that Sales and Marketing together form the foundation for the growth of the organization.

To provide the organization with this solid foundation I describe 8 tactics to strengthen the relationship between Sales and Marketing from an Inbound working method.

Download the white paper Inbound Marketing and learn how to do better business in the digital era.

Top-of-the-funnel tactics

A lead who is top-of-the-funnel has only just learned about the organization. It has not yet been contacted by Sales and it is not yet known if he fits within the "fit.

1) Align the Marketing message with the Sales message

sales marketing

In all content, in campaigns and on all marketing channels, the persona should receive a consistent message. But the message that Sales conveys must also mirror this marketing message.

Before a Sales and Marketing strategy can be implemented, it is important that both parties come together to discuss the target audience, associated tactics, tone-of voice and writing style of the message to be conveyed. If this is well thought out in advance, it prevents confusion and frustration afterwards from both the client and colleagues.

2) Create buyer personas together

sales en marketing

Often the buyer persona - the description of the communication target group(s) - is drawn up by Marketing without input from the Sales team. Unfortunately, this often creates a larger gap between Sales and Marketing in understanding who the target audience is and how to address them.

Sales people are experienced consultants and are in the business of building relationships with customers on a daily basis. They often know very well what their customer is struggling with and looking for. So Marketing, with the help of the sales team, can gather very valuable insights that help build a very sharp customer profile. Sales also often greatly appreciates that Marketing involves them in the process.

3) Work together on content marketing

sales en marketing

The use of content is incredibly powerful with both Marketing and Sales at the top of the funnel. Marketing doesn't have to do this alone. Since Sales benefits just as much from acquiring new customers, they are just as responsible for providing relevant content as Marketing.

Sales, for example, knows what's current news in the industry and what prospects are concerned about on a daily basis. They can package this information into useful content offerings themselves or pass it on to Marketing if necessary.

Middle-of-the-funnel tactics

In the middle of the Sales funnel are the prospects who have been qualified by Marketing and Sales, but are not yet ready to initiate a conversation or buy. Again, the focus is on Sales and Marketing working together to "nurture" (nurture) these leads with relevant information.

4) Work together to develop lead nurturing templates

sales marketing

Lead nurturing is about offering a sequence of relevant content to convince the person in question, step by step, that the product or service is the best solution.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel every time. Lead nurturing templates can be prepared in advance that streamline this process.

Sales and Marketing can thus collect in advance a selection of Emails, blogs, whitepapers and other relevant content (fitting the interest and needs of the persona at that moment) and offer them in logical order in an automated way, with the right tools that make this possible.

Not only does this take a lot of manual work out of the hands of both parties, but it also gives Sales very important insights into which content does or does not work for a prospect, before they get in touch with them. Sales can then adjust the lead follow-up accordingly. In this way, Sales is involved in the entire process and does not have to grope in the dark.

5) Create Case Studies, Reviews and Testimonials together.

sales marketing

Case Studies make great content to show desired customers what the organization has concretely meant (or means to date) to current customers. Because they always speak from the customer's perspective, case studies, reviews and testimonials are a reliable source for potential customers.

Sales knows better than anyone else the success stories of customers and can present a true and honest story. Marketing can then fine-tune to present exactly the message that answers prospects' questions at all stages of the buying process.

6) Make clear agreements on lead follow-ups.

sales en marketingWhen Marketing with lead scoring tactics (this can be set up with Marketing Automation tools) assigns an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) score it means that this lead is "ready" to be handed over to Sales.

But. since we are still dealing with people (!!!!) of course not every Marketing Qualified Lead is necessarily ready to start a conversation with a sales representative. Each potential customer still goes through the buying process at their own pace. It would be a shame if Sales drops a lead because the lead turned out not to be ready to buy/ready to talk when making contact.

So Sales and Marketing will need to make clear agreements on how to bring a lead back to Marketing in this situation. This includes thorough reporting - so Marketing knows what the objections were - and Marketing can apply the right lead nurturing tactics to eliminate these objections.

Bottom-of-the-funnel tactics

Sales and Marketing have worked hard to build a relationship of trust with a potential customer. The final steps represent the moment of truth for both Sales and Marketing. Marketing can support Sales in this process.

7) Share insights about the challenges of the target customer.

sales en marketingSales and Marketing have created personas together if all goes well. Marketing is busy sharing content daily through relevant channels such as the website, blog and social media. Thanks to good reporting and monitoring, they know better than anyone how the target group reacts to this content.

A blog that is shared or read a lot, that triggers discussions or that enjoys a high conversion rate has clearly struck the right chord with the persona in question! So Marketing continuously tests the personas in the market and thus learns a little more every day about the motivations and challenges of the target group.

It is essential that Marketing regularly shares these insights with Sales, so that Sales can tell a relevant and accurate story at the table with the customer. This keeps Sales and Marketing continuously feeding each other valuable information about the target group.

8) Work together on lead scoring

Sales marketingLead scoring once again has to do with Sales as well as Marketing. For companies that receive dozens of leads every day (through Sales and through online channels), it can be tremendously difficult to assess these leads one by one.

Based on the behavior of this lead, you can therefore assign a score. Lead scoring can be used when using Marketing Automation tools such as HubSpot. One conversion gets a different score than the other; when someone visits a quotation page, this indicates that the lead is considering buying a product from you, and therefore gets a heavier score than someone who downloads a top-of-the-funnel white paper.

When lead scoring is automated, it prevents a lot of unnecessary confusion between Sales and Marketing as to whether a lead is 'sales-ready' or not. Because the boundary between Marketing Qualified and Sales Qualified is predetermined by both parties, both Sales and Marketing know when they have done their jobs correctly.

Sales and Marketing alignment

I hope these 8 tactics will help you in streamlining Sales and Marketing activities in the organization.

Keep in mind that the entire organization must understand what the organization's raison d'être is and what promise they are making to the customer. If the organization does not have agreement in the added value they can offer (why), Sales and Marketing will grope in the dark and never achieve full alignment in practices (how and what). Start with why!

The icons in this email are the property of Webs. This blog was inspired by this article on the HubSpot marketing blog.


Want to stay updated on all HubSpot changes? Subscribe to our newsletters, follow us on Instagram or join our HubSpot User Days!

Explore HubSpot User Days