Going from lead to customer together: how marketing can help sales

5 min read
Apr 29, 2024 2:14:28 PM
The business buyer is more discerning, knows more, expects more and does not allow himself to be "sold" as easily as 10 years ago. This is well known to many a B2B company. Yet internally the roles of sales and marketing in many organizations have not changed.


The business buyer is more discerning, knows more, expects more, and does not allow himself to be "sold to" as easily as 10 years ago. This is well known to many a B2B company. Yet internally, the roles of sales and marketing in many organizations have not changed. Dat often means that both parties are reinventing the wheel - separately from each other. That is not necessary! After all, goals and challenges of marketing and sales are very close to each other nowadays. Marketing can help sales in many ways, and vice versa as well. In this blog, I tell you how.

The traditional division of roles between marketing and sales has reached its expiration date

The customer knows very well what he wants and needs contact with a salesperson increasingly later in the buying process.

In very concrete terms, this means two things:

  • Marketing plays an increasing role in filling the sales funnel. To know what captivates and binds a potential customer, you need a specialist. You can find this (among others) in sales; after all, they sit around the table with the customer every day.
  • Sales, in turn, must conduct the conversation in a different way than before. To sell based on value, sales needs to know how, why and when the customer moves across your channels online. For this, sales needs the marketer.

The following illustration shows very clearly the shift in roles.

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 11.29.46 AM.png

Goals of marketing and sales are very close to each other

Especially in B2B, where products are complex and a deal is far from transactional in nature, marketing can add a lot of value before the sale. That marketers at B2B companies are aware of this can be seen in their goals:

  • Convert contacts into leads and customers
  • Achieve an increase in website visitors
  • Increase sales from existing customers
  • Proving the ROI of marketing efforts
  • Sales enablement (helping sales close the deal)
  • Reduce the cost per contact/lead/customer

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 11.31.01 AM.png

And what does sales engage in?

  • Closing more deals (higher lead to customer ratio
  • Increasing efficiency in the sales funnel
  • Reduce the length of the sales cycle
  • Social selling (smart use of social media during the sales process)

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 11.01.37 AM.png

What does sales struggle with more now than in the past?

  • Getting answers from prospects
  • Closing deals
  • Addressing multiple decision makers in the organization
  • Identifying good leads (prospecting)

Slightly lower on the list, but also interesting:

  • Using social media more during the sales journey
  • Making a connection via E-mail

As you can see, the goals of marketing and sales are very close to each other. Sometimes they even overlap! Marketing can therefore very well help sales from its expertise in achieving goals. Vice versa this applies just as well.

For example, sales can > help marketing deliver qualified leads:

  • Marketing goals: goals that match those of sales
    Sales is used to working on the basis of targets. They can help marketing quantify targets in a way that is understandable for them and for management. Inthis blog I'll tell you step by step how to reverse engineer the sales funnel and arrive at realistic targets.

  • Reporting: for support & insight

    Sales reports its progress periodically to upper management. They can give marketing the tools to do the same! When KPIs are set up in addition to goals, clear reporting gives marketing the (indispensable) support for plans.

  • Definitions: compare apples with.... apples!
    Sales has a clear picture of what they mean by a lead. It is up to sales to first equalize these definitions so that marketing knows when a lead is qualified or not.

  • Customer profiles: who knows the customer better than sales?

    Every B2B customer has different goals and therefore different knowledge needs. Sales knows the customer inside out, and can share this valuable knowledge and experience with marketing.

This is how marketing > can help sales close the deal

  • Buyer personas: who is your ideal customer?
    Based on the insights gained about the customer (customer profiles), marketing can draw up buyer personas. This allows marketing to build a unified picture in the organization of the persons (the DMU) to whom marketing and sales are speaking. It is up to marketing to continually hone these personas and ensure that sales benefits from them.

  • Customer insights: providing sales with data-driven insights

    Of course sales can tell a lot about the customer, but your target audience online also tells a lot about themselves! A modern marketer uses well-thought-out metrics to track how a potential customer moves across online channels. A lot of valuable information can be gleaned from this. Sales can use these insights to better connect with what captivates and binds the customer. So customer knowledge comes not only from sales, but also from marketing. Tip: There is software on the market, such asHubSpot's Marketing and Sales software which helps you become a data-driven professional who has a 360-degree view of the customer.

  • Social selling: social throughout the sales journey

    We just saw that smart use of social media during the sales journey is an important goal of sales. Marketing can give sales excellent advice on how to set up their social media profiles.

  • Content creation: help sales become 'helping sales people'
    There is a lot of good content in the organization. If it is not there, marketing can create it using a well thought-out content strategy. The content is not only valuable for converting website visitors into leads (marketing), but can also be used very well fornurturing leads (marketing) and closing the deal (sales). Thus, sales becomes a helping salesperson. This content can serve as a hook at different stages in the buying journey.

  • E-mail marketing: a nurturing tool for marketing and sales

    Marketing can support sales by using E-mail to bring blogs, white papers and other valuable content to their attention. But also think of trade show activation where leads can be enthused about your services, products and people before, during and after a trade show.

As you can see, there are many ways in which marketing and sales can lend a hand to each other. Finally, both parties are jointly responsible for growing the organization!

If you can't wait to get started, along with sales, check out the white paper on digital marketing for manufacturing companies. Discover how to gain indispensable insights to deployactions at the right time and seamlessly connect them, and then you can get started.... from lead to customer!

The above results are from HubSpot ' sState of Inbound report.


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