Sales Marketing Alignment

5 Important Ways Sales can help Marketing

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Often the relationship between sales and marketing seems one way, since typically it’s marketing’s job to pass leads to sales.  But the relationship is truly two ways, since marketing relies on sales for critical information in order to make decisions about pricing, messaging, and product roadmaps.  Receiving this information from sales means that marketing does not have to find it by contacting prospects or doing additional primary and secondary research, saving the company valuable time and additional cost.  Below are five ways that sales can significantly help marketing:

1. Competitor information

Whether it is in designated fields in a CRM or via email, Marketers value any information about competitors you may hear from prospects.  From upcoming product enhancements to competitive reasons you may have lost a sale, this information will help marketers adjust messaging and pricing to reflect what is happening in the marketplace.  It will also help product marketing prioritize future product features and functions. 

2. Reason not sold

Similar to competitive information, marketers need information about why prospects don’t buy.  This means even when a sale is lost, it is important for you to talk to lost prospects to find out why they aren’t buying from you.   Understanding their purchase behavior will not only help you with future sales, but will help marketing provide prospects with better information in making their decision.  It will also help marketers target those most likely to buy, allowing them to send you leads that are more likely to turn to sales. 

3. Opting key contacts back in

Sometimes customers or key prospects will opt-out from receiving emails because they don’t feel like they relate to a specific email or because they find they are receiving too much email in their inbox.  Whenever you call someone, it is important that you check and see if they have opted-out of email communications.  If they have, ask them if you can opt them back in while on the call.  This will allow marketing to help support your message by sending email communications to the prospect. 

4. CRM data

While it can take time to read through and populate the many questions in a contact, account, or sales record, the fields in a CRM system have been created because someone finds the answers useful.   Try to be as accurate as possible when filling in information and try to populate as many of the fields as you can, even if not mandatory, since marketing will be segmenting  and communicating to prospects based on this information.   Often these fields include information about company size, number of employees, industry, and location, which are key to many marketing segmentation strategies. 

5. References and Testimonials

Testimonials help prospects select vendors.  They are used on websites, in press releases, and in product literature.  Identifying customers to make testimonials is often difficult for marketers, since they do not always speaking with customers on a daily basis.  Instead, when closing a sale, ask the purchaser if they would serve as a reference or give a testimonial after they implement your product.  Then communicate to marketing those that may be willing to speak well for your company.  Marketing will give them time to implement and then follow-up with them asking for the recommendation.  

If sales can help marketing with the items above, marketing can thank sales by using time saved to create additional sales enablement tools, more competitive pricing, and leads that are closer to selecting your product