Historically, marketing and sales have been siloed in two different arms of a company. Marketing was focused on establishing relationships with potential customers, while sales was concerned with closing leads. Marketing tried to understand and target its customers through data, while sales would often only reach out to prospects and clients when they needed to sell something.
All of that is changing though, as SaaS subscription models call for a sales rep to resell a product year over year to customers. One of the companies we work with, HotSchedules, faced a similar problem a few years ago – how could they keep the same clients coming back to use their services year after year? To deal with these kinds of changes, sales teams like the one at HotSchedules adapted some traditional, marketing-only tactics, like targeted campaigns and data-backed decisions, to develop and nurture lasting relationships with their clients.
Using Targeted Sales Campaigns
Marketing has long been preoccupied with spreading awareness of a company’s products or services, which meant one thing: campaigns. Email campaigns, advertising campaigns, direct mailer campaigns…you name it, and marketing has done it.
With regards to sales, reps would often take mass marketing materials like generic brochures or pamphlets from these campaigns on sales calls for clients. But as time went on, sales saw a need for the more targeted materials in order to create lasting relationships with their clients, similar to those that marketing has come to rely heavily upon. Because of this, a trend we are seeing a lot more of now is that sales reps are taking targeted materials with them on sales calls – flyers based on the client’s’ industry, role in the company, past buying behavior, current needs, etc – in order to create a strong foundation that’s necessary in today’s business environment.
Understanding Prospects through Data Analytics
A second resource that historically belonged to the marketing department was data analytics. That is, until recently. Now, reps are able to send an email campaign to prospects at the top of their funnel and immediately receive feedback: What version of the message received the highest open rate? When was the best time to send an introductory email?
As the prospect becomes a lead and continues to move down the funnel, the rep is presented with increasingly more information to tailor his or her messaging for them. Through analysis of this information, it’s easier for sales reps to analyze successful campaigns and other endeavors that resulted in a closed deal and recreate the same results in the future.
Using data analytics to attribute successful outcomes to specific actions the rep took means less “bluebird” opportunities – leads that seemingly materialized out of thin air – and more opportunities that the sales rep can hope to recreate in the future.
While marketing and sales have their separate roles in business, it’s undeniable that some techniques that work well for one – like targeted campaigns and data-driven analytics – can work similarly for the other. By using tactics that have been successful for marketing in the past, sales is able to adapt to changing business models and lay the foundation for strong, durable relationships.