As a B2B marketer, you may consider yourself a top-gun lead generator. But in today’s highly competitive B2B sales environment, handing leads over to Sales just isn’t enough anymore. Sales and marketing should be aligned around a common goal: closing revenue. When all is said and done, it doesn’t matter if you’re driving heaps of leads if those leads aren’t turning into revenue. As marketers, we have the opportunity as well as the responsibility to help our sales team convert as many qualified leads as possible into customers.
There are good reasons why one in four inbound sales teams are now reporting to marketing. As marketers, there are a lot of things we can do to help sales reps be successful. Here are nine ways that B2B marketers can help maximize sales success.
Route Calls to Reps Based on Marketing Data
Most companies with inbound sales teams use some sort of call routing. But most sales teams just aren’t using sophisticated enough call routing engines. With the right solution, marketers can route calls to the most appropriate rep based on buyer intent data. To do this, marketers need to use a call tracking system that can capture the channel, campaign, or even keyword that a prospect viewed prior to calling. This data can then be used to route callers to specific reps based on the marketing effort that inspired the call. For example, if a prospect calls in after clicking on an ad for wireless routers, the call could automatically be routed to a sales rep that specializes in selling wireless routers. Routing calls to product specialists automatically can have a powerful effect on inbound close rates.
Provide Reps with Call Tracking Data in Real Time
Providing sales reps with a CTI can enable marketers to share call tracking data with those reps at the time of inbound calls. For example, our call tracking solution logs the source of inbound calls in Salesforce and delivers that source data to reps the moment the phone rings via a CTI screen pop. The result is that our customers know what to sell prospects before even answering the phone.
Provide Competitor-Specific Collateral
We always recommend that our customers track which competitors they are winning and losing deals to in Salesforce. Then, if you notice that you’re reps are going up against specific competitors often then you should consider crafting specific content that shows ways that your company is better than that specific competitor. Then, the next time one of your reps finds themselves in a deal against that competitor, the collateral can help them to gain an advantage.
Alert reps to Content Downloads
Marketing automation platforms like Marketo and Pardot can be used to alert sales reps when leads fill out forms and download web content. It’s important to share this data with inbound sales reps in real time. If a hot lead downloaded content, it can present a perfect window for salespeople to reach out to them.
In order to ensure that messaging is consistent between Sales and Marketing, marketers can provide reps with email templates. Those templates can then be customized and personalized by the sales reps.
Help Reps Prioritize Leads
Marketers often use marketing automation platforms for lead scoring. For those of you who aren’t familiar, a lead score assesses how hot a lead is based on a variety of activities. Visiting web pages, filling out forms and downloading particular pieces of collateral are all activities that can demonstrate how sales-ready a lead is. After leads become marketing-qualified, sharing this lead score with sales reps can help them to determine which leads they should reach out to first.
Create Vertical-Specific Content
If your business has particular industries or buyer personas that you are routinely selling to, marketing can help reps close more deals by creating content that is targeted at that vertical. For example, say you sell social media advertising software and regularly find yourself closing deals with nonprofits. You could create content specifically showing ways that you can help nonprofits with their fundraising efforts.
Provide Sales Reps with Contextual Content Suggestions
As you’re creating a library of content (blogs, ebooks, etc.), it’s important to make sure that sales reps are aware of which content can help them close various sorts of deals. There are different ways to do this. One way is to create a spreadsheet that lists content that’s appropriate for various deal stages or verticals. There are also third party tools that can provide reps with contextual content suggestions.
Provide Reps with Social Media Data in the Context of Calls
Finding common ground with prospects is one of the best ways to build instant credibility. Knowing what leads are posting on platforms like Twitter and Facebook can help sales reps to have more intelligent sales conversations. For example, suppose you see that a lead just went on vacation to your home town, that is data that could be used to build credibility with that customer.