Marketing has three functions: build brand equity, generate demand and enable sales. If marketing is done right, it should build awareness for your brand, drive demand for your products and support sales efforts. The blessing and curse of marketing are that it comes in different forms and functions. Depending on our marketing roles and our interaction with sales teams, we support sales differently.
An approach to help you determine how to support your sales team better
Know your roles and responsibilities well:
Start with how you support your sales team and find ways to optimize the process and support efforts. If you are an event manager, you probably coordinate with your sales team on how to divide and conquer on the show floor. You know salespeople’s challenges are to gather as many leads as possible. To better support them, it’s your job to come up with creative ideas to draw a crowd to your booth. What can you do to drive more foot traffic to the booth? Whatever your situation, understand how you support your sales team and find ways to do it better.
Understand sales challenges:
Get a sense of what sales does on a daily basis, even including the kinds of rejections they receive. How do they move prospects through the sales journey? It’s very similar to understanding buyers’ personas. To market better, you need to understand your audience. To support your sales team better, you need to walk in their shoes.
Address sales challenges based on your job scope:
Pinpoint the specific challenges and needs that you can help alleviate with your roles. For instance, if you are a content marketing manager, you can identify some content pieces that sales can use or customize existing content for sales engagements.
Ideas that you can implement to support your sales team
Start with joint initiatives:
Can you find a join initiative that sales and marketing teams can work on together? For example, can both sales and marketing tackle a strategic account together? Account-based marketing is an excellent way for sales and marketing to collaborate. Brainstorm on a co-marketing plan, work together on a customer event or even work together on defining various types of marketing and sales leads.
Attend sales meetings:
Most sales teams have weekly huddles. Can you attend the weekly calls and understand the current status of sales team efforts? I often discover useful information attending these calls. From time to time, I’ll proactively ask them if I can present and share future content pieces and marketing plans and priorities. I help them understand what we are doing on the marketing front to build awareness and drive demand.
Support onboarding and training:
In technology or complex selling, sales onboarding and continuous training are critical to the success of a sales team. Depending on the onboarding agenda and continuous training curriculum, messaging framework, product feature research, competitive analysis, and even buyer guides can be part of the training materials. In addition, what about training sales on social media? Marketing tends to be on the forefront of adopting digital. It’s easy to share, do’s and don’ts of social media and tools.
There are many other ways to support sales, depending on your roles and responsibilities. Here is another blog post I wrote on How content marketing enables sales. I also share many examples in my book, Effective Sales Enablement. So, check it out.
By understanding your roles and challenges, you can determine where you can best provide value. The truth is that there is no quick and easy way to support sales. It takes time and effort to understand their needs, work with them, seek their feedback, and optimize your support based on your roles and responsibilities.