For at least a decade, there have been discussions about sales and marketing alignment and the inability of sales and marketing teams to provide a unified go-to-market strategy. Marketing is concerned that sales reps fail to use their leads, share their copy, or conform to the company’s positioning.
Conversely, sales reps are frustrated by lead quality and freelance their messaging due to a lack of templates and scripts. Reps also don’t know which content is available and how to quickly find and link it into their emails
B2B sales and marketing operations are taking steps to unify their activity. Some firms have merged the Chief Marketing and Sales Officer roles into a centralized Chief Revenue Officer function with the CRO responsible for sales, pricing, customer support, and marketing. With revenue generating and support functions under common leadership, it is easier to set joint objectives, metrics, strategies, positioning, and definitions of the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Marketing teams are also beginning to be compensated by results instead of early pipeline metrics. When marketing is also responsible for revenue generation, they are incented to focus on best practices which result in increased revenue, not intermediate objectives.
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Revenue teams, comprised of everyone from customer success to sales and marketing, are all working toward a common goal — to drive heightened revenue for the business. The biggest challenge? Revenue teams don’t always cross-collaborate in ways that maximize their efforts to achieve that goal.”
• Sanjay Kini, Chief Customer Officer at 6Sense
One of the best steps towards fostering alignment is to adopt a Sales Engagement service such as TruCadence. Sales Engagement platforms support multi-channel outbound communications through multi-step cadences, email templates, call scripts, and analytics. Email templates can be reviewed and approved by marketing to ensure that messaging properly reflects the company’s positioning and brand value proposition. Templates greatly reduce the time involved in initial communications and allow sales reps to focus on understanding and meeting the needs of their prospects. Furthermore, because marketing has expertise in A/B testing and evaluating demand generation analytics, they can assist sales operations in testing, analyzing, and tweaking shared email templates and cadences.
Templates also provide a guardrail for new hires, ensuring that their communications align with corporate messaging. Templates include links to best fit collateral and ensure a disciplined approach to prospects. New hires often lack the expertise in targeted communications, but templates help bridge the knowledge gap.
As revenue operations adopt account based marketing (ABM), it is critical that new reps take a company and market-consistent approach. ABM requires a coordinated, strategic approach to your best prospects, so mishandling an ABM account has a much greater negative impact on your pipeline than mishandling random leads generated via traditional demand generation techniques.
Refining Your Email Templates
While the initial roll-out of a sales engagement service will focus on broad messaging, marketing should soon help define a set of verticalized templates that coincide with industry-specific positioning and language. Industry-specific cadences should speak to the specific pains within the target industry, link to verticalized collateral and landing pages, and employ the appropriate terminology.
From the buyer’s perspective, sales and marketing should be delivering a common message and value proposition that addresses their industry and position-specific concerns. Cadences should be built by job function or level with email templates focused on the common pains associated with the lead’s organizational role and position. Marketing has long managed persona-based targeting and messaging, so sales should leverage this internal knowledge.
Likewise, marketing can review call scripts and define the appropriate language and tone. Marketing can also help craft short industry or function-specific voicemail scripts which can be pre-recorded and dropped on demand. Digital voicemail drops allow sales reps to move on to the next prospect while the system delivers a professional and properly positioned voicemail.
This isn’t to say that sales reps should take a cookie-cutter approach to their outbound communications. Reps should still review the emails sent in their name to ensure they are contextually appropriate and then personalize the messages as needed. After all, marketing operates with a many-to-one approach while sales reps are charged with building relationships and exhibiting authenticity. Their audience is narrower, so personalization is in order.
Sales Engagement services provide multi-channel messaging tools which reduce the effort required to craft an authentic message while reinforcing marketing copy and corporate positioning. Marketing approved copy provides a consistent message which aligns sales rep emails with the broader messaging strategy and positioning set by the marketing department. The relationship between sales and marketing has often been quarrelsome but working together is a much better go-to-market strategy.