Recent research from both Frost & Sullivan and SiriusDecisions has found that one of the biggest issues for sales and marketing teams is developing compelling messages that are aligned to their customers’ business pains. By aligning the two teams, this issue can easily be resolved.
Internal alignment between sales and marketing teams can ensure that the sales team’s knowledge about your customers’ business issues, and how your solutions resolve them, informs the messages that deliver your value propositions in your marketing communications. So you end up with the results you want.
Using what you know
The marketing team’s strength lies in its ability to convey messages clearly and concisely in the right tone and in the right place. But the performance messaging that it creates needs to be informed by the sales team’s knowledge of the customer journey. By working together to develop a content marketing strategy that identifies what the business pains are, along with the key messages that have been shown to move previous prospects further along the funnel at different stages, the two teams can achieve a lot more together.
In The Aberdeen Group’s report ‘Sales and Marketing Alignment: The new power couple’, both teams in the best-performing companies have shared access to the marketing collateral that they have developed together. The management of the sales and marketing teams also meet 69% more frequently than in other companies, so they are constantly revising their messages together to respond to their customers’ needs.
Companies that are using co-developed inbound marketing content in lead nurturing programmes are seeing the length of sales cycles shrink by up to 23%.
Getting the message
If you’d like to see the length of your sales cycles shrink, get the sales and marketing teams together and follow these steps to develop your business pain-aligned messaging:
- Step 1: Create business pain statements for each of your personas
- Step 2: Discuss how your products/services can resolve these business pains to develop the messages that respond to each
- Step 3: Align these messages with the content pathway stages in your content marketing strategy
- Step 4: Develop the content in different media, all of which is designed to elicit responses, to continually learn more about your customers and prospects
- Step 5: Deliver the content in a structured, automated lead nurturing programme that can track which messages get the best responses
- Step 6: Get better results from your marketing activities
Research has shown that 66% of buyers indicate that ‘consistent and relevant communication’ is a key influence in choosing a provider, so getting the message right will transform your results.
SiriusDecision’s brief ‘Operational Intelligence to Maximise the Business Value of B2B Communications’ poses several questions that businesses need to consider to better their communications strategy. Among them is this:
- How do the best-performing communications teams align with other departments and how do they collaborate for further messaging optimisation?
Pose this question to everyone in the business that has customer contact. Finding out what conversations they’ve had with customers can add even more weight to your performance messaging and as a result, you can completely align it with your customers’ business pains.
Alistair Norman | Marketing Director
Alistair is responsible for the strategy, design and implementation of our Inbound and Content Marketing, with a focus on developing B2B and B2C markets./td>