In this screencast video, we’ll look at why Marketing and Sales departments at manufacturing companies tend to operate in silos. More importantly, we’ll show you how to get them working in sync so you can drive better-qualified leads and more resulting revenue for your organization.

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Video transcript:

Hey, everybody. I’m Joe Sullivan, a co-founder of industrial marketing agency, Gorilla 76. And today’s topic is one that’s really been my personal mission with our clients for the last year. That’s aligning the marketing and sales departments within their manufacturing organizations.

So the reason this has become such an area of passion for me is that we see this great divide between marketing and sales departments almost 100% of the time when we’re talking to industrial sector companies for the first time.

We’ve also seen firsthand sort of what happens when that gap starts to be closed. Changes just happen all across the board on the business development front. All of the sudden, marketing and sales are working toward the same goals, more qualified leads are being generated, the volume of those qualified leads starts growing, and ultimately, revenue growth follows suit.

So in this video, we’ve broken it down into three sections here. First, we’re gonna talk about why that great marketing sales divide exists in the first place. Then we’re gonna take a look at why closing that divide matters. And then finally, we’ll get into some tangible stuff and take a look at how to actually go about doing it. So let’s jump over to my screen.

Let’s begin by talking about why this great divide so often exists between marketing and sales teams within B2B manufacturing organizations. Think about this question for a second. Why do marketing and sales departments exist in the first place? Why would a manufacturing organization staff or even outsource marketing and sales personnel? The answer is pretty simple. Ultimately, these departments exist to help grow the business. The job of marketing is to create business opportunities, and the job of sales is to close them. Yet, so often, this great big wall exists between the two departments. But why is that?

So we’ve identified four reasons we think this divide exists. The first reason is that, in many cases, neither department really knows much about what the other one does. Marketing kind of does their thing and sales does theirs. And each department has a stereotypical impression of what goes on across the hall. As far as the marketing department is concerned, sales is on the phone all day cold calling, entertaining prospects on the golf course, knocking on doors, walking the halls of trade shows. And as far as sales is concerned, marketing is doing arts and crafts, and having brainstorms in coffee shops, playing around on social media, and doing, who knows what on the company website. But the point is that each department often exists in its own silo.

The second reason we believe this divide exists between marketing and sales is that sales is as much of an art as it is a science. No B2B salesperson works exactly the same way, and once they kind of figure out what works, they’re less receptive to change a lot of the time. So what’s the motivation for a salesperson to listen to what marketing has to say? Why fix what’s not broken, right?

The third reason for the divide is that, until the last five or 10 years, marketing success was often measured by vanity metrics, and that’s if it was even being measured at all. So by vanity metrics, I mean things like, how many people we’re reaching, how many marketing activities we’re executing, are the phones ringing more? Today, however, we have this wealth of information available to us online that lets us measure things that actually impact business growth, like website traffic, contacts generated from that traffic, sales qualified leads that were a part of those contacts, opportunities created from those sales qualified leads, and then revenue generated from those opportunities. And along with these measurement capabilities comes a whole lot of lead intelligence that sales departments don’t even know exists to them in a lot of cases. So sales can’t harness this data if they’re not aware of what’s available in the first place.

Finally, the fourth reason this divide exists is that, despite the good intentions of many manufacturing Presidents or CEOs, they often lack the knowledge around what’s even possible from a marketing-sales alignment perspective. And as a result, there’s no mandate coming from above to get these two departments in sync. So that’s a perfect lead in to the next part of this video, where I’m going to talk about why closing this gap is so important.

So I want to start here by sharing a few stats with you. First, 57% of the buyer’s journey is completed before the buyer talks to sales. Second, 50% of leads are qualified, but not yet ready to buy. And then third, when sales and marketing teams are in sync, companies become 67% better at closing deals. So together, these three stats really tell the story of why marketing and sales teams should be collaborating. The fact is this, the B2B buying process starts well before the first sales call, and so marketing needs to be hard at work for your organization before that touch point happens. Let’s look in more detail.

So here’s what marketing needs to do. First, they need to learn from the sales team who the ideal customer is. What are the characteristics of the companies who are the most ideal fits? Next, marketing needs to understand who at those companies, whether they be design engineers, plant managers, presidents, procurement folks, whoever they may be, play a role in the buying process. After that, they need to identify what all the challenges and pain points of those people are. What do each of these buyer personas care about in the first place? Next, marketing needs to learn where these individuals go to seek information, whether online or offline. And only then can marketing start to execute. So whether through content marketing, SEO, paid media, or other channels, marketing’s ultimate jobs are to generate website traffic among companies that fit the ideal customer profile, then convert that traffic into tangible leads, and enable the sales team to effectively pursue them. The job of sales, on the other hand, is to qualify and convert those leads into opportunities and then move them through the buying process to revenue.

So I always like to end with some tangible steps that you can take to put what you’ve learned into practice. So let’s look at how to tear down that wall between your marketing and sales departments. Here are four things you want to do. The first step is critical. You need to reach a mutual understanding that the authority figures within the marketing and sales departments, for example, the VP of Sales and the CMO, will meet quarterly, minimum, to share insights, data, and feedback. And you have to think of this meeting as being mandatory, not optional. The second step is to create together those ideal customer and buyer persona profiles. The third step is to set shared targets for revenue and sales qualified leads. And the fourth is to create a written process for sharing on open and closed leads and sales between the two departments.

Let’s take a little bit of a closer look at the last three on this list. So in regard to creating those ideal customer and buyer persona profiles, the idea is to develop a mutual understanding between marketing and sales for what types of new business opportunities you’re pursuing as an organization. I recently wrote an in-depth article on this topic and I’ll link to it in the page notes. We’re also working on a video on this topic as well, similar to this one, but zeroed in on ideal customer profiles and buyer persona profiles. But in short, here’s what you want to come to an agreement upon.

In terms of the ideal customer profile, you want to agree on industries that you’re targeting, the size of the companies within those industries in terms of revenue and number of employees, how much they spend with you, where they’re located, who they sell to, the technology they use, your access to their decision makers, company values, things like this. Get this all in writing.

And then in terms of your buyer persona profiles, for each of your different buyer personas that you’re targeting – the people who play a role in the buying process of those ideal customers – you want to be able to document their job titles, the role they play in the buying process, their level of authority at the company, their pain points, what that person values about you, the level of education needed by that person about what to buy, where he or she seeks information, how he or she usually discovers you, potential objections to hiring you, keywords he or she might search for in Google, and then real-life examples of that client within your existing customer base.

So back on this action step slide, let’s talk about the third bullet for a moment, setting sales and SQL targets together. So in short, here’s what you want to do. Start by agreeing upon a revenue target. Let’s say your company wants to grow by 10 million in the next year, and you want 50% of that growth to come from new sales as opposed to growth of existing accounts. So that means marketing is gonna have to generate leads that result in $5 million in new sales. Pretty simple math there. If your average customer is worth $500,000 to you, then you’re gonna, of course, need 10 new accounts to reach that $5 million target. And if your sales team can effectively close one in three of the sales qualified leads put on the table, then you’ll need to generate 30 truly sales qualified leads. Once you have these targets in place, now you can work together to build a plan to reach each of those key metrics along the way to revenue target.

Finally, back on this action step slide, let’s address the fourth bullet point, creating a written data sharing process. So with your quarterly marketing-sales alignment meetings that we’ve been talking about, here’s what you need each department to bring to the table. Marketing should be a bring a list of all leads generated over the past quarter since you last met. And then sales needs to bring a list of deals closed over the past quarter, value of those deals, opportunities that were lost over the last quarter, and reasons for losing them. And then together, you want to talk about all this stuff.

Marketing can solicit feedback from sales about which leads were ideal and which are either unqualified or maybe even a waste of the sales team’s time. Sales can, on the other hand, communicate which deals that were closed, that they want to replicate. And if you’re using a smart marketing software – something like HubSpot – you can learn which marketing activities generated the leads that actually closed as customers. Then together, you can make strategy adjustments to do more of what’s generating revenue and less of what’s not.

Okay, that’s it for today. So I’m gonna post some of the previously mentioned resources in the page notes. I encourage you to subscribe to our industrial marketing newsletter and also visit our learning center on a regular basis for more content like this. And if you would be interested in setting up a free consultation at some point to talk about how to get marketing and sales aligned at your organization, please don’t hesitate to fill out the request for consultation form at gorilla76.com. So thanks for watching.

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