In order for a content marketing team to create great content, they need to understand the problems prospects are having.
If marketing does not have access to the problems that the sales department deals with from day to day, they are going to be coming up with topics out of thin air. That’s how you end up with content that sits in a sea of sameness, and doesn’t really connect with your audience.
Your prospects, leads and customers are unique. Their problems are unique. And they are the best source for creating unique content. Unique content is the key to success in content marketing. Therefore, your prospects, leads, and customers are the key to success in content marketing. Your marketing team needs access to the information your sales team deals with on a daily basis. They need to communicate.
Having access to marketing information also helps out the sales team immensely. Having content for leads to consume, and knowing which content they have consumed, means the sales team can do less educating and more selling.
You need to set up a system to harbor communication between sales and marketing. The alignment between these two departments is known as “smarketing,” and it is imperative for content marketing success. Here are some ideas that can help.
Have sales and marketing meet on a regular basis.
Make sure there is a time and place for marketing and sales to meet every week to go over the sales funnel. They can brainstorm ways to move a prospect down the funnel, or think about how they are going to close a deal based on the content they’ve consumed. Sales can also discuss the conversations they have with leads, so marketing can learn about their problems and come up with the right content that can help solve those problems.
Make sure they are working in close quarters.
They don’t have to be on top of each other, but it makes sense to have their work days intertwined. This will help encourage relationships between the departments and make it easier for them to communicate when they need to. It’s hard to learn about a salesperson’s prospects when they work from home all week long. It can be done, but if you have them in close proximity of each other it will help.
Use tools that encourage communication, that both departments have access to.
Simple tools like Slack can open up communication between sales and marketing. It’s also a good idea to make sure the CRM the sales team uses can link up with the marketing software the marketing team uses. HubSpot’s marketing platform and CRM allow leads to seamlessly travel from one to the other, so there’s no chance of dropping the ball.
Make sure they understand why this is so important.
This shouldn’t be too hard once the engine is humming. When there’s a big sales win, have a recap of what made this a success. What was the buyer’s journey like from start to finish? When sales and marketing work well together, you should be able to see where each department had a big part in converting the customer.
There needs to be more than just a hand off between marketing and sales when it comes to a lead. With the right communication systems in place, these two departments can help each other through every stage of the buyer’s journey.