This is an edited version of a post that Jennifer Bankston published on LinkedIn.
If only the crossroad in the marketing and sales divergence could simply be achieved by enjoying one of Cookie Monster’s favorite treats—a warm, gooey calorie-free (sigh) chocolate chip cookie. Sales personnel are looking for quality leads, and when sales and marketing teams are in silos, marketers are not viewed by sales personnel as lead generators.
1. Client Testimonials
You can pontificate all day about the value of your products and services. But, there is no greater value than in your clients providing recommendations about your products and services. A testimonial in the form of one to three paragraphs can be syndicated across all of your digital properties and is very useful for your sales team’s key collateral.
2. Communications: PR (external) and Communications (internal)
Some of the easiest wins are by ensuring your internal and external communications are aligned and engaged. What is your most viewed social content? How can you recreate such a win? Incorporate less text and more visuals, whether it be a short video or powerful graphic.
I am a strong proponent of public relations. Public relations is a great tool in the arsenal when divided into proactive, reactive and breakthrough ideas. At least once or twice a week there is some ‘breaking story’ that ties back to your target market. By inserting yourself into the conversation with your company’s insights, you automatically elevate yourself to an authoritative spot. McKinsey Quarterly recently posted new research about the public relations impact:
“Online articles written by journalists prompt consumers to seek out social media to further inform purchases (and that public relations spending to generate such articles may be a worthwhile investment).”
Competitor research and market analysis? It is imperative to stay up-to-date on competitors from their acquisitions, clientele and news. You can not only anticipate a competitor’s next move, but potentially forecast a newcomer to your market. Many companies are often blindsided when they do not keep enough tabs on the greater market and are surprised when a new entrant encroaches upon the marketplace.
4. Channels of Syndication
Companies spend a lot of time and resources to create new content for their target markets. However, existing content is often highly useful and can easily be repurposed. All companies should invest the time in cataloging existing content and syndicating it to potentially elevate engagement. Those results can be easily analyzed to measure conversion rates.
5. Customers (or in this case, the cookie jar)
Didn’t I say there were four things marketing needed to do? Well, yes. But, five is the actual customer: this one is for you, sales. Educate them with the information served up to you on a delectable, fresh-baked platter. So please Cookie Monster, pass the milk down to this side of the table.