B2B marketing works meaningfully when its results are used by the sales team. However, there are a few principles to follow, as we do in Visibility. I divided the topic into 3 main parts:
- common strategy,
- joint communication,
- common tools.
Note that the word “common” plays a key role in the harmony of marketing and business. Let’s talk more about what it makes sense to do together:
Business goals should not remain a secret in the company. However, they should be unified for both marketing and business. The business wants to generate leads from marketing , or in other words – contacts to potential customers, and marketing needs from the business to know what and how much. So what may be the required data that you should know? For example:
- your company’s annual turnover plan,
- how much of this turnover will make your average ideal client,
- how many such clients do you need
- what conversion does your sales team have,
- how many leads (contacts to potential clients) should be generated by the marketing team so that the sales team closes the required number of ideal average clients.
Who is my client?
You can correctly define the ideal client using 2 simple steps:
Define your target group – company segment and size, target market and other specifics.
Create people who serve the marketing team by default. However, focus specifically on sales staff, ie the ideal clients you want to reach and move their sales team as leaders.
Marketing qualified lead
Marketing already knows who to reach. It will start producing content, campaigns and other activities that will start to generate leads. In reality, however, most of the leads gained are unusable for business. Therefore, it is important to define which contacts to move the sales team and which not.
In principle, the lead must meet the following conditions:
- it’s your target group
- it is a decision maker or has the ability to decide for him (it is one of the defined staff),
- is interested in your services or products,
- has a budget for your services or products
- knows the services or products offered in this way (not only yours, but also competitive ones).
On the marketing side, you can identify the first 2 criteria by default and criterion number 3 in part.
Marketing should therefore collect data in lead generation campaigns to help you evaluate your eligibility criteria. This can be, for example, the following data:
- Company Name,
- person’s name
- job position of a person,
- telephone number,
- indicative budget,
- interested in a specific service – this information can be obtained:
- out of context – was at a specific event, webinars and the like,
- directly enters what he is interested in.
Once you have this data, you can think of it as a marketing qualified leader who can go on a presales qualification to find out more details.
Business qualified lead
The next step is business qualification. A marketer who is specifically designed for presales qualifications will look at marketing qualified leads and select the ones that suit them. Hooray, you have generated trade qualified leads that traders can use for cold calls or other forms of addressing.
It looks a bit different when someone has contacted you directly, either via a web form or by calling your company. In this case, the qualification takes place directly with the client. You can find out the necessary data using various qualification questions.
Marketing and sales funnel in one
You will summarize the individual steps and draw them in a common marketing funnel. You follow the activities that lead to the closing of the deal.
Everything we mentioned above can nicely cover and automate a tool or several marketing automation tools. In addition to being able to deliver relevant content to a specific contact using set rules , he can also do lead scoring. With such lead evaluation, you can automate lead qualification and trader allocation based on predetermined rules .
Hold regular joint meetings to discuss the current situation, goals achieved and next steps. Marketers attend marketing meetings where they see what marketing campaigns they are planning. Instead, the marketing team should attend business meetings to keep track of the business results filled with KPIs and the topics traders are dealing with.
Communication with clients
It may also be a good idea for someone in marketing to attend a business meeting with a client and a salesperson. It is the best source of information about the people that marketing should reach. It can also be nice to spend some time on business phone calls with a client. This way, marketing finds out exactly what your potential clients are interested in and how much they want to reveal about their business at the first contact.
Make clear reporting. Everything should be visible and easily accessible for marketing as well as business:
an overview of financial results,
overview of generated leads,
overview of closed leads – how many of them traders won and how many they lost,
for each leada, its source should be clear. Was it generated via a newsletter or at a conference? It is important that traders know how to approach specific contacts and that it is clear in the statistics which source of leads is best.
Create a common alias for email communication. At Visibility, we have one email for the sales team and one for the marketing team. We use them to share important information in both directions. It also allows other teams, such as product teams, to share their information with both groups.
Nothing will work without clear and constructive feedback. The sales team needs to know what the marketing team’s options are, and the marketing team needs to know what to change in their strategy to get more and better leadership. I also think about these topics and communicate them to my marketing colleagues:
Are the qualification criteria sufficient?
Which marketing activities generate better clients for us?
What materials do we need the most at the moment? Are the references or case studies displayed on the website?
What types of campaigns do we want to implement in terms of production capacity?
Marketers also need to know what kind of clients the company actually wants. He may also receive such feedback from other teams.
CRM or ERP
Good CRM is an essential business management tool. Within B2B, I would recommend, for example, Pipedrive for smaller companies , on which Visibility has also grown in the past. If you want to expand cooperation with other departments, it is good to move to a more sophisticated solution. We are currently testing the Odoo ERP tool , which allows you to connect the management of the entire company – including sales and marketing.
Marketing can upload leads directly to the tool, where they assign tags that point to a resource or other important parameter. Based on the tags, merchants then filter and find them. After qualifying “Opportunity” and move it to your sales pipeline.
Many times, the trader’s most powerful tool is a reference or case study. Marketing can be very helpful in this regard. He may create such documents and publish them on the web.
I would like to point out that our creative department, skilled copywriters, account and graphic designers play a big role in creating these documents in Visibility.
These materials should be in an easily accessible place so that the trader can quickly “pull” them out and use them.
Marketers should have a good idea of the marketing activities that are used to generate leads. They can even participate in some of them or create them on their own. At Visibility, we do long-term inbound marketing. This means that we try to give our followers, fans and clients especially valuable content. You can read more about inbound marketing in our dictionary – the definition of Inbound marketing .
The generated lead from inbound marketing is more qualified. Thus, the sales department is more likely to be successful. Such activities include, for example:
Blog articles – Every company has people who have the competence to write articles. It can be product specialists or company management. Virtually anyone who is interested writes such articles in Visibility. Traders are no exception. It depends, of course, on the content strategy that defines the relevant content appropriate for your site. In addition, quality content is one of the basic pillars of SEO.
If your merchants don’t know / don’t want to write, you may want to consider writing someone else on their behalf. However, the tone of communication and the personality of the trader must be maintained here . We do not yet use such a method in Visibility.
LinkedIn – After the last algorithm update (at the time of this writing), LinkedIn allows users to share external content without being penalized for it. This way, marketers can easily leverage content prepared by the marketing team. Juraj said more about the algorithm update in his video blog .
Events and webinars – when you create your own events, the sales team should be directly involved. Immediate contact with a potential customer is essential . If you do a conference, of course, send your salesmen there as well. If you do a webinar, generate participant data so that marketers can qualify and reach them quickly. Qualification is also important here, but you don’t want to bother people and you do events primarily because of the content itself. Then only address those you can really help.
Special Campaigns – Create campaigns that communicate a specific product or service. Find out merchant preferences – what product or service do they want to sell? What type of customer or segment do they want to focus on? Then choose the person, campaign format and the appropriate marketing channel accordingly.