Sales and Marketing have never gotten along. With the emergence of new technology, the restructuring of the buyer’s journey and the development of content marketing, the relationship between the two functions is facing new challenges and reaching sales and marketing alignment remains difficult for many B2B organizations.
The New Role of Sales
The way we sell today is drastically different from how we sold fifteen years ago, notably because of a shift in how consumers make their purchase decisions. In the old outbound model, sales reps were to find, pitch, and sell to prospects. The more prospects they reached out to, the more chances they had to generate revenue for their organization; it used to be a number’s game.
In today’s inbound model, the sales rep has become a facilitator. We estimate 80% of the buying cycle has already been completed before a prospect even considers contacting a vendor. The reason for this is the abundance of information leads have available at their fingertips. The new role of Sales is to help prospects find the relevant information to help solve their need and establish a relationship of trust.
The Reason for the Disconnect
While Sales has adapted to the new buying model, Marketing is still focusing the majority of its efforts on demand generation. In fact, in a SiriusDecisions survey, marketers were asked to rank their top concerns; sales enablement only arrived fifth while demand creation was first.
There is a discontinuity in the goals looking to be achieved by Sales and Marketing. While Sales is having a hard time communicating value to their leads because of the lack of appropriate content, Marketing is getting more and more isolated in their efforts.
Is Content the Answer to Sales and Marketing Alignment?
Content is a great tool for demand generation, and it is also invaluable in latter stages of the buying process. Content can be used to nurture leads, close deals, as well as retain and delight existing customers. By using content for sales enablement, not only is Sales able to engage prospects and close deals more effectively, but Marketing is provided with information on what pain points content needs to tackle and is able to adapt their content strategy.
Marketing and Sales can and should work hand in hand around their prospects’ needs to ensure high customer satisfaction and meet better success within their organization.
Not sure what content to deliver to your leads in latter stages of the buying cycle? Check out this post to learn how to adapt your content as your leads descend the funnel.
Photo by Donna C. Green