This is Part 3 of a series of posts about Aligning Sales with Marketing. Go back to Part 1.
Step 3: Refine Customer-Ready Messaging
Sales and marketing must collaborate to develop messaging that resonates with prospective customers and empowers salespeople to have meaningful business conversations. Too often, messages revolve around product features and don’t speak to customers’ challenges. Sales and marketing should conduct joint meetings with friendly customer advocates willing to share their business pain points and purchasing drivers. Then use this information to shift messaging from how the product works to how it solves business problems.
Listen and Learn
The key is testing and evaluating message relevance and its impact on customer conversations before marketing materials are fully developed. The most expedient method is inviting marketing to silently listen to sales prospecting calls, which can be accomplished unobtrusively if your telephony system offers whisper capabilities. You are even better off if you can record the conversation for future playback, enabling a larger percentage of the marketing team to participate in shaping the message.
Step 4: Develop Customer-Ready Materials
After messaging has been vetted, sales and marketing must work together to refine marketing material. Surveys indicate that up to 90% of traditional marketing material is unused in the field , leaving critical customer conversations to chance.
From Features to Usage
The key is converting marketing material from a list of features into usage scenarios. Make sure content is not too noun-oriented. Content that is verb- or action-oriented illustrates usage scenarios more effectively. For example, a paint manufacturer might traditionally focus on the virtues of his paint, his types of paint, and paint colors available. Shifting focus, the manufacturer would discuss how easily customers can paint with his brand, the type of painting they can do, and the results they can achieve.
Customer-ready messaging and materials enable marketing to attract prospects that more closely match the ideal customer profile and supply sales with the tools to foster value-based conversations and convert more leads into opportunities and profitable customers.
Come back tomorrow for the conclusion to this series about aligning sales and marketing.