MarketingContent is King Jan 01, 2017 The phrase even rings true in today’s consumer-driven sales industry. Not only does it draw in new leads, but the right content keeps prospects engaged throughout the sales process and helps push them through the sales funnel. Because of this, an effective marketing team is more important than ever. This is where most companies fall short – it’s easy to dismiss marketers as just content creators and leave them in their own space. But creating a consistent marketing presence requires getting the marketing team involved in the company’s overall strategy. Putting a focus on marketing during strategy development and weaving sales and marketing together is crucial to developing the digital presence needed to excel in the modern industry for these 3 reasons. Brand Unification Business today is all about the brand. How does your company look? What images and ideas do you want to be conveyed to consumers when they see you, whether through web searches, email, or social media? Whether it’s charitable shoe manufacturers, a company’s decision to support marriage equality, or how much they celebrate Christmas, consumers care about what their purchases communicate about their personal identity more than ever. Some elements of branding are obvious, and therefore deliberate: design, color scheme, language, etc. But whether or not they realize it, marketing and sales reps are always contributing to your company’s brand, from the content being posted to interactions with leads and existing customers. Making marketing and sales part of your strategy will keep your agents on the same page when it comes to the images and ideas they are pushing through their various avenues of contact, keeping your brand consistent and true to your vision. What are the unique features of your product, and how does your product differ from competitors? What problem does your product solve? Knowing those things gives your agents the focus they need to build your brand. It leads your agents to the best talking points to bring up with prospects, the type of content to publish and share, and even the appropriate Twitter handles to interact with. Developing a presence around your values and worth as a company is crucial to building the right brand, and understanding what those are empower your marketing and sales teams to help you do that. Qualification The primary function of marketing is to provide sales agents with new leads – that’s nothing new. What is new is the level of leads that good marketing can bring in. High-quality, relevant content drives web-generated leads, and ever-developing analytics can get the qualification process started before a lead is handed off to a sales agent. One of the most common ways to accomplish qualification through marketing is lead magnets – offering something valuable in exchange for information. Any number of things, such as demos, coupons or tips and tricks, are offered for all sorts of information, such as company, job title, or just an email. Not only does this pull interested leads, it actually offers data to help sales agents initiate contact from a stronger position. Lead magnets are a great way to get a jump on qualifying inbound leads, but between web analytics and the current online landscape, powerful insights can be gleaned from your content, in general. The prominence of social media means many people interacting with your content are doing so through their personal accounts – accounts with personal data. Watch who’s interacting with your Facebook or LinkedIn pages. Follow their accounts – what are they posting about? Who else are the following? Are they a part of your target industry? Do they seem like someone with buying power? Someone interacting with your online presence is likely interested in your product, and their accounts often display a wealth of personal information to help you determine whether or not they are a quality lead. Site analytics can provide useful details on the interactions your site is driving. Figures like what web pages a visitor is coming from and how much time they are spending on which pages offer a glimpse at how people are discovering your site, where else they are looking, at what sort of solutions they are looking for and can narrow what you’re promoting and who you’re promoting to. If an active user goes on to request a demo or utilize your contact page, you already have an idea of who they are and what they need. When sales and marketing stay on the same page, these resources become even more important. Knowing what the marketing team can do helps sales know what to ask for, and knowing what the sales team needs helps marketing know what to look for. Build cohesion between your sales and marketing teams, and both will be more effective. Lead Nurturing Good content drives inbound lead generation, but it’s also critical to properly nurturing leads. Consumers today want to maintain control throughout the sales process. They want the opportunity to take in information on their own terms and draw their own conclusions rather than having everything told to them. That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t like to have those opportunities handed to them. Sales agents need to be able to send resources to their leads; white papers, case studies, and client testimonials are all great resources that agents can send to potential customers and allow them to form their own conclusions. It’s also content that comes from the marketing team. Having the right content at the right time helps agents move through sales cycles more quickly. For marketing agents, though, it can be difficult to know what sort of information managers want and clients need to see in content such as white papers. In a way, it comes back to branding. Knowing what solutions and features need promoted allow content creators to develop a focus in their content and the data they are seeking. At the same time, consistent interaction and strategy with sales helps marketing to understand what sort of information prospects are interested in, and what content is resonating with them. Proper nurturing leads to shorter sales cycles and stronger clients, and proper strategy and alignment between sales and marketing leads to focused resources for stronger nurturing strategy. An effective and involved marketing team is vital to success in the modern sales industry. Developing a strategy that involves marketing and building a strong alignment between the sales and marketing teams will increase quality leads and strong opportunities. Strategy, of course, comes from the top. But there are tools to help sales and marketing agents stay on the same page throughout the sales process. Sales acceleration software such as DialSource makes it easy to keep all data up to speed and in the right place. Whether during qualification or a sales cycle, every piece of information stays with the right records – leads, accounts, and opportunities. If a lead magnet pulls in data on a lead, that data follows the lead once it’s handed off to a sales agent. Additionally, powerful analytics offer insight on the content that is being sent during sales cycles and when. Are prospects following up after receiving certain white papers? Are they more likely to respond to a case study when it’s sent after an early interaction or late? Does a particular client testimonial typically result in a demo request? Determining the best time during the process to send certain content will give your sales agents a better chance to close deals. DialSource logs and analyzes every interaction, making every piece of data accessible so that you can easily determine what’s working. Develop your marketing strategy form the top and keep your sales and marketing teams aligned with DialSource to build a bigger presence, find better leads and close more deals.