James and Chelsea discuss the importance of aligning your sales and marketing function to clearly track the return of any marketing campaigns. Get in touch for more info at [email protected]
Integrate sales and marketing
Podcast Integrate sales and marketing
Hi, and welcome to say, what’s up? In this episode, we’re going to be talking about the importance of aligning your sales and marketing strategy.
Hi, so I’m with James today. And we’re going to be chatting all things sales and marketing and the importance of making sure that these two business systems are streamlined.
Yeah, it’s interesting topic, really, because it can be, it is very long one, really, I mean, a lot of clients don’t think about the sales targets when they come up with a marketing strategy. And they operate very much in two independent silos in a business where they think they need to do some marketing activity, but they don’t know why. But they’ve also got sales goals that they don’t share with marketing team. And there’s a lot of disconnect between those two things.
Yeah, definitely, I think. So personally, I’ve done both roles in the past. And I’m now a marketing manager. And I also do some of our sales aspect. But in the past, my role was pure sales. And I’ve also had just a pure marketing role. And I think you’ve been relatively similar as well, haven’t you, James, where you’ve had to live from both of them. And from our experience, it’s not worked when the two teams have not worked together?
No, that’s right. And I think even when you’ve got a client who has external agency, quite often they don’t share their marketing their sales goals with that marketing agency. Yeah. So yeah, it’s almost like it’s a protected thing, where they don’t want to discuss it. Yeah. So maybe someone somewhere I was written down this year, we want to do X amount of money next year on this amount of money, how we’re going to get there, but quite a lot of time. They just made me go, oh, well, we need to do some marketing that might get us there. But there’s no real alignment with
that. Yeah, definitely. And I’ve definitely faced it in the past where I’ve had clients come to me like Chelsea, we want to do some marketing. And I’m like, okay, so what are your business goals? And it’s like, well, we just want, we want 1000 followers on LinkedIn, or I want my, I want my Instagram page to, I don’t know, have like 100 likes per post. And it’s like, Okay, that’s great metrics. Like, that’s brand awareness. At least I’m getting something. But what is the point of this? Do people buy from you in this respect? Like, why do you want this? Yeah,
there’s a lot of activity for activity sake. Yeah, well, I would say I think, what we what we tend to find is, like you say, they might have some KPI metrics, and then, you know, you can go a little while don’t, you’ve beaten your targeted followers. That’s amazing. And, you know, for one point of view, it’s like, okay, so activity has worked. It’s it’s grown something. Yeah. But it still doesn’t come back to what’s the point of it from a sales point of view? Yeah, definitely. I think, yeah, no one actually knows why.
Yeah, nothing from like a commercially viable business. I think we’re not going to be shocking anyone here are we James, where we say that basically, the first thing that gets cut really, in most businesses, when times go bad is marketing?
Oh, completely. I mean, the thing that feeds the sales, it’s the thing that gets cut, which is always the odd thing about marketing budgets. Yeah, because everyone sees them, they don’t see them as a revenue maker on the whole assume as a cost. But I think that’s really just down to a lack of tying KPIs to sales goals, and demonstrating where the difference makes. So for example, if you had a business that ran a particular marketing campaign, and it cost them 3000 pounds, and they, and then they just sort of sent out, let’s say, it was a mail shop, like old fashioned proper direct mail shop, yeah, they spent three grand on it. And then they got a bit of business back, they probably wouldn’t feed that back to the sales team, or the sales team wouldn’t feed back to the marketing team. So you continue couldn’t say that we want that client from that work. Yeah. And that client has then been worth this amount of money over the years. So a good example, is when I first started this business before, and the first things I did was I sent out 2000 letters to target companies, of which a few of them came back to me now a few of them sat on them for probably eight to 12 months, and came back to me. But I know from a couple of them, we’d made something like, one 2000 pounds a month or a couple of those clients for the next five to seven years. Yeah. Which in reality, tying that back, essentially, yeah, man that that was a marketing activity to generate your sales. So reality should jump out again. Because it paid for itself, everything else it. But this thing. So a lot of activities that people do. They don’t. They just don’t, they don’t sort of get the learnings from it. And then they don’t feed that in through to the sales team. So the sales team understand where the business comes from. Yeah, I used to be a marketing manager in house at a company. And I always have this challenge, which is around yeah, we’re doing these marketing things to feed the sales team. But it will be seen as two separate things like they knew marketing was happening, but they didn’t know why marketing was happening. And then the sales team very much kind of like oh, yeah, well yeah, we process the orders. So we make the money then Well, how’d you get the orders?
Yeah, no. I think it’s always different way difficult. And you’ve got those two different silos. But I think bringing it back. I guess the difference between B to C E commerce and b2b lead generation really is it’s just night and day because we’ve got clients that we do both for so it’s super easy with b2b and b2c e commerce, even b2b e commerce where obviously they’re ordering directly through the website, we can pull up reports where it’s like a free your SEO, we’ve been able to generate this much through that mailshot that we sent, we’ve created you 7000 pounds in revenue, this one social campaign was 12k in revenue, while we had
it recently, we put out a blog post for a client who then converted work from Oxford University,
Oxford University. But the best part of that is we were working directly with the director on that one that also processes Sue’s. So she knows. And we also have that dialogue with her that we can whatever we’ve done, and she asked the question to the prospect as well. Where did you come from? And she followed that stream? I’m which is it’s just ideal for a client to actually be that commercially savvy and to know to do that on a b2b lead generation case.
No, you’re right. But I suspect a lot of the problems with that are that the people that are take the orders or take deal with the inquiries never asked where it came from. Yeah, so for argument’s sake, so like the case, you mentioned, the director deals with all the inbound inquiries. And we’ll know where that have come from, because they’re just more on it. Whereas like, in some businesses, you might have, like a junior salesperson, just picking up the phone go, yeah, how can I help you? They’ll go and talk about the all of the one but nobody ever go, oh, actually, Where’d you hear about it? So like, when we get inbound leads, we’ve got a number of lead sources that we know work well for us. And we always try and pin down where did the customer find out about us from? Yes, it then proves that our marketing activity works in terms of sales generation, but a lot of clients miss that really important middle step. And used to get this much more prevalently in direct mail again, because you’d have like a direct mail campaign, you put a phone, you put your general business phone number out? Yeah. And then the phone up, no one’s ever asking if he did us, they just saw it somewhere. Yeah, but again, then you can’t prove the ROI on that marketing, then because nobody knew he came from that marketing, it could have come from the yellow pages back in the day, you know, nobody really knew they were just putting stuff out there and hoping somebody saw them. And this is this is where that sort of disconnect between the sales and marketing targets, really needs to be overcome to make sure that the marketing doesn’t appear to be sort of forgotten about halfway house of just someone’s doing something, but we’ll drop it if we lose money if we’re not making any money.
Yeah, definitely. And I think what we’re starting to see now in bigger companies, specifically is they’re kind of bringing marketing, customer service and sales all under the same umbrella really having like I’ve a commercial director, or like a chief revenue officer, that sort of thing. And I think that model particularly works really, really well. Yeah, definitely.
I think, you know, that whole combination, almost led by marketing, to create, you know, and obviously, the fixed factors, all the other parts of business. So, good customer service feeds into good marketing, which feeds into sales. Yeah, it’s a big circle, and it works with all businesses. But I think too many is probably more the established businesses that have been there a while they struggle to come out of the routine that people are in.
Yeah, definitely. I think what we’ve seen with a lot of the Heritage brands really is in the very kind of like account management focus, very sales driven, and they don’t really understand what marketing is they just think it’s like a picture on Instagram, or something to do with sending out an email maybe once a quarter, and it’s a lot of the work that we have to do with clients like that is to actually re educate them because we’re not even re educate them just to educate them because they’ve never seen what marketing can do. I found this usually with people that come from a finance background or a sales background. They don’t know what marketing can actually do for them. Maybe that’s just
because no one’s explained it. No one No one’s explained that that piece of business that you’ve invoiced, originated in this marketing campaign. Yeah. And that that’s literally all it is. So yeah, you need somebody in the business needs to say, right, having awareness of what is going out. And it could be a massive mix of marketing things. It could be social media, it could be a direct campaign you’re doing it could be some telemarketing. It could be email marketing, whatever. You need a way to measure where that customer was acquired from. Yeah. So that you can go actually marketing has value in this business, because we wouldn’t have that client if we hadn’t done that marketing activity.
Yeah, definitely. I think from businesses that I’ve seen in the past and worked very closely with one of them that I’ve seen, they had a head of business that came from a marketing background and the business did really, really well. It made a lot of sales and money. eyes, it was great and even free, like I guess brand disruptions and a few reputation issues, because they had that marketing approach. And they would always try and repair the repair the PR, I guess they always did really well, then when they change business had, and it came from someone from a finance point of view, the brand went to absolute shit, because they were basically focused on the bottom line. And they didn’t really understand the importance of branding and that sentiment that actually, you kind of need to have that good public sentiment that drives sales. Because if people don’t think you care about them as a business, they’re not gonna want to buy from you
know, exactly. And like you say, you do see this more commonly on heritage brands. I think some more startup brands that potentially run by younger people are more aware of the culture around customer service and feedback, and all the things that come with social media, basically, they’re just more aware of it, and the heritage brands of Qatar more old fashioned in that we have a sales team, and they take the orders, and we have a marketing team, and they do some marketing, but we don’t know why. And yeah, you see that much more commonly.
And I think as well with that, that just comes down to leadership styles as well. And those kinds of heritage brands are usually quite hierarchical structures and what the person at the top says goes, whereas I think in younger companies, what you’re seeing is that flat agile structure, were actually the person who heads up the business or or spearheads the issue, like, they understand the importance of the feedback, like you were saying, because they’ve been a digital native themselves, they understand that feedback is literally everywhere. You can use social media and digital marketing as an incredible listening tool for just seeing, I guess, what’s out there and what people are actually interested in so they can have that agility. And also, I’d say, as a leader, they’re quite humble. And they have the humility to listen.
100%. And this is the thing, isn’t it? I think, yeah. It’s almost an arrogance or ego point about some of the older businesses that yeah, we got here without needing to worry about that kind of thing. But then you suddenly find something gives in the business and they go, oh, we need to catch up with that. And then it’s like a massive push down to sort of reinvigorate that marketing strategy, and they hire people. But they still don’t know why they’ve done it. It’s not
streamlined at all. It’s literally just like, they have the they have the marketing team. And they think that the marketing team is going to solve all the problems. But actually, you warehouse can’t fit you stuck in Yeah, your back end systems don’t work your IT team and your IT equipment. They’re not up to date and modern. So how do you expect these 234 people to be able to come in and just change the whole infrastructure of your business? It’s just not commercially viable?
No, exactly. And because it takes a cultural shift to do that. It’s taking the ill then requires them really to flip their thinking to make the marketing more important in the sales team. Yes, because the cell team fundamentally and most businesses are audit takers, not salespeople. So it can you replace that with an automated function probably most of the time, but they had to, but then they didn’t think you can. But then that, and that’s where you get this massive disconnect. But it’s just really difficult to get agencies to sort of see that until something really bad happens, then they say,
yeah, definitely. I think, like you said, This one could go on for such a long time. And we’re always happy to help with some specific problems with aligning your sales and marketing or just just educating people on the importance of marketing in general, because it’s not actually as fluffy as people think it is. No, definitely.
But it’s something that we say we have lots of conversations about and quite happy to talk to clients about and trying to find ways to educate and just just help them really work through that with the team members they’ve got is actually really interesting. I think we will all be quite happy to share knowledge with clients who want to come to us on that.
Yeah, definitely. But if you have any questions around aligning your sales and marketing, get in touch it’s Hello at so marketing.com