January 29, 2021
Telecom, IT and cloud companies need to integrate their sales and marketing teams into one department focused on B2B sales growth.
That’s according to Angela Leavitt, founder and CEO of Mojo Marketing. During a webinar Thursday, she talked about how 2020 forever changed B2B sales. Thanks to no face-to-face meetings, it’s now a digital-first world.
Mojo Marketing’s Angela Leavitt
“We can no longer think of marketing being on the front end of the engagement and then handing it off to sales, and sales takes it and runs across the finish line,” she said. “That’s not how it is anymore. You’re completely integrated. And I think we’re going to start to see people stop referring to their sales department and their marketing department, and start referring to their growth department. That’s a hand-in-hand partnership.”
Sales and marketing have traditionally had conflict and internal struggle with one another, Leavitt said. Now they need to come together, and set common goals and plans. Furthermore, they need to execute their plans, analyze and measure those plans, and communicate regularly.
“This misalignment, this struggle, is extremely costly to companies,” she said. “And even if you do your own sales and marketing, if you’re a sales and marketing department of one, you can still have misalignment between your activities. This decreased sales productivity, or wasted marketing efforts, is costing U.S. businesses $1 trillion a year. Seventy-nine percent of leads generated never convert to sales. But the one that makes me cry the most as a marketer and a salesperson is that 73% of leads passed to salespeople are never contacted. That’s incredibly wasteful.”
Organizations with good alignment have really impressive growth in B2B sales, Leavitt said.
“Think of this as a leak in your boat,” she said. “You go plug this leak and you’re going to see amazing results overnight.”
Increasing B2B Sales
Leavitt also gave other examples of things that successful companies do to increase B2B sales:
Cement thought leadership, which differentiates and builds trust. Public speaking, social followings, and conducting and publishing research are good ways to gain thought leadership. This in turn “de-risks” the buying process.
Embrace buyer enablement and make buying “ridiculously easy.” Turn your website into a virtual salesperson and offer a self-guided buying experience.
Leverage data for greater visibility into buyer behavior, and what’s working and not working.
Automate and personalize communication with CRM and marketing automation software. This allows you to nurture relationships digitally until leads are ready for the sales conversation.
Create video and interactive content. Make sure you’re hooking people with your content. B2B buyers want interactive content, such as quizzes, calculators and assessments.
Make the customer the hero and you are the guide. Create a brand script focused on the two roles and mapping the customer’s journey.
Launch account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns. Create personalized plans for your target, reducing all the waste and noise of speaking to the masses.
Leverage market development funds (MDF) from carriers and providers to fund activities like launching digital campaigns.
“More and more, carriers and providers, they don’t want their money going to schmooze,” Leavitt said. “They don’t want it going into parties. And last year, all of that stuff got wiped out first anyway. They are looking for savvy partners who bring them the digital aspect and say, ‘I want to run this sophisticated campaign.’ And they are more than happy to fund those types of things.”
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