Make your sales team thrive without dedicated marketing

In today’s world of empowered business-to-business customers, the line between sales and marketing is more blurred than ever before. However, smaller B2B firms may not have the resources to fully staff a sales and marketing team. This doesn’t mean your sales representatives can constantly pitch without nurturing leads. To grow revenue, your company may need an online marketing system to support your sales team.

It is possible to run a successful lead generation campaign without a dedicated marketing team, but your sales reps may need to change how they approach prospects. Savvy B2B marketers have an understanding of how to communicate with leads in different stages of the sales funnel, but representatives may be too eager to close deals, which can alienate prospects. However, marketing automation can streamline many tasks and reduce some of the complications for your sales team, leading to more effective processes.

Taking a more subtle approach to sales

B2B buyers are conducting more research online to identify options, select vendors and make decisions – and a great deal of this process happens behind the scenes before prospects reach out to sales representatives. This is why it’s more important to attract leads with educational content, Business 2 Community said. Rather than pitching incessantly, your sales team needs to take a step back and provide relevant content that viewers will find valuable during their decision-making processes.

The Internet is oversaturated with sales materials, and prospects are suspicious of this type of content. Leads want to get valuable information from their interactions with B2B firms. To effectively engage with your audience, you need to create content that speaks to customers’ pain points, targets a specific group and fits into a niche. Multiple decision-makers at an organizations often play a role in the selection process, which means it’s important to have content that speaks to these different personas. While this may sound difficult, marketing automation can support your sales team in these goals.

Marketing automation helps sales teams generate and nurture leads

An online marketing system can help sales professionals go after the most relevant leads. In larger organizations, there are often two teams: one that works on qualifying leads and one that closes deals, according to a blog post for Salesforce. In addition, some companies go after every lead they get and others utilize lead scoring, which can help sales managers take a more effective approach when they contact prospects. However, a marketing automation platform can eliminate the need for multiple teams because it has tools to score and nurture leads.

Lead scoring can be a great advantage for busy sales representatives who also need to handle some marketing responsibilities. Marketing automation can generate a score based on how the lead fits a customer profile and on the prospect’s activity. The ranking of how a lead fits can be an indication of whether the prospect is worth your team’s time. Many B2B products are only applicable to a niche market, and you won’t increase revenue by chasing every individual who makes contact with the organization. Engagement with marketing materials can be a sign of how close leads are to making a decision.

A balance between fit and activity scores can help your sales team refine their processes. If a lead isn’t a good fit for your product offerings, it won’t matter if he or she downloads several pieces of content. Additionally, if a prospect is a strong fit, it may be worth following up as soon as possible to fast-track the sale. For leads who are somewhere in the middle, marketing automation can help nurture them until they are ready to discuss contract terms.