Experts Answer: What should marketing do to support B2B sales?
We’ve been thinking and talking about the role of marketing a lot, especially through the lens of Sales Enablement. We wanted different perspectives on the subject, so we contacted a group of sales enablement & b2b selling experts and asked them. Here’s what they had to say.
What should marketing do to better support B2B sales?
Many things, I'm sure. Marketing, in addition to customer service, is one of the most important functions in supporting sales. Personally, I would concentrate on the co-operation being seamless, as if the functions had no clear borders. Both parties know what the goal is. Growing the business and getting leads is very challenging today. When marketing really supports sales in lead production, there's a good chance of success. On the other hand sales needs to have both the right expertise and the right tools, or the good lead can fall through. We all know, that when making the buying decision, the buyer first evaluates the salesperson and their credibility before everything else. How the salesperson acts and how and with which tools they make their case is key.
I would like to ask what could marketing and B2B sales do better together in order to generate more revenue? Create lead generation process which enables sales to interact with the potential B2B customer BEFORE actual live meeting and helping to form a common insight of the future co-operation --> adding the value of the meeting and shorten the sales cycle.
To have their fingers on the pulse, utilizing social media, partners etc. in all channels, so that they can support and empower sales. The collaboration between marketing and sales is important and they should move hand in hand, helping one another.
Marketing shouldn't be separate at all anymore, but a part of sales management. The faster marketing adopts the same metrics as sales (number of inbound leads, their value and cost etc.), the faster they can synchronize. The most important task for marketing is to facilitate sales by a) increasing awareness, b) increasing customer experienced brand value and c) most importantly build trust in the products ability to help with the customer's challenges.
My premise is that the function of marketing is to remove barriers before buying from existing and new customers with the best possible ROMI. This means understanding the whole buying journey from identifying the customer to increasing recognizability throught advertising and to sales materials. So, it's mostly about knowing the customers and using that knowledge to support sales.
Marketing needs to understand that their customer is sales. Marketing needs to be able to produce data, which helps sales to think about and develop their operations. Marketing needs to be able to help sales do things better. Marketing needs to be able to connect the customer and the organization (usually sales) so that both parties benefit from it and want it.
We should stop talking about marketing and sales - and yes, I know they are there because one makes specific job that term describes. Anyways we should start talking more about what marketing does: creates awareness, funnel and pipeline that then gets handed over to sales development folks who needs to progress, mature and close this pipeline by the end of the day. So focus turned to revenue flowing in, if that is too small, then back tracking to certain parts of the funnel or pipeline where it gets stuck or where the win % is too weak. Long story short - we should make marketing do sales and sales do marketing.
So, there you have it. The world of marketing is full of new tools and technologies, but the core function hasn’t changed all that much. Sales and marketing need to work together, but, according to our expert panel, marketing’s main job is to use any and all tools in their arsenal to bring sales and the customer together. Marketing, then, is still like cupid, while sales and the customer are the star-crossed lovers who just need a little push to find each other.
We highly appreciate all the respondents for sharing their thoughts and providing valuable insight regarding what to take into consideration when planning sales & marketing!
You may also read more about the B2B sales development opportunities in our previous Experts Answer -article.
If you’d like to talk about this topic more with us, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or book a call with one of our Sales Enablement experts!
Henri Piipponen, Sales & Marketing Director
+358 50 350 0051