How to Improve Sales Results by Integrating Sales and Marketing

While Reducing Costs for B2B Technology Companies

Are you unsure how to improve sales results within the B2B technology industry? What are the first steps to increase market penetration and close more sales?

We propose that in order to improve sales results, two key internal departments, marketing and sales, need to combine their efforts into one unified sales team.

By integrating your marketing and sales teams’ efforts (methods, people, and budget), you can improve market penetration and sales results by up to 74% while reducing your cost associated with marketing and sales by approximately 30%.  

What is Marketing Doing?

The typical B2B technology company has a marketing person or team performing the following functions:

  • Content Creation (website content, blog articles, ad and search campaigns, printed materials, signage, etc.)
  • Branding (improving a company’s brand)
  • Graphic Design
  • Video Production
  • SEO and PPC

A common result is a low number of unqualified leads to which your sales team pays little attention. Your costs include salaries and bonuses, website developers, video production, graphic designers, content writers, SEO experts, PPC fees, and promotional events.

What is Sales Doing?

The typical B2B technology company has a salesperson or team performing the following functions:

  • Cold Calling
  • Networking
  • Client Interaction
  • Responding to RFPs and Bids
  • Developing Quotes
  • Various attempts at closing

The common result? The organization is paying far too much for far too little results.

Think about it; how much are you spending on sales and marketing? Analyze the total cost, including hard and soft expenses – employee costs, third party costs, external brand experts, website content developers, expenses from your sales team, networking events, travel costs, etc.

When sales and marketing are fully integrated, focuses on best practices, and is staffed with statistically proven top performers, the organization increases market penetration, improves sales results, outpaces the competition, and reduces their total costs (marketing & sales) by as much as 30%.  

Here, we’ll walk you through the sequential order to make this happen.

How to Integrate the Sales and Marketing Teams

We have created a model to increase market penetration and improve sales results. While lowering overall headcount, you will eliminate process gaps and redundancies.

Gaps – Tasks in some areas that fall by the wayside and are left unaddressed by either sales or marketing.

Redundancies – Too many people try to tackle similar tasks, without paying attention to internal efficiencies for time, workload distribution, and money.

The different responsibilities of sales and marketing need to be carefully articulated in the job descriptions. This new approach involves an integrated macro (marketing) and micro (sales, sales engineering) effort to generate qualified leads with real decision makers and close sales based on a tangible business case enabling your client to improve their competitive position or operational performance.

1. Develop a Unified Business Case

Marketing and sales must agree on business messaging. Ask yourself, “Who is our customer and why do they buy from us instead of our competitor?” A compelling business case reveals how your buyer can reach a specific business advantage  – not about how great your product or service is.  

An example is: “We work with leaders of technology companies to help them improve sales results by up to 74%.”

Both marketing and sales need to communicate the business advantage in all their messaging, including:

  • Verbal communication
  • Website content, blog articles, chat function  
  • Emails, e-Newsletters
  • Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, G+, etc)
  • Networking and training events

We call this the 5×1 (“five-by-one”), which you can learn more at our sales training event, Advanced B2B Consultative Selling.

2. Define Your Target Audience

Once sales and marketing have articulated the business case focused on a competitive business advantage, result, or improvement, they must deliver it to the correct target audience.

They must sell to the right person and the same person. That person is a decision-maker within the targeted geography, company, and industry.

Marketing must be focused on developing and refining a database of decision-makers – a process known as rationalization. Sales pulls from this pool of qualified leads.

3. Communicate

We recommend a daily (no less than weekly) meeting between sales and marketing to discuss how many, if any, leads converted into customers. A figurehead in the marketing department must accept responsibility for the quality and quantity of leads – Top Of Funnel Leads (TOFL) – that are delivered to the sales team. Sales needs to communicate which leads resulted in a closed sale.

Both teams need to look for a measurable result and ask questions – how will marketing procure new leads? Is sales presenting and closing effectively? What needs to change to improve sales results?  

4. Measure Results

Results need to be measured on the same metric. Marketing should not be measured by analytics – website visits, social post clicks, LinkedIn impressions, etc. – but on the number of leads that sales is able to close.

To improve results, you must evaluate the amount and usage of:

  • SEO
  • The website chat function
  • Web monitoring tools
  • Blogging
  • Networking
  • Trade/teaching events, customer seminars,
  • Newsletters
  • Social media
  • Emails
  • Calls

At the end of this cycle, how many qualified leads were given to sales, and how many leads converted into customers?

Improve Sales Results  

B2B technology companies need to integrate the activities between their sales and marketing teams, transforming them into one lead generation organization, to dramatically improve sales results while reducing the total cost of sales.

If you have more questions, Joe Morone would love to talk more and discuss feasibility and fit.

Joe Morone