Mackenzie | August 25, 2020 | Inbound Marketing
There is a ton of information on the internet about sales and marketing alignment. A lot of it talks about opening up lines of communication. While that's true, it's not particularly actionable or specific.
We've written quite a bit about sales and marketing alignment. What it is, what it can do for you, and how to use HubSpot to make it happen. What we haven't talked much about are specific, actionable steps our clients can take to get sales and marketing on the same page.
With this blog, I'm sharing 4 ways construction companies can align sales and marketing teams for overall business growth.
If you're not a construction company, don't worry, I still have resources for you:
But if you are a construction pro looking for ways to boost that bottom line, here are 4 specific, actionable ways to align sales and marketing for overall company growth:
Let me guess:
Your marketing team feels like they're delivering the sales team leads that sales just doesn't follow up on. Your sales team complains that marketing just isn't sending them any good leads.
Yeah, it's that common.
The solution? Leverage your sales reps' experience working directly with customers on the job to better define your ideal leads and buyer personas.
Here's how that works.
In the construction industry especially, it's easy for sales reps to become distanced from the rest of the team. They're often out in the field talking and working directly with customers, with little reason to head back to the office.
But, your sales team has valuable information your marketing team can put to work for you and the sales team. They have first-hand experience working with your ideal customers — they know what they do, what their pain points are, what pushes them to close a deal, and what might stop them from closing.
Here's an example of a problem that can happen when marketing doesn't use the sales team's insider knowledge.
The marketing team writes a buyer persona for a male general contractor in his 50s.
They say he's the key decision-maker for your ideal type of large commercial building project. Marketing develops content with this buyer persona in mind and writes their monthly newsletter to him.
But the sales rep who works with that type of project knows that the key point of contact is usually the general contractor's head of administration, who is a woman in her 40s.
Even though the general contractor might make the final decision, sales knows that to be able to make a bid on the project, they need to first talk to that person in administration. She's the person who reads marketing's emails, and is researching for the content marketing publishes on the blog.
This is a key problem for your marketing strategy. Marketing is writing to the wrong person, which means their content is unlikely to connect or resonate with the person sales needs to talk to.
This is a pretty real example showcasing the importance of getting information from the sales team. The information sales gathers out in the field is exceptionally valuable to your marketing team. It's all the data they need to put together specific, relevant buyer personas, and content to reach those buyer personas. But, if your sales and marketing teams aren't aligned, it's likely that this information doesn't make it far beyond your sales team.
If you're working to align your construction company's sales and marketing teams, leveraging your sales team's direct customer experience is a great place to start.
It gives both teams the information they need to collectively define what a qualified lead looks like, so marketing can start putting together campaigns that draw in those leads. When that happens, sales gets more of the leads they know they can close, and your marketing team knows they're delivering leads that sales will follow up with.
It's an essential step in sales and marketing alignment for growth, and it's a key tactic for construction industries in particular. Your buyer personas are unique, and sales has valuable input that can guide the development of those personas, and the marketing content that generates the leads your construction company wants.
Solution #1 was geared at leveraging the sales team's knowledge to help marketing. Solution #2 leverages marketing's unique skills to help the sales team. Here's how.
Your marketing team's job is to nurture leads to the point that they're ready to send over to sales. They're great at drawing in large volumes of leads, weeding them out, and converting the qualified ones into warm prospects who are ready to make a sale.
Your sales team doesn't rely so much on content as they do personal relationships. As I mentioned earlier, in the construction industry, most sales reps do their best work in the field. But, they likely have a few stucks.
Maybe a warm prospect goes cold for no reason. Or the sales team finds that they're consistently bidding on a specific type of project, and losing out in the final round.
You can leverage your marketing team's expertise at creating and delivering lead-nurturing content to address these sales concerns.
A great way to align your sales and marketing teams is to bring in marketing expertise to create sales enablement content that can help sales nurture prospects through those key points of the funnel where they consistently fall out.
Get your marketing and sales teams in one room.
Have sales lay out the problems they consistently face. Whether it's a specific type of buyer falling out of the sales funnel or the most common pain point that stops a prospect from converting to a sale, have sales explain the problem to the marketing team.
Then, let both teams brainstorm what types of content would help solve this pain point.
Maybe it's a quote calculator that lets prospects estimate how much their project might cost before they ask for a bid. Maybe it's a nurturing email workflow that re-engages cold prospects, inviting them back into the sales funnel.
Inviting marketing into the conversation is a key way to address these pain points in the sales process. Every sales team faces problems like this.
Your marketing team is well-versed in reaching out and engaging with cold leads. They can apply that same expertise to developing the sales enablement content your sales team can use to provide the right message, to the right prospect, at exactly the right time.
When you use your marketing team to help your sales team develop nurturing content, you're aligning your marketing and sales teams in a way that helps you win more projects.
In any industry, it's easy for sales and marketing to feel at odds. In many construction companies, marketing and sales can feel like they're competing against each other to find and convert the best leads.
The best way to get everyone on the same team? Set common goals.
I've talked about what SMART goals are and how to set them before, so I won't get into the nitty-gritty.
I will say that setting common, overarching goals that both sales and marketing contribute to and are responsible for is a key way to effectively align your sales and marketing teams.
This goes back to leveraging the strengths of both teams, too.
For example, if sales is having trouble closing on a specific type of project, or if there's a new product they're not having any luck selling, marketing can create a campaign that promotes the project or product to those ideal buyers that sales has identified.
The key here is that both marketing and sales need to have the same goals — whether that's an overall revenue goal, or a SMART goal that breaks down how many leads marketing needs to bring in, and how many of those leads sales needs to close on.
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times.
And yes, I will only ever use this gif in the communication section of every blog.
Jokes and SpongeBob aside, communication is the surprising key to effective sales and marketing alignment.
It's easy to overlook something so simple, but we see it constantly with our construction clients.
Your sales team is out in the field.
They're checking out job sites, talking to prospects, making product recommendations, and trying to pull in those jobs that will deliver the largest returns.
Your marketing team is in the office.
They're trying to think of creative ways to get your brand out ahead of the competition. They're regularly creating emails and brochures, developing ad campaigns, and interacting with visitors and leads through your website's chatbots.
Between the two roles, it's easy for each to lose sight of the larger goal.
To keep the focus on drawing in and closing more of the right leads, getting both teams in the same room is essential.
When sales is out in the field, and marketing is back at the office, there aren't a ton of opportunities for them to connect.
Set up a standing meeting. Even if you start with one single meeting once a month, it gives both teams the chance to connect.
If possible, try to work up to a few short meetings a month, and then plan one strategy meeting a month. In the shorter meetings try and hit a few small things like:
You don't have to cover all of these points in every meeting, but just taking 15 minutes in a week for sales or marketing to give an update to the other team will go a long way in developing a true growth strategy for your construction company.
If you can't get sales reps into the office once a week, Zoom, Google Meets, and even an old-school conference call can get the job done.
So long as there's a time scheduled for sales and marketing to connect, you'll be doing a lot of the work that can help your construction company align sales and marketing for more streamlined campaigns that pull in and convert more of the right leads and jobs.
Sales and marketing alignment isn't always easy. Especially for construction companies with remote sales teams and minimal marketing support, it can be tough to find the starting point.
If you have questions about aligning your construction company's sales and marketing teams, send us a message. We're here to help you develop a growth strategy that pulls in and converts more of the right leads.
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
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