In business, your sales team is one of your most important assets. They represent your company to customers and are responsible for generating revenue. For this reason, your sales team must be aligned with your marketing and PR efforts. By aligning your departments, you can reach your target market more effectively, close more sales, and grow your business.
When you take the time to align your marketing and PR with your sales team, you’ll have a more coordinated effort that is better equipped to handle your customers’ needs.
In this article, you’ll learn how to align your marketing and PR with your sales team to achieve your business goals.
How marketing, PR, and sales come together
While it all depends on the size of your company, typically, marketing and PR work together to create awareness for your brand and generate leads that sales can then convert into customers.
Your marketing team is responsible for creating and executing campaigns that promote your products or services. They use a variety of channels to reach your target market, including advertising, social media, email, and events.
Meanwhile, your PR team works to get positive media coverage for your business. This might include writing press releases, pitching stories to reporters, and organizing media events. Good PR can help build trust and credibility for your brand.
Once leads are generated, it’s up to your sales team to close the deal. They will contact prospects, answer their questions, overcome objections, and ultimately get them to buy your product or sign up for your service.
Specific steps to follow to align with your sales team
Follow these steps to align these three departments and create better relationships and more engagement.
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Step 1: Involve your sales team in long-term decision-making
While marketing and PR typically get involved in long-term decision-making, it’s important to include your sales team as well. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. By involving your sales team, you demonstrate that they are an important part of the decision-making process and that their input does matter.
For example, if you were considering adding a new product line, ask your salespeople which product would be better received by clients or customers. If you want to change the company’s commission structure, discuss it with them and get their input.
Let’s consider a couple of practical examples. Two companies that deal with delivering similar results to their similar audiences are UsSearch and Intelius. The former is a public records search tool for legal professionals, and the latter is a tool that makes it easy to learn about people one might be dating, is considering letting into the family, and much more.
In the case of UsSearch, aligning marketing, PR, and sales would look like this.
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The marketing team would be responsible for creating awareness for the brand and generating leads that sales can convert into customers. In practical terms, this could involve creating and executing campaigns that promote UsSearch’s public records search tool to legal professionals. The team might use a variety of channels to reach their target market, including advertising, social media, email, and events.
The PR team would work to get positive media coverage for UsSearch. This might include writing press releases, pitching stories to reporters, and organizing media events. Good PR can help build trust and credibility for the brand and show they are a reputable source for public records searches.
Once leads are generated, it’s up to the sales team to close the deal. They will contact prospects, answer their questions, overcome objections, and ultimately get them to sign up for the service. To do this effectively, the sales team needs to be well-versed in the features and benefits of UsSearch so they can answer any questions that come up.
When it comes to Intelius, which is a more personal service, the steps to align will look a little different.
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The marketing team would be responsible for showing that letting the wrong person into your family could have dangerous consequences.
The marketing team could explain how they help protect people by providing context about the types of risks people take when they don’t do a background check. For example, they could talk about how many violent crimes are committed by people who have lied on their job applications or how many relationships end in divorce after one person discovers their partner has been hiding secrets. Providing real-life examples can help illustrate the importance of background checks and how using a tool like UsSearch can help mitigate those risks.
The PR team can then come in and work to get stories about the dangers of not doing a background check published in high-profile media outlets. This can help raise awareness for the issue and show that Intelius is a trusted source for this information.
Finally, the sales team can close the deal by getting people to sign up for the Intelius service. They can do this by highlighting how the service can help protect people from making dangerous mistakes and provide peace of mind. The entire process takes several steps and requires lots of planning. If the teams too manage are large and disperse, consider using a task management software to help you keep track of everything in an organized way.
By working together, your employees will appreciate knowing they have a voice and that you care enough about their input to incorporate it into future decisions.
Step 2: Show appreciation for what they do because they deserve it
You might think your sales team should just be grateful that you gave them a job-but that’s likely not the case. Many of your best people could potentially find other jobs where their new hypothetical managers value them more than yours do.
Take time to recognize the great work your sales team is doing.
Thank them for closing deals, thank them for developing new business, thank them when they go out of their way to help you with something, and so on. Recognize their accomplishments in front of clients or during staff meetings – whatever works best in your situation.
Step 3: Actively encourage growth and career development
Your best employees will probably have options outside your company – and if just one glimpse makes them realize that there’s no room to grow within your organization, they’re likely to look elsewhere.
That’s why it’s so important to actively encourage growth and career development within your organization.
You could also take this to the next level by using online course platforms, and all of their features, to create your own internal training program for salespeople. This will show your employees that you want to help them develop their skills and grow in their careers.
For example, you could create a course on how to close deals, how to overcome objections, or how to use specific sales tools. The benefit of creating these courses internally is that you can tailor them to your company’s specific products, services, and processes.
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You can also have one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their career goals. Alternatively, you can check in with them regularly to find out what skills they want to develop. And of course, you should also look for opportunities for promotions within your company.
Step 4: Don’t micromanage every decision they make
You might be tempted to watch over your sales team each step of the way – but that’s not the best way to support them. While knowing what is happening in every department is often critical to a business’ success, it is also important to trust that your employees are doing their jobs well – this applies to salespeople, too.
After all, if you’re always telling them exactly how to do things, they’ll feel like robots who don’t have the freedom to do anything on their own – which will ultimately result in a lack of engagement.
Instead, focus on guiding them and coaching them as they figure out the best approach to take.
For example, if you have a remote salesperson that is going after a new client, instead of telling him exactly what to say during the first meeting, give your input when he asks for it or simply guide him as you listen in on the conversation, without putting your stamp on it. This strategy can work with both remote teams and with in-person ones.
Step 5: Don’t take them for granted
You might think that your sales team will always be there but if you don’t regularly remind them why they love working for your company, they might start looking elsewhere.
After all, if you put in more effort to recruit people to work at your organization, why not do the same to keep employees around?
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That’s why you must regularly take time to express how much you appreciate their hard work.
For example, tell each of them what value they bring to the company and thank them for being an integral part of its success and have regular team-building fun activities. Alternatively, have a meeting where everyone gets together just to celebrate accomplishments over the past period.
Finally, consider that when it comes to your sales team, everyone might have their own way to get ready for the day. This means respecting any warming up rituals or routines they have – even if it doesn’t seem like much to you.
Some salespeople like to get their brain juices flowing by going through a few rounds of mental math, word unscrambling exercises, or by reading industry news, while others might prefer to listen to music or take a quick walk around the block. Whatever it is that gets them ready for the day, let them do it – and don’t try to interfere – as long as it doesn’t affect their job performance.
The benefits of a well-aligned sales team
A well-aligned sales team will bring you many benefits-including increased revenue, happier customers, and better relationships with your co-workers.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the benefits that come with having a sales team that works well together.
More loyal relationships
A well-oiled sales team will be able to serve and care for your customers in ways you could never do yourself.
This is because when your employees feel valued, they’ll return the favour by going above and beyond to create long-lasting relationships with clients. Moreover, when you show gratitude towards your sales team, they’ll always remember how much you appreciate their work and will gladly go out of their way to help you out in times of need.
Increased revenue is one of the best benefits that come with a well-aligned sales team-and it all comes from having effective processes in place to help your employees get more done.
For example, if your salespeople can focus on selling instead of trying to figure out how to sell or where you might have left a document they need, then you’ll see an increase in income right away.
When your employees feel fulfilled and appreciated by your organization, they’ll do whatever it takes to exceed their clients’ expectations. In turn, your customers will feel so taken care of that they’ll be happy to buy more products and move down your sales funnel while also referring other people to the company-which means more new business for everyone involved.
Higher employee productivity
Productivity increases when employees feel that they’re valued and that their work matters within an organization. That’s because happy employees perform better and are more productive than miserable ones-even if the same amount of work is required of both groups.
Increased job satisfaction among employees
A satisfied workforce won’t just be happier on a day-to-day basis; it will also be more likely to stick around for the long haul. Companies with engaged workers have 31% lower turnover rates than those with unmotivated employees.
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For example, if you’re looking for a job with one of the highest satisfaction rates, then working as an EMT or firefighter will almost certainly be your best bet.
Fewer mistakes are made on the sales floor
Mistakes have a way of sneaking up out of nowhere and causing serious damage to a business-especially if those mistakes are being made on the sales floor.
By taking care of your employees and making sure they feel appreciated, your organization will see fewer errors being committed daily.
Lower turnover rates
When your employees feel appreciated and happy with their jobs, they’ll be less likely to leave the organization. Companies with engaged workers have 31% lower turnover rates than those with unmotivated employees.
Better relationships with co-workers
Having strong connections within your company doesn’t only benefit the customer; it also benefits your overall business by creating stronger relationships among employees. For example, if your organization is looking for an employee that’s willing to work independently and excel in multiple areas of the company, then seeking out a candidate with strong interpersonal skills will likely be your best bet.
By having a well-aligned team and employees that know each other well and can work well together, you’ll be able to understand who will be the right fit for the job.
How to take on feedback from your sales team
We can’t speak about an aligned sales team without discussing taking on feedback. This is something that many struggle with.
For example, becoming the top eCommerce reseller in your industry might mean improving the customer service offered and getting it to very high standards. To do this, a company would probably want to take feedback from their sales team about what isn’t working and use that to create new training for their customer service reps.
It could also mean aligning your sales team’s goals with your marketing and PR campaigns. So if one of your sales team’s goals is to increase the average order value, then your marketing and PR campaigns should focus on targeting high-value customers and driving traffic to your site that’s likely to spend more.
In general, remaining open to feedback from employees will make them feel understood-which is a critical step towards getting everyone working together as a cohesive unit. In turn, your workforce will be more motivated than ever before and ready to help the company succeed.
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Even if you don’t get everything right on the first try, any effort you put into making changes based on their suggestions will show them that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to improve the organization-and that doesn’t go unnoticed by employees.
You don’t have to fit the traditional mold
Sometimes, you must embrace a non-traditional leadership style and create an environment where feedback is encouraged at every turn. For example, if you’re not afraid to speak your mind or bring up uncomfortable topics, then do so. Alternatively, you might need to lead by example and spend a day out with your team, leading from the front and demonstrating how things should get done. These are all crucial steps that move the needle significantly.
That will also show employees that you’re unafraid to be yourself as you’re building your personal brand, which will encourage others to feel more comfortable around you as well. The last thing managers want is an awkward corporate culture filled with employees who are nervous to converse openly about work-related discussions.
If there’s one thing entrepreneurs should focus on when it comes to aligning their sales team, it’s taking on feedback from everyone involved and making necessary changes based on what your team has shared with you. If you want to create a successful business, then embracing everyone’s perspective is the only way to go-both for your own sake and that of your organization as well.
Not fitting into the mold can be used by any organization, no matter what type it is. A team that provides resume examples as a way of selling tools that can help people get hired is likely to be more successful if it’s filled with team members who don’t all fit the traditional mold of what a resume should look like.
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A team that sells software that helps businesses be more efficient is likely to be more successful if it’s filled with team members who have different ways of approaching work and who are willing to challenge the status quo.
This is because in both of these cases, having team members who are comfortable thinking outside the box, means that you’re more likely to come up with new and innovative ideas that can help your business succeed. So don’t be afraid to embrace employees from all walks of life-you never know where your next big idea might come from.
Just don’t lose sight of what works, either; every company needs a leader who’s willing to make unpopular decisions when necessary.
Creating an aligned workforce that includes everyone from your sales team to your marketing and PR departments can be a difficult task. However, it’s one that’s well worth undertaking if you want to create a successful business.
There are many different ways to go about it, but the most important thing is to keep an open mind and be willing to take on feedback from your employees. With that said, don’t forget that you’re the leader of the company-which means you’ll need to make tough decisions from time to time, even if they’re not popular with everyone.
What matters most is that you have a clear vision for where you want the company to go and that you’re able to communicate it effectively to your team. With that in mind, aligning your sales team with your marketing and PR campaigns should be a top priority.