Why B2B Sales And Marketing Should Align

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It is a known fact that one cannot target if the aim is off. In B2B companies the major reason for incorrect aiming is misaligning of B2B marketing and business development teams. The alignment of both sides is very crucial for targeting the audience.

Inside view’s, 2018 survey showed that only 24% of organizations agree to the definition of the target segment and it is the #1 biggest challenge according to shared data on target accounts. Ironically, it was the #4 challenge only a couple of years before.

DEFINITION OF TARGET AUDIENCE

First of all, it is essential to understand what the target audience is? Regarding generating revenues, the target audience comprises of accounts that are most likely to buy the product or service from the B2B marketplace. It is a group considered as ideal customers and prospective buyers.

Why Sales And Marketing Should Align?

Now comes the real question why alignment is necessary? Well, think about it if the marketing team is busy persuading one customer and the business development team is chasing another what would be the result? Wasted efforts and missed opportunities and who wants that?

It is incredibly crucial for B2B sales that both teams are agreed on the definition of an ideal client which vary company to company but should not differ employee to employee. It is the only way to make everyone sure how and why the target audience chooses to buy. It is an absolute must that everyone from the company speaks the same language when they interact with future buyers.

THE REAL OBSTACLE IN ALIGNMENT

All of it sounds so simple you know what’s the big deal getting two departments of the same company on one page? Well, it is a big deal! The difference is in viewing the targets. Marketing sees the client, for example, the manager of some company whereas; Business development or sales know the client as ABC from XYZ company. For sales the name and location matters but for marketing position matters.

The primary reason for this disconnect is the different foundational systems used by the two departments to store and manage client-related data. Marketing relies on marketing automation system while sales have a sales automation system.  This leads to further hands off between the teams.

Now, that we are aware of the factors hurdling between the alignment of the two teams let’s see how they can be overcome.

IDENTIFYING PROCESS

The first thing is to know about the stakeholders involved in buying. If you already have some B2B leads then review the database of the customers and see the influencers. Call for industry analyst report for the insight and to know about the denominators like role, industry, company size, etc.

BUYER PERSONAS

Create the buyer personas together as one and not as two teams. Gather the information from both sides and study them to figure out who responded to what. By combining the information about the buyers, the company will have a more thorough and realistic approach towards the prospects.

MAP THE SOLUTIONS TO BUYERS

The next step is to clarify the importance of your product or service and why a buyer should invest in it. Begin with mapping the most pressing concerns of the prospects and then decide how your service or product can address those issues.

Also, don’t forget to compare the characteristics of your product to the competitor’s offering. Naturally, it is advisable to concentrate more on the traits that set you apart.

MAKE IT A HABIT

The whole process of alignment is not a one-time exercise. As we all understand that the target audience can shift and so the makeup of stakeholders. There is no one size fits all rule for the target audience. Regular discussions between marketing and business development are compulsory to identify the changes. When we talk about B2B vs B2C, this one is a significant difference because B2C target’s nature often remains the same, but in B2B every client is different.

CONCLUSION

Marketing and sales will benefit in a big way by seeing their targets in the same manner. It will aid in influencing buyers at various stages, and they will also be able to pinpoint the campaigns to drive successful results. It will make a seamless experience with accounts possible, and many confusions of the prospects will be acknowledged on time.

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