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How to Break Sales and Marketing Silos

    How to Break Sales and Marketing Silos

    Sales need to tell marketing what kind of content they need to close a deal, and marketing needs to ensure sales are gathering intelligence to help them come up with ROI-driven content.

    For example, the content marketing strategy often ranks high on Google for a keyword that describes what the company does and with content that only describes the concept. Have you researched to ascertain if the decision-makers are searching for that? What ARE they searching for and why? They probably want resources based on their persona and industry.

    I think it’s safe to say that most people search for problems or questions, not industry buzzwords.

    Discovery is the only one-way great content can help a brand.

    Informative content can also make your product more valuable to customers and make it less risky to invest time and money into its development.

    If a prospect has to figure out how to get an ROI, they will have less confidence in the product, and it will take time and energy to do that. That’s time and energy away from their business on something that may or may not work.

    It’s pretty much gambling.

    If someone signs up for a free tier of your product, they’re less likely to ascend into a paid tier or continue after a free trial if you haven’t given them adequate guidance on how to get value out of the product. That value is usually product and industry-specific.

    It’s not just about features and how to use them.

    Informative, insightful content can ease many of those uncertainties and instil greater confidence in your product for their problems, needs and goals.

    I appreciate that it’s easier to get two departments working together to create value for a prospect or to retain or upsell customers. And I’m a freelancer — what do I know about running a corporation?

    But some simple things can be done to gather intelligence from a different department. Here are some of my ideas.

    Instead of hiring “influencers” to talk about your product, engage fans of your product to write content about why they love it.

    Sure, they may only have a few social media followers, but they tend to be very influential in their communities; plus can give you a lot of insight into how your company can be discovered and close sales. You can repurpose their insights for whitepapers, blog posts, knowledge base content and many other types of content that prospects read as part of their decision-making process. Sales can give that information to the marketing department and vice versa.

    Create content that’s geared towards specific personas, objectives and industries and put that in a knowledge base

    Once you have content in a knowledge base, you can set up workflows for it to be recommended in the chatbot based on the user’s answers to your questions. People appreciate content that shows them how to get value out of a product, and you often don’t need a natural person to personalize knowledge acquisition.

    Personalize demos and discovery calls

    Getting insight from a prospect requires them to know what questions to ask, and they often don’t. So why not ask them questions about their personal and industry in a form. Before the call and then personalize ROI-driven suggestions instead of just doing a walk-through of the interface

    Track trends in data. Instead of just collecting data, transform it.

    Data transformation sounds like just another annoying buzzword, but gathering insights on client behaviour is essential so that other departments can identify trends that content marketing can help change. For example, does it show fewer upsells in specific industries in the third month of the subscription? That isn’t helpful information, but it prompts you to ask specific questions that help you focus your content on what will help sales.

    Educate the other department

    As marketers, we tend to forget that it’s not always clear to other departments. Consultants how helpful, informative content supports sales. If you aren’t a marketer, you might assume content’s only role is to hustle people into buying something. It isn’t at all.

    This is why when you need something from another department. You need to educate them about why it matters, how it works and be specific about what you need. Why not have someone in the marketing department do a seminar for the sales team. To show them what you mean?

    In today’s remote-based working world, there are many ways to connect departments online. The technology is there. What you need now are the insights to leverage it.

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