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The new sales and marketing hybrid

After two years I’ve finally had the business case signed off and can start interviewing for a desk-based new business executive, a welcome addition to our marketing team. Who’d have thought it, sales finally working for marketing?

It’s a sign of the times. Bringing this key resource in house will bridge the gap between a lead-generating and nurturing marketing team and an experienced, solution-based sales team. With social media applications, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, brimming with information and providing open databases, powerful CRM systems such as Salesforce, and a constant flow of content being produced via blogs and videos, it was obvious we needed to invest in someone to capture insight and build relationships with potential customers using all these fabulous tools and resources.

Our sales funnel has a clear scoring structure:

  • Stage zero is where a lead has been passed back to marketing and will need nurturing and following up between three to six months
  • Stage one is a lead which marketing needs to qualify further
  • Stage two is a lead passed from marketing to sales where sales are tasked with qualifying further.
  • Stage three is a qualified sales-accepted lead.
  • Stage four is a BANT qualified opportunity that has a 60 per cent chance of closing.

In our business, the journey from stage one to stage four can take between six and 24 months to nurture and qualify, as deal sizes are mostly millions of pounds. So, it will take a certain type of person to be successful in this role – someone who has the confidence to cold call, the patience of a private investigator and the data tracking and management skills of a national security analyst!

I can’t wait for them to get started. I’ll be able to take them through all the different channels available for them to capture information. More importantly, we’ll finally have someone in sales that is tasked to tactically use all the blogs, videos and case studies we produce to build relationships and drive awareness via messages such as: “I read recently that you were having challenges around X, our CTO has just written an article about X and I thought you might find it of interest...” or “Sorry you couldn’t make our conference, here’s a two-minute highlights video where customers similar to you share their business challenges...” or “We’ve just produced this case study; thought you might find it of interest as the firm is in a similar sector to you.”

And last but definitely not least, there’s Salesforce. Having someone in sales who is desk-based and works for me and whose job it is to keep the data up to date, to log all communications and relevant insight – someone who will absolutely be able to see how the system can empower them... Woo-hoo.

There really is a content avalanche right now – and it’s marketing’s secret weapon. It can help smooth the sometimes turbulent relationship between marketing and sales. Just as an avalanche continues to accelerate until the resistance exceeds the forward force, I’ll continue to drive home the importance of using content to nurture and uncover leads, with my new cross-breed leading the way.  

Justine Arthur will be discussing this subject further at our upcoming B2B Marketing Conference, ‘The Content Avalanche’. The event offers a tour-de-force in content marketing excellence. Marketing leaders will share insights, outline best practices and offer actionable advice. Plus, the event offers a rare opportunity to network and share ideas with over 200 B2B marketers.

Book your ticket today by visiting  b2bmarketing/conference or calling: 0207 269 6590