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How sales and marketing alignment drives sales enablement – and helps SEAL the deal

By Mark Stecker



Your sales and marketing teams share the same goal: to generate leads and convert them into paying customers. Both teams need to work together to make this happen, and if they’re in sync, it benefits the bottom line.


As with Shakira’s hips, the numbers don’t lie.


If your sales and marketing teams play nice, they can generate 209 percent more revenue from marketing.


However, like the seal that ‘attacked’ the Waka Waka singer back in 2012, misalignment between teams will come to bite you.


sales and marketing


When your sales and marketing teams don’t play nice, it results in a 10 percent loss in revenue per year.


Shakira wrote of her ordeal on Facebook at the time: "My brother, Super Tony, jumped over me and literally saved my life, taking me away from the beast”. As a CMO, you must be like Super Tony to get your teams to work like a beast (a sales-making one, that is).


We know it’s no easy feat; it’s as challenging as a chicken-egg situation during a bird flu outbreak. Without sales, marketing can't do their job, but without marketing, sales doesn't know if what they're doing is even effective. Sales is driven by marketing, and marketing needs sales to close the loop and understand the quality of the leads.


What is a CMO to do? Well, it all starts with intelligent digital marketing – not the clapping circus seal type we know you often encounter…


Why lead nurturing is more important than you think


Sales enablement is a crucial tool not used enough. Say your organisation’s rep has met with a prospect. Your brand must stay top of mind until the prospect is ready to close the deal – without being super pushy and annoying. It’s all about lead nurturing, and many companies still don't realise they need to be working with sales teams and digital marketers to help them do this – and that those teams need to work together.


This is especially important when it comes to long sales cycles. Buying a car or house, as well as most industries in the B2B space – these deals generally take a long time to close, because big decisions are made, and big money is spent.


No matter the industry, you must understand your customer, inside and out, so you can put the right content in front of them, so they don't forget about you.


Top of mind


You want your brand to be top of mind when they're ready to make that purchase. If you haven't effectively communicated to that prospect, you've lost that big fish.


So, put that prospect on an emailer journey and send them content that's relevant to their industry (and through said content, subtly tell them how you can help solve their specific problems). Use data to intelligently understand what your potential customer needs to create personalised relevance, then use relatable language that resonates to hit it home.


Where your sales team fit in


At Firewater, we usually have a long sales cycle. There’s often a lot of back and forth because a prospect is not necessarily ready to sign up when the proposal goes out. They're interested in what we offer, but they may need to run things by the CEO, or perhaps they have an integration freeze due to timing.


If we don't stay in touch with them, another agency can get the deal later down the line, as the prospect would have forgotten about us. That's where sales require digital marketing to enable that nurturing – without being a pushy irritation. Many sales teams spend so much effort trying to get that lead, that they forget how important it is to stay top of mind during that in-between period so the lead buys when they’re ready.


Top of Mind 2


Intelligent digital marketers know how to create automated triggers that send out communication that seems like a salesperson is just trying to be helpful. For example, a salesperson could automate a mail to a prospect every second month to say, “Hey prospect, I thought you might find this interesting” and link to a company article that talks about that prospect’s problems (and offers solutions). Here’s a stat: 95 percent of buyers purchase from someone who gave them content at each stage of the customer journey.


We’ll do a seal bark and clap to that (ouw ouw ouw)!


Make the CRM circle bigger


CRM is seen as a sales tool, and digital marketing is seen as a marketing tool. Yet you must know how to unlock CRM tools to enable lead nurturing, and sales. Sales managers can see a prospect’s activity, but a digital marketer’s strength lies in communication. We need to work together. For example, a salesperson needs to change the status of a lead in the CRM so the digital marketer can trigger the right communication and close the loop.


Lead nurturing and sales enablement is like a circle. Sales information feeds the marketing which then creates better content that drives leads and feeds back into the sales team.


With that, sales can unlock massive opportunities and SEAL the deal (see what we did there?).


*No seals were harmed in the making of this article.



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