On the fifth and final episode of this UpClose Podcast Series with Dayle Hall, SVP of Marketing at Lithium Technologies, we discuss the “love story” between marketing and sales. This podcast series showcases The 5 Most Influential Topics for B2B Marketing, and includes one episode each on influencer marketing, data overload, digital customer experience, and the state of social engagement. On this episode, you’ll discover what’s possible when aligning marketing and sales, leading the two to work superbly together toward common goals.
Start with the C-Suite
Bringing marketing and sales together has to start with the C-Suite. The more value marketing demonstrates, the more buy-in, and therefore more budget you’ll receive. Lithium incorporates the C-Suite first by looking at it through two lenses - revenue and reputation, both of which include social media marketing.
- Revenue: Social can be used to link demand generation efforts to the sales pipeline.
- Reputation: Social media helps to build a brand’s reputation. Having a known and consistent presence and voice on all channels enhances the reputation.
Getting the C-suite to lead by example is powerful. Dayle points out that John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile is a brand advocate and very active on social media. He clearly understands the importance of social media and stays on top of the brand’s reputation with a social command center.
Incorporating Sales into Your Content Strategy
Content marketing should benefit the sales organization the most. It may seem challenging to think about engaging the sales team in your content strategy, but the truth is, the collaboration will immensely enhance your efforts. Lithium’s marketing team works closely with sales to assess specific themes and campaigns that will drive traffic from the top to the bottom of the funnel. They look at the different formats, styles, and channels to configure the appropriate blend for the prospective customer.
B2B brands should strive to make it easy for sales to participate, providing them with inspiration and training on content sharing in social channels. Lithium Technologies enables their sales team by providing basic and more in-depth content around customers and their successes with Lithium products.
Data should be tracked and reported to all stakeholders involved - the C-suite, marketing, and sales. Sharing data that matters to the sales organization is essential to portraying results and builds respect between marketing and sales. Lithium holds the mindset that “our number is your number.” Marketing and sales have aligned goals that look at what’s in the pipeline and what’s closed. Shared dashboards that include reporting on both add transparency and visibility depicting combined efforts.
B2B Brands Who Have Effectively Paired Up Sales and Marketing
Many previous Social Business Engine guests are from brands that have aligned marketing and sales. ANSYS, Indium Corp., and Deloitte are three with a highly technical employee base. The marketing teams at these companies have educated employees on how to engage with content as a brand ambassador.
Taking a closer look at Deloitte U.S., they’re a global provider of financial, tax and audit services. Their billable employees are their most trusted ‘business development people.’ In 2012 Deloitte was selected to be the Official Professional Services Sponsor for the U.S. Olympic Committee for the Summer Olympics in London. The company wanted to tap into employees’ social networks and started by providing messaging to thirty pilot participants.
Leadership recognized the impact of this small group’s efforts and encouraged the expansion of this program into a company-wide (in the U.S.) Ambassador Program. The program grew to 7,000 employees in the U.S. alone and approximately 50% of website traffic from social media comes from their employees.
Thomson Reuters is a provider of news business services and information for professionals in finance, law and other B2B disciplines. They recognized the need for their sales staff to develop trust and influence with content, largely through LinkedIn. Their social selling strategy started with alignment in content marketing. Knowing your content is the best possible thing you can do to elevate yourselves as salespeople.
Thomson Reuters’ Global Learning Center works with employees around the world on improving their LinkedIn profiles. The goal is that once they’ve gotten the hang of LinkedIn and start to see results, they’ll be inspired to share more content and engage more as a brand advocate.
What used to be considered an unlikely pair – marketing and sales – is now a perfect match. This episode reveals best practices to help B2B brands achieve marketing and sales alignment and brings together the four previous episodes in this UpClose Podcast Series sponsored by Lithium Technologies.