Sales teams everywhere are working with a heavy weight on their shoulders.
The business is relying on sales to close enough revenue to keep the lights on, and sometimes, it can feel like they’re in it alone.
At many companies, departments work separately, and don’t often collaborate on projects or initiatives. Sales results are often looked at as a sales problem, and other departments don’t succeed or fail along with them.
This isn’t the right approach. Sales is obviously not the only important department in your company, but they are the ones that are closing deals and bringing in money. Without sales, the business would not exist. Every single part of your company should have their mind on sales, and be asking how they can better contribute to closing deals.
Don’t let your sales teams shoulder this burden alone. Sales isn’t just a sales team issue — it should be a company-wide initiative.
Engineering: Building a Product that Sales can Sell
Sales begins with your engineering and product team. Engineering is building the product that sales will eventually try to sell in the marketplace — but does that specific product have any appeal to buyers? It’s no easy task to build a product that you know the market wants and that customers will pay for. However, there are ways that engineers can work more closely with customers and sales in order to build the right product for their target market.
Many engineers have adopted new types of product development, such as pretotyping and agile software development. These two methodologies enable engineers to first test out a new product’s viability in the marketplace, and then allows quick changes and rapid development cycles to adjust as the market evolves. By using these methods, your engineering team can actually build a better product that will be easier for your sales team to sell in the future.
Marketing: Generating High-Quality Leads
The most obvious shift you can make is how your marketing team measures the leads they generate for the sales team. Often, marketing’s goals are simply a set number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) that they then deliver to sales to work. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that marketing is giving sales high quality leads that will quickly or easily convert to Closed-Won deals. It’s not uncommon that these leads are in the wrong market, are not interested in buying, and will not be your company’s ideal customer. Marketing should do a better job of supporting sales than that!
Your marketing team should adopt a lead scoring system, which measures not just how many leads marketing generates, but also the quality of those leads. Lead scoring uses specific data points to define a high-value, high-converting lead vs. a low-value, low-converting lead. Depending on your historical sales performance, lead scoring can help you understand the characteristics of high-converting leads, and tell you which leads your sales team should focus on today. Instead of leaving sales out to dry, lead scoring helps marketing work with sales to drive new business.
Service: Creating Customer Success Stories
After the sale is won, customer service steps in and takes over. It’s their job to turn Closed-Won deals into happy customers, who can help sales do their job better. For example, happy customer can:
- Refer friends and colleagues as new customers
- Agree to be featured as case studies for sales to use in the selling process
- Promote your product through social channels, review sites, and more.
In addition, although it might seem counterintuitive, your customer service team should also be looking out for sales opportunities at all times. Only they know whether customers may be interested in buying more of your product. They can facilitate that conversation and alert sales as to which customers are ripe for an upsell. On top of that, service teams have the customer knowledge base to feed back into engineering and marketing, which can help better position your product and build new features that customers really want and need.
Every department at your company should be working together toward the same goal: growing the business. While marketing, engineering, customer service and sales all have different talents, they can each contribute to Closed-Won business in some way. With everyone supporting sales goals together, you will be surprised what amazing things you can accomplish.