By now, you’ve probably heard about smarketing – a term made popular by HubSpot, defined as “alignment between your sales and marketing teams created through frequent and direct communication between the two.”
When sales and marketing teams align their goals and create a service level agreement (SLA) to follow up with each other, everyone is held accountable and more gets done. And with the help of sales ops, this relationship can be even more rewarding.
But how exactly can your marketing team increase sales efficiency?
It all starts with content. Due to the growing popularity of content marketing, sales efficiency now depends heavily on marketing efforts. That’s why smarketing should be a priority at every organization, especially B2B SaaS companies.
Let’s take a look at how sales ops can facilitate sales efficiency through content and unite marketing and sales teams.
(To learn all about how marketing can increase sales efficiency, check out our FREE eBook on Sales Enablement.)
1. Content Creation
In order to generate leads, you need to collect information from your audience. This is typically done by enticing people to download original content that your marketing team has created. So if you want to generate more – and higher quality – leads, it’s up to your marketing team to create compelling content that your audience can’t resist.
Your content should be genuinely insightful and informative so that your audience values your expertise. If people read your content, they want to get something out of it. Include actionable tips so people have clear takeaways that can help them do their job better. You don’t want anyone to feel like they wasted their time reading your content.
In order to attract the right audience, make sure you’re doing these 5 things:
- Follow the Buyer’s Journey
- Create content that addresses all three stages of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.
- Audit Current Content
- Gauge the ROI of each asset and pinpoint your strongest and weakest assets.
- Develop a Content Creation Plan
- Sales and marketing leaders should collaborate to create a strategy to fill in gaps in your content library and target specific customer personas.
- Create Mobile-Friendly Content
- With the rise of smartphones, your content needs to be accessible – and readable – on mobile to maximize your reach.
- Optimize for Conversions
- Lead your audience down the marketing funnel by having CTAs for relevant offers in your blog posts to increase your conversion rates.
The better your marketing content, the more luck your sales team will have in their initial conversations with prospects. Discussing the eBook that a prospect just downloaded can help sales reps build rapport and make connections more efficiently. This makes breaking the ice a little bit easier, kickstarts productive dialogue about relevant topics, and increases the sales efficiency of your team.
2. Lead Nurturing and Scoring
You don’t want your sales team to waste their time working low quality leads – that’s why it’s critical to nurture leads until they’re ready to be passed along to sales.
You wouldn’t ask that person you just met last night if they’re ready to marry you, so don’t ask that person who downloaded your eBook yesterday if they’re ready to buy your software. You need to develop a deeper relationship with someone before having a conversation about your future together.
But how do you know when a lead is ready to handed off to your sales team? That’s where lead scoring comes in.
Once you have clearly defined what constitutes marketing qualified leads and sales accepted leads, you should implement a lead scoring system to quantify the sales readiness of each lead. Leads are typically scored based on algorithms that consider factors such as company size, location, job title, etc. Leads that share traits with your typical buyer and interact with more of your content receive higher scores, as you’d expect.
3. Lead Behavior
It’s important to consider how each person interacts with your marketing content in order to gauge their interest level. A person who reads one top of the funnel blog post and subscribes to your newsletter is very different from someone who reads 20 bottom of the funnel blog posts and downloads 5 assets, and must be treated as such.
When a sales rep receives a lead from marketing, they should be able to answer the following questions:
- How did they first hear about our company?
- What content have they downloaded?
- Which pages on our website have they visited?
- Did they engage with anyone on our marketing team?
Your sales team should have a list of your top-performing assets to share with leads. This is an effective way to provide value to prospects and spark deeper conversations about your product, ultimately increasing sales efficiency.
In sales ops, connecting your marketing and sales teams through sales enablement is a large part of what you do. Make sure you encourage your marketing team to work with your sales team to create awesome content and thoroughly analyze lead behavior. Bridging the gap is worth your time.
To learn more about how to increase your sales efficiency with content marketing and sales enablement, check out our FREE eBook on Sales Enablement.