The best sales people still need marketing’s help to close deals– even if they won’t admit it. This is especially true today when prospects often spend more time on logistics company’s websites and consuming content before, or instead of, talking to sales people.
The days of lone ranger sales all-stars closing big deals are over for the logistics industry. Successfully closing a sale requires deep involvement by marketing from start to finish.
A big way marketing helps sales is by shortening the time it takes to close new business. This happens in both obvious and subtle ways.
A simple example of how marketing helps to shorten sales cycles is by providing more qualified leads – no surprise there. But of course this is easier said than done. We wrote about ways to do that in another recent post – How to Get Sales to Stop Complaining about Leads and Actually Follow Up.
This can also be helped by better defining at what point a lead is “sales ready”. Keeping responsibility with marketing for nurturing leads not in the right place to be sold yet is usually a good approach. What many companies do not understand, or want to admit, is that these types of marketing and lead generation activities take a VERY different skill set than actually selling.
Expecting to grow a business with a team of sales people having both skills is foolish. Few sales people like that actually exist – anywhere. Yet, that’s exactly most companies’ approach to closing sales. The whole process is left in the hands of the sales person.
It’s wrong and here’s why. Sales people close, and trying to close a new lead that’s not ready will only push them away. It’s a marketer’s job to find and nurture those leads and get them ready for that conversation.
Developing a lead scoring system is a great way to make sure the leads getting to your sales people are at the proper stage. A lead’s score can be comprised of objective data points collected by marketing that indicate a prospect’s likelihood to buy. Information, like their market fit to your solution, budget, and decision timeline, are all very relevant to their disposition to be sold.
Another way marketing can help is by providing “ground cover” as prospects move through the sales process. By this we mean providing fresh content and information that helps to keep your company front of mind for the prospect. This can include things likes whitepapers and case studies that are truly meaningful for the prospect. It can also include support by way of a marketing automation tool that automates the email and other follow up that is always necessary.