Align Marketing and Sales to End 2015 Strong

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It’s the middle of Q4 and the end of the year is fast-approaching. For many, it is a time to slow down from work and spend time with family. For sales people, it’s can be a frantic time, as many B2B companies must close sales opportunities to achieve revenue goals.

So, what can the marketing team do to help the sales team and ring in the New Year on a positive note? Here are a few tips to align marketing and sales and help ease the December frenzy and drive some upward momentum into the New Year.

Customer LifecycleRe-analyze the Customer Journey

Where’s the low-hanging fruit? A review of the customer journey and sales funnel, from top to bottom, can help identify where prospects or potential sales opportunities are stuck. In other words, the places where a piece of content, a targeted communication or an offer could move prospects toward buying. A quick analysis of the customer journey shows marketing where to reprioritize marketing efforts to lower the barrier between lifecycle stages and accelerate the sales cycle.

Refocus and Reuse Content

Q4 is a time to refocus on the new priorities identified by analyzing the customer journey. Does the sales team need email templates, case studies or sales sheets? If the content exists, review what’s already created and map them to the stages in customer lifecycle. Repackage and repurpose content as needed, and make it accessible for sales to use with qualified leads and opportunities.

Refresh and Re-engage Leads

For some companies, analyzing the customer experience could take all of Q4, if not more, to complete. If that’s the case, there are a few things marketing teams can do to help sales by focusing on the marketing funnel:

Top of the Funnel (New Leads)
If marketing and sales have been emailing and calling the same lists in database all year, then by now, that list is most likely fatigued. The end of the year is a great time to create omni-channel campaigns that deliver relevant experiences and communications and bring in new leads into the database for the New Year.
Middle of the Funnel (Captured, Profiled Leads)
The end of the year is also a good time to focus and reinvigorate “aged leads”—those who had demonstrated interest and engaged with the company in the past, but not in the last 6-12 months. Send them an exciting piece of content to get them interested in the brand again. Who are customers who have not bought again? Marketing can reclassify these old customers to warm leads by sending personalized and relevant communications and enticing them to take another look at the brand. Create drip campaigns to nurture these leads once they’re re-engaged.
Bottom of the Funnel (Marketing Qualified Leads)
Take a look at the most current active leads. Who opens and reads your newsletter? Who clicks to product detail pages on your website? Who watches your videos and downloads your content? Continue drip/nurture campaigns for these leads to score them to the point they are qualified for sales. Maybe there’s even a special offer you can communicate to this segment of hot leads.

The end of year tends to be crazy for marketing and sales, as each team clamors to make their numbers. Now is a good time to take a step back, review what’s worked well, and focus on optimizing those elements – be it a campaign, a piece of content, landing pages, or target segment.

The Closed-Loop Marketing Architecture (CLMA) helps with account based marketing to enable these year-end adjustments rapidly. In fact, the goal of a CLMA is to deliver continuous engagement year round, as a way to optimize campaigns and accelerate revenue. With the right people, process and technology, marketing and sales can avoid the December frenzy all together.

To learn more about the Closed-Loop Marketing Architecture (CLMA), click here.

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