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An online sales and marketing machine

Published by Charles Brodeur

Here are some simple points where marketing and sales can connect to achieve some quick wins. Of course it's still important for them to collaborate on longer term strategies which is the subject of a future blog post.

Detailed Email Marketing Reports

You're on track for sending out that 'special deals' newsletter on the 2nd Monday of every month to your clients and prospects but have you been measuring attention to the performance of your email marketing?

I'm not just talking about basic statistics like open rates and number of recipients. You should be diving in to find out:

    *     who opened your newsletter,

    *     what links they've clicked on

    *     what actions they've made on your site as a result.

Utilize this information by exporting the data and building lists of your most highly engaged readers to pass on to the Sales team for chasing up. You're adding an immense amount of value by presenting the sales team directly with the 'low-hanging fruit' that you KNOW have been reading and clicking your emails rather than making them call all recipients in the hope they've engaged.

Customized Web Forms

With website design and content controlled by Marketing, it's their role to customize customer inquiry forms. Here are 3 tips on how to generate better leads for your sales using webforms:

    *     Attach forms to particular products or web-app items in the sidebar so the customer doesn't need to click through to a separate 'Contact Us Page'

    *     Add custom fields that qualify the lead (such as budget, purchasing timeframe etc) that would collect valuable data for your Sales team to use in their follow-up when compared to a standard form on an 'Contact Us' page.

    *     In your customized forms give multiple choice answers (with radio buttons) so the customer can quickly choose the most appropriate options without having to type.

The sales team here needs to tell the marketing what information will help them follow-up on a warm lead.

Targeted and Focused Landing Pages

It's the Marketing's job to be putting out advertising both in the form of SEM and Banner Ads on the web. You're able to measure your clickthrough rates and cost per click, but what happens after that? Where's your traffic going?

Clickthrough and CPC are meaningless if these visitors aren't turning into leads for your Sales team. When you're spending money on expensive advertising to drive traffic then you also need to control that traffic when it arrives by directing them landing pages with focused messages and clear calls-to-action - whether it be to:

    *     register for site membership,

    *     register a free seminar or white paper

    *     submit an inquiry

    *     make an online purchase.

As a marketer you need prove that your campaigns are delivering ROI and there's no better way to do this than by collecting leads through a landing page and them handing them on a silver platter to the sales team. The sales team should then provide feedback to the marketing team on the conversion rate for the leads collected from this advertising/landing-page campaign.

Sales and Marketing Can Work Together!

Creating a synergy between Marketing and Sales is always a tricky business. Just remember; both teams are working on different sections of the same pipeline so they need to provide feedback to each other to maximize throughput. By following the steps outlined here, marketers will be able to provide higher quality leads for the sales team and precisely measure and improve the results of their campaigns which helps them 'close the loop'.

Charles Brodeur
eCommerce Consultant
BigTurns Professional Services Ltd 
Vancouver, BC V6E 4R1

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