Our world is changing at a rapid pace. New technology and trends cause regular disruption within the B2B industry, forcing brands to adapt to the demands of modern B2B buyers that crave personalised experiences. The traditional sales funnel of coercing buyers down one path is not as effective as it used to be. Instead, brands should look to adopt a non-linear marketing journey filled with multiple touchpoints.
For a non-linear marketing strategy to work, companies need to consider how to align their sales and marketing teams. In the old days, marketers would find the leads, while sales representatives focused on closing, and there may have been no communication between the departments.
One of the quickest ways to unite sales and marketing together is to tell a compelling brand story. Storytelling is effective because it encourages collaboration between both sides. So, how can sales and marketing work together to tell a story that resonates with an audience?
Communication is key
Regular meetings between sales and marketing teams can promote a collaborative spirit. Sessions could involve brainstorming different content ideas or sharing news about upcoming sales campaigns.
Meetings can also be used to discuss projects that team members from both sides can help with. For example, a new marketing initiative might call for several pieces of content to be written and someone from the sales team could have good writing skills. That person should be incorporated into the campaign to help with crafting the content of a brand story.
For both teams to work cohesively, sales and marketing need to share insights that contribute to an immersive storytelling experience.
A marketer can carry out research into a specific trend and provide a sales representative with helpful information. The data can be turned into a set of detailed talking points, enabling the salesperson to tell an engaging story to prospects. Marketers should also supply the sales team with competitor information, so they craft a message that makes the company stand out.
Sales should be your organisation’s best storytellers. Operating at the coalface with a client, the need for the sales team to authentically communicate brand product stories is critical. Sales should also help feed the storytelling machine by listening to customer pain points and relay information to marketing so they can incorporate feedback into future campaigns.
Use account-based marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM) is an ideal way of creating sales and marketing alignment. Instead of casting a wide net, ABM streamlines the sales and marketing process into key accounts. Storytelling ties into ABM through the creation of personalised content for the consumers that have been selected.
Marketer ABM duties
- Create a bank of high-quality content that assists the sales team in speaking to prospects.
- Educate the sales team on the content that will fit into different stages of the buying journey.
- Store the content in a location that is easy to access e.g. SharePoint.
- Develop a scoring system to highlight qualified leads. This stops the sales department from wasting their time and increases the chances of converting prospects into customers.
Sales ABM duties
- Follow up on leads quickly. ABM works because it allows sales representatives to share stories with the right people at the right time.
- Discuss pain points with the marketing team and figure out how to craft educational content.
- Inform the marketing department of sales wins and losses. Marketers will have a better idea of the content that works and can refine their writing strategy.
With ABM, sales and marketing can work together to tell a story that resonates with the target audience. Storytelling helps businesses forge a deeper connection with their customer base. Be sure to read our guide on effective B2B storytelling and learn how to engage with the modern B2B buyer.