A Common Language for Marketing and Sales Teams — Part 2 Of 3

by / May 05, 2014

What do 88 percent of the most successful organizations have in common? They have aligned their marketing and sales teams.

In my previous post, I introduced the concept of personas and discussed some of the positive effects they can have on an organization. Increasing sales and marketing alignment and building internal credibility for your marketing program are two areas where a persona initiative can have substantial impact.

Marketing and sales teams often have very different perspectives on who the customer is and how he or she buys the product you are selling. Personas bring sales and marketing together and align them with a common set of customer needs. Additionally, the process of developing personas cultivates early buy-in from stakeholders not only in sales and marketing, but across the organization — further strengthening your organization overall.

The process of gathering information through in-person interviews with actual buyers gives the customer the last word. Validating these qualitative findings with quantitative results further removes the subjective element, creating an objective foundation. The guesswork from the marketing and sales teams is replaced by real perspectives of real customers. Everyone can come together around an objective viewpoint. And that makes everyone’s job easier. Marketing campaigns can build trust by speaking directly to the buyer in a way that feels personalized. Qualified leads are easier to generate and contain richer information for your sales team to follow up with because the marketing department is better versed in what is important to both sales and customers. And sales are easier to close because reps can emphasize benefits that address buyers’ real concerns.

When designing a marketing or sales plan, it can be easy to fall into the trap of assuming what motivations influence your customers’ purchasing behavior. Using only static, high-level demographics to guide your campaigns is a surefire way to undermine your credibility — with both your audience and your sales team. Readily identifiable trends are often mistaken for validation. Personas allow you to escape this vacuum and define a more intelligent engagement strategy.

In summary, personas allow you to:

  • Develop real insight into the perception of your product or service
  • Identify the buy cycle and needs of all buyers involved in the purchase
  • Increase the relevancy of content and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • Align marketing and sales efforts
  • Determine the most effective approach to generating qualified leads

This type of objective, actionable intelligence helps sales and marketing come together organically around a common frame of reference. And the solid groundwork and deep research behind your personas ensure they won’t break down with daily use.

In part three of this series, I’ll discuss how you can integrate personas into your company’s culture to ensure ongoing impact.

The Mx Group

B2B Insights, Staff Writer

The Mx Group is the second-largest independent, integrated B2B marketing agency in the U.S., with a mission to impact the marketplace for companies that impact the world. For over 30 years, we’ve created meaningful end-to-end buying experiences for B2B brands. Our clients are leaders and innovators in automotive, financial services, food, health care, legal services, oil and gas, industrial, packaging, trade associations, technology and SaaS who rely on our expertise to influence and grow their businesses. Our relationships with our clients and people are why B2B Marketing recognized us as Agency of the Year. Our headquarters are in Chicago, but our reach is global. Whether a client is an established or startup B2B brand, we have the people and perspective to be a strong partner that makes a difference.