In recent blog posts, we introduced the importance of a brand-to-demand strategy and how the components of brand and demand contribute to marketing success. Now you may be wondering: how do I adapt my organization to execute the strategy effectively?
A successful brand-to-demand strategy calls for sales and marketing teams to work hand in hand to ensure a cohesive and consistent customer experience throughout the buyer's journey. B2B buyers are having fewer positive experiences at every stage of the journey, and to change that trend, marketing and sales efforts can no longer be in isolation. In this blog, we’ll discuss three ways marketing and sales can align to drive an effective brand-to-demand strategy.
1. Shared Goals
The alignment starts with making sure both sales and marketing teams are working towards the same business objective. Traditionally, marketing was responsible for driving leads, and sales would take over conversion, which should be upgraded to have combined metric alignment based on business outcomes. This could include driving customer lifetime value (LTV), win rate, overall opportunity being generated, or quality of leads being generated. At the end of the day, if the leads or marketing campaigns do not drive business outcomes, it’s not a victory that marketing can be proud of. It is also important to have frequent interaction and close collaboration between sales and marketing to understand the performance of these KPIs and how one can influence each other to drive improvement in goals or metrics.
2. Brand Continuity
Once shared goals are established, it is important to make sure the brand message is filtered down throughout the buyer journey. Marketing conducts a lot of brand research that informs how the brand is perceived with its audiences. The value proposition, vision, and what the brand stands for is how a buyer resonates with the brand when they first research a product or solution. That message should continue throughout the buyer journey to ensure consistency.
There is a huge role that the sales representative or business development representative can play to amplify that message and be a strong proponent of the brand. B2B professionals are also humans and buyer interaction with the sales team is a unique advantage in B2B businesses that the sales team should leverage. During 1-on-1 conversations, field events, CRM campaigns, virtual events, etc., the sales team should focus not just on selling products, but also on how the solution aligns with their brand messaging or positioning.
For example – the recent B2B Superpowers Index survey published by Merkle found that the majority of B2B buyers want reassurance that the brands they work with are doing “good.” A brand that aligns with personal values and ethics has a clear vision of and is actively working toward fulfilling their obligations to society. It’s important for the sales team to communicate that brand message to drive long-term value.
3. Continuous Measurement
Establishing a continuous feedback loop between sales and marketing helps to identify areas for improvement and optimization. Here are some of the ways they can share data:
- Sales can provide valuable insights on the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, quality of leads generated, and direct feedback from customers. Marketing can use this feedback to refine their audience targeting, campaign messaging, and lead generation efforts, ensuring a more efficient brand-to-demand strategy.
- Marketing can give sales access to campaign performance dashboards that illustrates which audiences are converting at a higher rate, informing them of the content that resonates with the audience to enable sales team drive better interaction with customers.
- Sales can provide marketing access to detailed feedback about the product and customer challenges that can be used for marketing messages.
Don’t forget to democratize relevant data that provides customer insights across various touchpoints to both marketing and sales.
Aligning sales and marketing efforts is crucial for the successful execution of a brand-to-demand strategy. By establishing shared goals, communication of brand message throughout the customer journey, and continuous measurement, businesses can create a unified approach that drives both short-term results and long-term brand growth. This will help drive a consistent customer experience, maximize the impact of brand building efforts, and enhance demand generation activities. Embracing this alignment is key to thriving in the current B2B landscape and driving success today and into the future.