When was the last time you tried to get your team to accomplish a goal that you knew would benefit your company- but they focused on other tasks instead, letting your goal slide? How did that make you feel? What gave you the right to feel that way? What was preventing your team from buying in to your vision? Last week, Lyndsey and I had the privilege of attending the WOW Event for Inbound & Content Agencies, a one-day content marketing workshop led by Marcus Sheridan over at The Sales Lion. We were expecting a day full of learning about how to explain inbound and content marketing to our clients so that we could better show them the values of our services. Instead, what we got was a scene from The Karate Kid, a few lessons in improv, and a workshop about inbound and content marketing that somehow didn't use any jargon about inbound and content marketing at all. In fact, the most important thing we learned doesn't necessarily have anything to do with inbound and content marketing at all.
Every Team Member is in Marketing and Sales
Read that again. Take it in. Now, let's address your rebuttals.
"Customer service is separate from marketing and sales."
Who gets the most questions about your service or product? Now, what if these questions were answered on your website in blog posts and on-site content? Your marketing department would never run out of content, right? Marketing can get an easy assist from customer service simply from forwarding emails of questions that customers are asking.
"Our account managers work independently from marketing and sales."
Maybe, but your account managers are invaluable when it comes to knowing exactly what your clients need, want, and expect from your company, adding further to your content stash. Your account managers can also identify clients who might be a good fit for an upsell, as well as clients who need a little extra TLC.
"Our IT guy isn't in marketing and sales."
One of the reasons your customers are attracted to your business should be because your platform fits their needs and preferences (after all, you've done your buyer persona research, right?). Your IT guy is responsible for the back end of that structure, and if it doesn't function correctly, your customers and prospects are going to be disappointed and cease doing business with your company.
"Our accountant isn't in marketing and sales."
I bet you thought you stumped us here. Sure, it's a little more long-winded, but imagine that your accountant invoices a client for an amount three times greater than what it should be. Your client would lose trust in you, right? You'd probably lose a sale, and you could definitely get a bad reputation in your industry for being irresponsible and untrustworthy, thus hurting your marketing efforts. Plus, your accounting department is on-hand to explain the intricacies of your pricing, billing, and payment systems. Like it or not, accounting is a part of marketing and sales.
Why Do I Care That Everyone Is In Marketing and Sales?
For marketing directors and business owners owners, having everyone in your company view themselves as an extension of marketing and sales is critical to accomplishing your inbound marketing goals- and improving your company's marketing and sales results. You need them to buy in to your inbound marketing vision because everyone can contribute ideas for content, meaning that you'll be the proud owner of a never-ending funnel of content ideas. However, if no one at your company sees themselves as having anything to do with marketing, the responsibility of brainstorming and producing content falls squarely on the shoulders of the marketing manager. And unfortunately, there's no guarantee that the marketing manager actually knows everything that a customer or prospect might ask during the sales process. Here's the kicker: roughly 70% of the purchasing decision is made before a prospect even talks to a sales person. That means that your prospects have already spent a significant amount of time on your website, looking for answers to their questions and exploring your content- content that your marketing manager is probably currently in charge of. It's no longer logical for your sales team to be the only point of contact for your prospects or to expect your sales team to be solely responsible for having all the answers. Instead, your entire team has to take ownership in helping create content for your prospects and clients. Inbound marketing relies on having a steady stream of content that answers the questions your prospects have (and the questions that they're searching for answers to on the Internet), which will instill in them a sense of trust in your company. And if you've established that trust for 70% of the sale, think how much easier it is to win new business for your salespeople. If that trust isn't established, and your salespeople need to do more heavy lifting, it's likely that your sales process is longer, you sell less, and your sales team and marketing team don't think highly of each other. By getting your entire company to buy in to the idea of being a part of the sales and marketing team, you'll improve both the quantity and the quality of the information that your prospects consume before reaching out to sales- giving them a sense of trust in your company before they even reach out to you.