I’m going to brag on marketers for a sec. Sales reps, skip down a couple paragraphs.

Marketers take on so many roles across the department – and even the company. We produce content for prospects, leads, and customers to consume and educate themselves about our products and services.

We plan events from start to finish. We throw around acronyms like SEO, ROI, and PPC. There would be no content without us. No content means no leads and no leads means no business.

Okay sales, it’s your turn now. You do the job no other department would touch with a 10-foot pole, all the while taking a majority of the blame anytime business slows down. You are our brand ambassadors, which means you have to be knowledgeable about the company, products, and services. All with a smile on your face.

Your the first ones in and the last ones out, so thank you.

Months ago, a colleague in the marketing department said something in passing that has stuck with me ever since. Marketing works for sales. It’s a simple statement that might even seem obvious, but I had never heard it so eloquently articulated.

Here are three ways you can adopt the marketing work for sales strategy:

  1. Openly communicate your marketing goals: When you build out your content calendar for the upcoming month, pass the schedule along to the sales department. This way, they’ll always know what’s coming next and can target their conversations with prospects and leads accordingly.
    • Email sales reps when a new blog is on your website. Introduce the topic, explain why it was chosen, and how it applies to your audience.
    • Once they have the reasoning behind the posts, sales reps will have an ice breaker at the ready when checking in on leads.
  2. Share what you know about your leads: The marketing department should be monitoring your website visitor tracking and marketing automation software – watching when and how digital leads are created. Once again, share the love with sales so they’re just as up to date on the busiest channels.
    • Maybe you’ve noticed an influx in leads through social media. Encourage sales reps to retweet and mention your company’s Twitter handle.
    • Open up a dialogue by asking sales reps their opinions on prospects’ and leads’ online activity. They could see a pattern start to form before you catch it.
  3. Discuss how leads are handled at each stage in the nurturing process: When you first develop a lead nurturing process, hold a brainstorming session where both the marketing and sales department can bounce ideas off of each other. Give both teams a chance to vocalize their own perceptions of what a lead means, then combine efforts.
    • Create a flow chart of the perfect path from anonymous visitor to happy customer, complete with touch in points and email campaign enrollment.
    • With the help of your marketing automation system, the “lead hand off” from marketing to sales should be more transparent, so marketing knows how sales is reaching out and sales knows what content marketing implemented.