Years ago, a company’s salesforce was exactly what the name implies: many people actively reaching out to potential customers and offering products and services.
Yes, this is still a viable and necessary effort, but the internet is leveling the playing field, and the competition is rising.
So, businesses need to find new, innovative, efficient ways to combine Digital Marketing and sales into something more: the sales machine.
In this article, you’ll see what this concept entails and how to bring both departments together into a single, integrated plan. We’ll cover the topics:
- What is a sales machine?
- How can a sales machine help a business?
- How to build and scale your sales machine?
What is a sales machine?
When we look back to the past and see how marketing and sales used to work, we see a clear distinction between both.
A marketing plan was a lot more focused on visibility, employing media to make a brand well-known.
In turn, the salesforce had a whole different approach, using just awareness to build upon and have their pitch and selling points.
There was a disconnection between them because few intersections were linking their approaches. Then, the internet changed everything.
The digital environment became a converging path for marketing to generate leads, while sales bring them towards conversion.
After some experimenting and great results, the market realized that pairing them would be way more effective than both sides doing their work for themselves. The result of that finding is what we call a sales machine.
That’s a plan made of technological tools and processes that facilitate integration between sales and marketing.
It also creates a system capable of attracting and converting new customers all at once. It’s the two departments working together for the same goal.
With that synergy, a stream of information benefits each stage of the process with more knowledge and predictability about the customer — so it’s easier to find the perfect selling point for a new conversion.
Investing in automation and integration, it becomes a real machine. That is the perfect kind of plan that both marketing and sales need to thrive.
How can a sales machine help a business?
This automated, integrated approach can provide amazing results. Businesses with a well-adjusted sales machine can increase conversion rates exponentially because the results are not tied with the effort taken.
You can apply efficiency and scale to your plan bringing these teams together. But how does it work?
Let’s see some benefits a working sales machine can bring to a business!
Inform and educate customers
The bestseller author Aaron Ross says that the contemporary customer wants to be told what to do and what is the best decision when buying a product.
There are so many options, so many details in making a choice, that they often aren’t eager to figure out by themselves what to do.
That is the main point for combining marketing and sales in a single machine. Content has the power to generate awareness and a connection with the audience, besides leading them to the purchase decision.
If the path to follow is easier and more direct, the consumer will be more likely to purchase.
With a unified plan, marketing can understand sales’ needs better. So, the sales team can use Content Marketing to understand the customer’s needs throughout the funnel.
Reduce customer acquisition cost
Both marketing and sales have a budget to do their work. The great thing about pairing them is that the sum of their investments is bigger than each effort in isolation.
Automated Digital Marketing can feed the machine with more potential leads with relevant content and an adequate communication plan.
Sales, then, have more information about more people, making it easier to increase conversion rates.
Less time and money to bring in more customers results in a smaller CAC (customer acquisition cost). And, if the company is thinking about scalability, this is the best approach.
Make sales results more predictable
In the digital world, marketing goals need to be the same as sales. True integration between them means an alignment of plans and objectives.
That happens because, in the sales machine, KPIs start to make sense for the two sides and offer meaningful insights on how to keep improving the work.
Predictable sales are one of the biggest achievements for your business since you can use this vision to plan with fewer risks.
Identify trends and demands
Marketing and sales work with the same material, after all: the customer. So why can’t they help each other with useful information gathered?
When the business has an integrated system to share information, the data collected in both ends of that brand-client relationship can be turned into projections — especially on their habits.
Knowing more about this behavior helps the sales machine work identifying and anticipating trends and demands. Meeting them before the competition is a huge advantage for any company.
Scale the brand’s reach
The best thing about turning salesforce into a machine is that machines can be scaled, bringing more conversions without the need for a proportional increase in budget and personnel.
Optimization and automation can make what you have now even more effective in bringing more customers. You just need a great plan and system, always relying on data.
Let’s talk more about that!
How to build and scale your sales machine?
At its core, a sales machine starts by integrating these two important departments with equal priority.
That’s an effective production line that attracts buyers, leads them through their journey, and closes the deal on the end of the path.
But to make that happen, you must pay attention to some important steps. The following points will help you organize this unified effort and bring automation to the customer-brand relationship routine.
Make a blueprint for your machine
As we said earlier, a sales machine is a plan for the big picture, a single system capable of attracting leads and converting them into customers.
It turns out that every machine needs a blueprint to be built. That involves tools, stages, protocols, content planning, data analyzing standards, and so on.
The sales machine should be autonomous and easy to use for all collaborators at the same time. In the next topics, you can see ways of achieving that point of efficiency.
Invest in technology
After a machine is built, it needs a system to make it work properly. And this is literally what you will need to bring marketing and sales together.
A great system, in this case, should work as a planner and distributor of content, and as an effective CRM as well.
It doesn’t need to be necessarily a single solution, but the software should make all the stages in that path work as one.
Since marketing usually has a software solution, it may be easier to start from that point and expand the integration with sales.
In smaller businesses, there are usually few professionals, and they accumulate functions.
However, doing everything by yourself will only create a bottleneck for both sides of the machine.
This is another piece of advice Aaron Ross gives: the more specialized are the collaborators of a salesforce, the better the outcome.
So focus on integrating people rather than centralizing decisions. With a more dynamic process, the business can adapt and anticipate trends faster.
Understand your client better
In a sales machine, data is the fuel. The great thing about bringing these departments together is that information becomes exponentially more vast and meaningful.
So take advantage of that. Use the integrated system to elaborate richer buyer personas. Next, use them to produce more relevant content and create better selling points.
Find out your communication strengths
Since content serves as a path where your customers follow their journey, great communication means easier sales.
Of course, you can and should experiment with all the media available. But you must prioritize the channels you feel more comfortable with and make more sense to your buyer personas.
This decision will focus your efforts, collaborating to appealing, effective pieces of content.
When integrated with salesforce, the leads arrive at the decision stage a lot more prepared than when both strategies are planned apart.
Prioritize the customer’s success
As a last piece of advice, having 100% of your efforts aimed at the customer’s success is what your machine needs to grow.
Use all the information collected in this unified plan to get to the roots of their pains, needs, and expectations. Plan content and sales approach based on what will make them take the next step, making a move.
Also, follow their experience after conversion, as this information is essential for tweaking your sales machine. True integration between marketing and sales relies on planning, data analysis, and synergy between both sides.
So how about learning more about this concept? Watch our exclusive webinar “Building and scaling your first sales machine”, with Aaron Ross!