When it comes to Intelligence, businesses are usually focused on collecting, analysing and presenting best practices within Marketing, aiming to support and improve their sales processes. Rarely, however, do companies consider turning the equation the other way around. What if Marketers get equipped with Sales Intelligence? How would that strategy improve their efforts? Here are some thoughts:
Optimise Content Creation
One of the greatest challenges organisations face today is the lack of time to produce sufficient content. In such an environment, therefore, it’s the quality of the produced material that becomes crucial. Every single piece of collateral, from a simple Social Media update, to a White Paper with Premium content, must be mapped with a specific intention toward either lead generation, lead nurturing or developing the relationship with an existing client. Otherwise, companies risk facing a common mistake: inability to derive enough ROI from their costly Content Marketing strategies.
Here comes the first benefit of using Intelligence. The organisation’s Sales intelligence, gathered over time, can provide Marketers with a more precise image of the types of buyer personas, thus improving the process of successful content mapping and creation. Additionally, Sales Intelligence provides a deeper understanding of the relevant prospects’ pain points, enabling Marketers with better options for:
- Targeting Content assets with specific pain points’ resolutions: For example, you can develop a Blog post with “How to… ”, a Case Study about a business with similar pain points and how you managed to resolve them together or illustrate some solutions in a visual way (Infographic, Presentation, Video, etc.)
- Personalisation: Attach a personal message, describing why whatever you are sending is relevant for the prospect.
By diving into the gathered Sales Intelligence about prospects’ nature/demographics, most common challenges and needs, Marketers can develop a much more precise image of their target audience, hence optimising the outcome of content creation for lead generation and nurturing purposes.
Efficient Channel Distribution
The knowledge of how and where to approach their leads takes equally important strategic positions in the Marketer’s Bible. Sales Intelligence once again comes as a valuable support in that direction, especially considering lead generation strategies. A smart Marketer will first look at his company’s Sales Intelligence to discover where the most relevant prospects “hang out” in the digital sphere and how they prefer to be approached. Moreover, such information can lead to the discovery of new business communities that he might have otherwise ignored.
Even the best targeted and personalised content asset might remain unseen and with no value to the prospect’s journey towards the sales cycle, if distributed via the wrong channel.
Sales Intelligence has the benefit of providing Marketers with an additional crucial aspect of their content and campaign distributions: technology.
With Mobile devices generating 20% of the world's browsing activity during December 2013, there’s more than a high probability of your company’s marketing material being received and read through a kind of a mobile device. Of course, getting back to how Sales Intelligence enables more precise invention of buyer personas, you need to optimise your content distribution strategies according to the technologies used by your prospects.
Combining all the above mentioned benefits of Sales Intelligence for Marketers, we can’t go without mentioning how that tactic resonates with Competitive Intelligence. More specifically:
- Lead Generation: Sales Intelligence gives Marketers a timeliness advantage in their efforts to acquire new leads. It diminishes the need to waste time testing targets, channels and technologies from scratch. Thus enabling Marketers’ strategic content to be present in the right places, at the right times, with the right assets, empowering their lead generation efforts with a Competitive Advantage.
- Lead Nurturing: Sales Intelligence can also be viewed upon as a “History book”. It can be used as a valuable source of best lead nurturing practices (what worked) vs. lead nurturing mistakes (what to avoid). Learning from their own previous pitfalls, therefore, Marketers will be enabled to fully optimise their lead nurturing efforts, hence leaving no room for prospects flying away to competitors while in the middle of the sales funnel.
- Up- and Cross Selling: The right combination of Sales Intelligence and Marketing Automation technologies is a successful recipe for nurturing existing clientele. If a customer is approached at the right time after his initial purchase, with the right need for up-selling and an appropriate personalised message, he will definitely have no reason to turn to a competitive provider for finding the same solution.
In the era of Marketing Automation and Content Selling, we might as well ask ourselves: Should Sales and Marketing Intelligence actually be viewed upon as separate Intelligence assets?