Sales teams ‘crying out for better marketing support’

marketersUK technology businesses are potentially losing out on millions of pounds in revenue because their marketing teams are clueless about the needs of their sales teams, hindering their ability to attract clients and making the process of clinching deals slow and arduous.

According to Bridging the Gap, a new study by Champion Communications and Pure Potential in partnership with techUK, there is a major disconnect between tech firms’ sales and marketing efforts.

The study, based on a survey of more than 200 executives working in sales and business development roles, only two-fifths (41%) of marketing collateral was deemed useful in their efforts to secure new business.

The vast majority (93%) of respondents reckoned they would be able to increase sales if marketing support was optimised, with nine out of ten (89%) stating this would have a beneficial effect on the time and effort it would take to secure new business and would result in securing more lucrative deals (72%).

When asked what would most significantly affect their ability to convert leads to sales, the most common factor cited was increased trust from prospects. Other factors included being able to provide third party proof about their company’s products and services, closely followed by the leaders of their company being perceived as experts within their respective fields.

The marketing collateral that was perceived to be useful in instilling trust and credibility in prospective clients was; case studies (97%), earned media (93%), blog posts (83%), ebooks (82%) and awards (76%).

Nearly nine out of ten (89%) respondents believe that more earned media coverage would result in more sales, with 84% saying that more case studies would help with their sales efforts.

Champion Communications managing director Richard Cook said: “One of the biggest barriers to B2B sales is that the buyer lacks confidence in their own ability to make the decisions that they are being asked to make. These individuals are often time-poor, overloaded with content and have little experience of purchasing new technology solutions.

“In this context trust, validation and credibility are at a premium and our study highlights how sales and business development departments recognise this and are crying out for marketing support to help their sales efforts.”

Workbooks chief marketing officer Christelle Fraysse reckons that all too often, sales departments feel the marketing department is insufficiently focused on sales, and marketing thinks the sales department does not really understand branding. As a result, she believes, these two key branches of any business effectively work in silos, conforming to their own targets, without fully collaborating and complementing each other.

Fraysse added: “In the modern digital landscape, it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish a marketing activity from a sales activity. Prospects do much of their research online, using marketing collateral to build trust and reassurance – they no longer rely on a straightforward sales pitch to make their decision.

“A true partnership between the two teams and a culture of transparency, enabled by technology, can help uncover unique insights into the sales process, fine-tune and optimise the sales and marketing strategies, as well as grow new business opportunities and increase revenues. Alignment can be truly transformational.”

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