Category: Marketing

Personas for Marketing and Sales Alignment

buyer personas for marketing and sales alignment

In a customer-first world, alignment on buyer personas has never been more vital. They are key in gaining our target buyers’ attention and staying focused on their needs. Being strategic with creating buyer personas gives us a better chance of nurturing the prospect from buyer to customer, and I believe the key to this is through aligning content to the buyer’s journey.

Most companies know the importance of buyer personas and have embedded them into their go-to-market strategies, but the problem is that they don’t know how to use them. Even more troublesome, they don’t have the correct content to present to each of their buyer personas and there’s no way to serve content to the persona at the right stage of their journey.

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Looking Back at the CEB Sales and Marketing Summit 2017 — Finding Sales and Marketing Alignment

ceb sales and marketing summit 2017

Gone are the days when selling was a linear path: Locate a lead, nurture it with a set of marketing materials, go on a sales call (or series of sales calls), and close the deal.

In today’s B2B selling environment, the sales funnel is more like an infinity loop that flows from marketing to sales and back again until the buyer is ready to engage.

Last week at the CEB Sales and Marketing Summit, I attended several great sessions. Two in particular stood out to me because they focused on something near and dear to my heart — sales and marketing alignment.

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Customer Obsession: Recap of Forrester B2B Marketing 2017

Forrester B2B Marketing 2017 recap

B2B marketing is evolving rapidly thanks to new technology and a new focus on what matters most. The Forrester B2B Marketing event in Austin last week was exciting, particularly for product or content marketers. If you missed it, here are some highlights:

Conference Theme: Customer Obsession

On the surface, the event theme of “customer obsession” sounded a lot like what we’ve been hearing for the past few years. But they put a new spin on the idea by discussing technologies and working to keep us thinking about really innovating around customers. John Bruno of Forrester talked about the simple but revolutionary innovation when the Heinz Company redesigned the ketchup bottle to turn it upside down to solve a big pain point for their customer. The question to ask is, “Is there anything we should be doing that we’re not doing because conventional wisdom says no?”

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How to Sell Smarter with AI for Sales Enablement

For sales reps and marketers, survival skills begin with the ability to separate long-term signals from short-term noise.  This influences where reps invest their time, how marketers construct their awareness and demand gen strategies, and the prioritization criteria for sales enablement leaders who need to manage everything from in-context training to playbooks and more.  

Today we’re going to dive into AI (Artificial Intelligence) and its evolution from a trend-making concept to a core feature of any modern sales enablement platform. Continue reading article ›

Sales Content Management

Sales content management allows reps to quickly identify the best content for every customer opportunity while consolidating content availability and performance data on a single platform.  With modern sales content management technology like the Highspot platform puts reps at an advantage, and it’s one of the reasons sales reps love Highspot.  

Sales content management has become a pivotal factor in sales enablement purchase decisions and a catalyst in driving higher conversion rates and revenue.  A primary reason is that sales teams increasingly rely upon content to influence target audiences throughout the buyer’s journey.  When sales content is effectively managed, reps are better positioned to act quickly and confidently.  This helps reduce wasted time and maximize the probability of quota-crushing results.  Continue reading article ›

Content: Your Ticket to High-Performing ABM

The business impact of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) cannot be overstated. In just a few short years, it has recast sales and marketing strategies, inspired new technology decisions, and provoked rapid tactical shifts in sales pipeline management. Looking ahead, we anticipate ABM will exert increasing influence over the processes, content, audience engagement, and analytics that drive revenue growth.

Today we’re pleased to announce the availability of Content: Your Ticket to High-Performing ABM.  You can download your copy at the Highspot Resource Library.

As the raw material for ABM, targeted content aligned with the buyer’s journey is a key factor in whether or not audiences respond to marketing activities. We assembled this eBook to share practical tips on managing, customizing, sharing, and analyzing such content to support ABM.

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Resolve the Marketing and Sales Content Dispute

resolve marketing sales content dispute

When it comes to sales and marketing types, they want to like each other. In fact, in my experience, they want to love each other! After all, sales and marketing work towards a common goal — generating more revenue. But the fact remains that as long as sales relies on marketing to help close deals, and marketing relies on sales to get the company message out, there’s bound to be conflict.

Failure to Communicate

Sales wants very specific, personalized content that they can find at a moment’s notice. Marketing feels that they publish volumes of content (and they do — but 65% of it can’t be found), and they’re sensitive to changing content because it changes the company message. In the end, we have two mission-critical groups with a common goal — but different ways of getting there — and mounting frustration.

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A Sales Enablement Game Plan for Marketers

Competitive marketers know how every step they take impacts sales.  They combine boldness with shrewd analysis to win deals and keep customers happy. As sales enablement becomes increasingly vital to their company’s success, these same marketers are again expanding their comfort zone to drive greater top-line impact.  Today we’ll share how and why.  

A larger role awaits

Marketers face daily decisions on the style of offense they’ll play and how long they’ll play it.  Too often, the hyperactivity of a product launch, announcement, or campaign gives way to pursuit of the next new thing.  Ideas and supporting assets are defended rather than fine-tuned and sales teams are given less than optimal support.  By abandoning the offensive too early, many marketing teams shortchange the revenue growth they originally set out to achieve.    

Our recommendation: stay in the game.  

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Marketing and Sales: Connecting the Dots Between Perception and Reality

Sales and marketing often hold different worldviews.  Left unreconciled, they can flatten innovative ideas and the career-making opportunities that accompany them.  Today we’re investing a few minutes in how to identify differences between perception and reality, and use the results as a launchpad for revenue growth.   

The Other Side of the Lens

At one point or another, we’ve all perceived a sales and marketing reality that didn’t exist.  We anticipated a behavior that fell short or an opportunity that didn’t materialize.  In the final analysis, chances are you, too, vowed it would not happen again.  This is about minimizing the probability it will.  Continue reading article ›

Connecting Your Sales Process to the Buyer’s Journey

connecting the sales process to the buyer's journey

Road trips are a great way to get to know someone. They reveal compatibilities, interests, and perspectives on everything from the best route to worthwhile stops. These rites of passage are similar to shared expeditions of buyers and sellers. Both require clear understanding of the ultimate destination, open communication, and eagerness to engage.

Still, buyers and sellers are different. On one side, there are needs to fulfill and benefits to derive; on the other, revenue goals and customer satisfaction. What is a journey for buyers is a process for sellers. Successful sales and marketing teams manage both paths to mutual advantage while accelerating the results they care about most.

From Then to Now

We hear many stories about how the buyer’s journey is changing — how it’s becoming more fluid and dynamic, and how buyers have more control than ever before. All true. What’s not true, but remains broadly perceived, is that the journey is now a random walk, and that buyers are less likely to follow a well-worn trail and more apt to advance from one stage to another with little predictability. High-performing sellers know better. Today, we’ll share how they remain proactive — and how sales enablement helps establish strong links between the sales process and the buyer’s journey. Continue reading article ›