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Inbound | 3 min read

Inbound Marketing and Sales: Can They Really Work Together?

18 December 2017 Written by Alexander Costello

You may have heard that sales and marketing departments do not work so well together. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s been proven that businesses are 67% more effective at closing deals when they align their sales and marketing departments.

You may be in the know about inbound marketing, but are you aware of the role sales plays? If not then this is the blog post for you.

Here, we lay out the ways in which sales contributes to inbound marketing.But before we do that, we’d like to inspect the relationship between sales and marketing, and see how it works.

As HubSpot explains in this blog post, there’s a chasm that exists between marketing and sales. A seemingly gaping divide between the two.

However, inbound can only go half the way. The nature of inbound means that while your leads have been attracted by your content, they won’t be taken into the buying cycle without some form of development. Sales development, that is.

Studies conducted by Gleastner Research shows that as many as 80% of the leads you create are caused because someone was looking for valuable content to answer a question or solve a problem.

The divide has two main consequences. As HubSpot puts it:

The marketing function is often undervalued (or even overlooked), put off to the side to work on case studies, trade shows and ‘arts and crafts’.

Far too much of the weight and pressure falls on the sales team. This was fine years ago when prospects needed to talk with salespeople, differences between offers were clear and life was much simpler.

Too much pressure on a sales team can wreak havoc on your organisation. With a little insight into what they do, you can make it easier (and far more successful) for everyone else.

Role of Sales in Inbound Marketing

Close that Deal (and Nurture Your Leads)

First and foremost, the primary role of sales is to close leads. These leads, attracted and nicely prepped by your marketing team’s content, are ready and waiting to be nurtured.

So, in swoops your sales team with a helpful, professional demeanour to which your leads will respond positively. It’s that simple: sales close leads!

Share Insight

Your sales development team will have spoken to leads, so they’ll have an intimate understanding as to what their pain points are and the kind of things they want.

Bunkered behind keyboards and computers, your content writers have only research and intuition. With sales’ insight, they can really serve their leads with relevant, useful content, and give them what they want.

With face-to-face interaction, a sales development team can contribute in a way nobody else in your organisation can.

Sales Teams Are a Human Extension of Marketing

The relationship often works like this: marketing creates the content to articulate sales’ message. Marketing is responsible for a varied range of tasks, from tracking success to refining tone of voice.

However, all this is done without interaction with your audience. Sales are the first port of call for customers. With them your organisation’s brand and voice is carried and communicated to your audience.

Help Shape Buyer Personas

Again, a sales team can use their first-hand knowledge to inform your marketing team when crafting buyer personas and creating content to serve those personas.

Between sales and marketing, shared insight will benefit both parties. It will better prepare sales for meeting the personas, and will help them to empathise with their pain points and understand their problems.

Prospect, Prospect then Prospect Some More

Here is the scenario: you’ve captured an inbound lead with some brilliant content and you’re ready to get on the phone.

Hold it there! Have you looked into your lead? Have you done the research? You’ll want to know all you can about your prospect. This is what (good) salespeople are best at.

Here’s another statistic: research from the Harvard Business Review shows that 87% of the words used by sales professionals and marketing professionals to describe one another are negative.

Despite this statistic, it’s been proven that collaboration between sales and marketing departments gives businesses of all shapes and sizes huge benefits and potential for growth.

Want to learn even more? Take a look at our free eBook for the latest statistics on how inbound is transforming the marketing world.

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