If you think about it, marketing is just sales done at scale.
In a sales conversation, the job of a salesperson is to start by determining the needs and wants of the prospect.
Assuming they can deliver on those needs and wants, it’s their job to communicate it properly.
Sales is not about coercion—you either have the goods or you do not.
It’s about alignment between your prospects’ needs and what you offer.
It’s a transfer of facts and enthusiasm.
Marketing is no different.
The silo problem of sales and marketing
A good marketer determines the needs and wants of their ideal market up front, communicates their offer in those terms, and then waits for people to buy.
However, it’s often the case that people need to talk to someone before making a purchase decision (i.e. become a member).
They want to see your space and ask additional questions. They want to make sure you have everything they need in order to be successful.
It’s during this sales process that the real magic happens. Questions get asked and objections are made.
In the marketing world, we don’t hear those questions and objections. In fact, we don’t hear anything at all. They either take the next step or they don’t.
And that’s why good marketing depends on sales to get the feedback necessary to improve the way they’re communicating the features and benefits.
Too often, sales and marketing are in silos. You hire a copywriter to write your website copy but they never speak to your salespeople, so they’re ultimately guessing.
Or, if they do consult with the sales team, it happens in the beginning but nobody goes back to address the questions that still come up during sales conversations.
This is a huge missed opportunity.
How to gather sales intel to use in your marketing
No amount of research and thinking will ever be as effective as the words coming out of your prospects’ (and members’) mouths.
That is why the other job of sales that rarely gets used is to listen to the questions and objections, write them down, and use them to inform your marketing communications.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are people asking that isn’t answered in our marketing?
- What are their concerns and objections along the way?
- Why do people decide to buy when they do (or don’t when they don’t)?
- What was the most significant factor, feature, or benefit that helped in making their decision?
- What are they asking for that we don’t currently offer?
Then ask yourself:
- How can we put this information into our marketing materials?
- What can do to overcome objections in our marketing so they don’t arise in the sales process?
- How can we highlight the main features/benefits that people say made the difference in the sales process?
- Can we offer things people ask for that we don’t currently offer?
The best way to do all of this is to keep a record. Maybe it’s in your written notes, a Word document, or a spreadsheet. It doesn’t matter.
Write down what people are asking, objecting to, needing but aren’t getting, and ultimately why they decided to sign up or not.
It’s a two-part process. One part will happen during the selling process and the other part will happen after the decision is made.
Both parts are crucial.
How to use sales intel to make your marketing highly effective
You now have the information you need to make your marketing outstanding.
Bring the information you gathered to your marketing person(s). Have them use it to turn your website, brochures, and other points of contact into a highly-optimized piece of communication, based solely around the things people want, need, and why they actually buy.
See if you can even improve your offer by including things people are consistently asking for.
Your sales and marketing are now a flywheel that improve one another’s efforts.
Even your business strategy can improve because you’re taking feedback and using it to make your offer (and therefore service delivery) even better and more aligned with the needs of your members.
The results of using this process
If you make this process your secondary focus (primary being actually selling, of course), you’ll find that:
- Your sales process will become easier over time
- You will get fewer questions
- You’ll hear fewer objections
- You’ll get more qualified leads
- You will likely even make happier members
Don’t let your sales conversations live in a silo.
Those conversations are absolute gold and can be the difference between mediocre and highly effective marketing.
Your salespeople are the ears to your buyers’ actual needs and wants.
Don’t let that information go to waste.