Living Stone blog 3

 

 

All Posts

Aligning sales and marketing for better results

Just as the old model of news dissemination has been shattered – a few dominant outlets now replaced by a cacophony of voices - so has the traditional approach to healthcare marketing. Your healthcare B2B customers are turning into B2C right before your eyes, side-stepping your funnel and doing research and evaluation on their own, without seeking a contact with your sales team. According to a 2017 study by research company Forrester, 68% of B2B customers said they preferred to do their own research, rather than interact with a sales rep. This is a big change over 2015, when this figure was only 40%.

So as the preferences of B2B customers change, how can marketing and sales evolve to support them? Well, it’s not as if your prospects need less information. In fact, under this do-it-yourself approach, they actually need more.

But rather than look at it as a sequential process – prospect identifies a pain point, prospect articulates a pain point, supplier offers a solution – healthcare marketers need to create a model where prospects can dip in and out, easily finding the information they need, wherever they are in the process. By mapping out your customer’s journey, not as a predictable path but with predictable elements, you can support their information and solution needs more thoroughly.

And in order to do this successfully, you need strong alignment between marketing and sales (smarketing). As a concept, “strong alignment between marketing and sales” is a bit like “eating better,” or “working out more.” It sounds great, but how do you put it into practice? Well, if your relationship with sales is like playing volleyball – you lob over a campaign, and they lob back some feedback – you’ve got work to do.

 

How to strengthen your alignment with sales 

  • Define your target personas together. Who are your customers? Sales knows who they are, at the most granular level. Make sure your personas are a true joint effort, and reflect input from both sides.
  • Map out your customer’s journey. Plot out all the possible touchpoints, information requirements and twists and turns on your customer’s journey. Be prepared to hear from sales about the touchpoints where your collateral is lacking. They’ll also have insight into which of your competitors has better material. This is need-to-know input, so don’t be sensitive.
  • Choose the metrics. It isn’t about clicks today. As a healthcare marketer, your efforts have to be tied to business results. Decide with sales what the goals are, and how you’ll know when you reach them. And share the data. Give sales a window into how your campaigns are performing, and ask them to share sales updates too.
  • Open up the communication between marketing and sales. Think “smarketing.” Silos just don’t work anymore. You’ll need frequent, scheduled contact and open borders to build and maintain a close connection.

The benefits are clear. Companies with strong alignment between marketing and sales close more deals, achieve better ROI, and it improves employee morale. 

We can help you to strengthen the alignment between sales and marketing in your company. We organize in-house workshops to explore the best ways to build alignment and implement “smarketing” across your organization.

Contact Anne-Mie Vansteelant to learn more.

Anne-Mie Vansteelant
Anne-Mie Vansteelant
COO | Managing Partner at Living Stone

Related Posts

Creating a strong brand: why it’s important

You’re 100% behind your organization’s offer, which contains life-changing products, but you see the development of your brand identity as a side issue? Time to change that vision, and to pursue a brand identity that fully covers the added value your company and products have to offer.

B2B video trends for 2021: spotlight on short-form video

Short-form video is one of the key marketing trends to watch in 2021, according to the experts at HubSpot1. Driven by the popularity of platforms like TikTok and Reels on Instagram, short-form video is taking over the online landscape. What’s considered short-form? Anything less than two and a half minutes, with the length varying by platform: 15 seconds is the length of videos on Instagram Reels, up to 60 seconds on TikTok, and up to two minutes and 20 seconds on Twitter. (YouTube is still the platform of choice for longer video; two minutes is a recommended length here, but educational or instructional videos that are longer than that are ok too2. 

Coronavirus creates “new normal” for B2B conferences

The pandemic is significantly changing the landscape for in-person conferences, congresses and trade shows. Most professional conference organizers are postponing their events to next year, with any paid registrants switched to the future event. In the meantime, we are all missing opportunities to meet with our customers and prospects.