Where does the conversation with a prospective buyer begin? Is it when a salesman picks up the phone or drops by for a visit? Is it the first time they come to your website from a Google search? Is it when they receive a recommendation from a Twitter follower?
The current answer is all of the above. With the Internet, there is no telling how someone is going to come across your name.
This past week there were two great blog posts from two smart people who work for Hubspot. One by a marketer and one by a sales person.
Mike Volpe, CMO at Hubspot, shares the point that marketers should embrace the fact that they need to re-share their value proposition because there is no telling at what stage a prospect first came to learn about your company.
As marketers, we can feel like we tell our story too much, that people are sick of hearing it. But a lot of the time this isn’t the case at all. Your value proposition should be so intertwined with your content that no matter how a person finds you, they will hear the story.
Peter Caputa, VP of Sales & Marketing at Hubspot, shared that successful sales people are the ones that spend more time focusing on the challenges facing a prospect. They commit themselves to active listening and help guide the prospect to a solution to their challenges. In Peter’s mind, the biggest mistake we can make in the sales process is thinking that a prospect cares about our value proposition.
He asserts that businesses should apply more focus to communicating how they can help a prospect overcome their challenge, rather than communicating what they do.
So, how can a company’s value proposition shared by marketers and a prospect’s challenge addressed by sales people be brought together into a unified message and experience?
It all starts at the beginning.
The alignment of sales and marketing is necessary when creating a plan that attracts leads and closes sales. A natural place for this alignment to begin is in the creation of Buyer Personas.
On a basic level, a buyer persona is a model of the personality, behavior, and tendencies of a potential customer.
Incorporating buyer personas can help both marketing and sales stay on the same page by maintaining a clear picture of the persona’s challenges and likely behaviors.
Buyer personas help marketing create content and lead nurturing campaigns that are focused on the challenges and obstacles that face a prospect everyday.
They can help sales quickly identify what types of questions to ask so they can uncover the prospect’s challenges and help craft a plan to reach their goals.