Stop. Collaborate. And LinkedIn.
Recently I found myself at the Digital Summit in Denver, surrounded by fellow marketers in a familiar discussion about how we can better align sales and marketing teams to truly provide a cohesive customer experience. This particular discussion resonated with me more than most as it took a step further than just restating that cohesion needs to happen and actually provided tactical tools to facilitate this in reality.
There are two keys to truly creating cohesiveness between sales and marketing. The first is philosophical and this must come from the leadership team. If marketing is always spending time proving their work to sales and sales is always telling marketing they need more “leads,” true alignment will be a hard-fought battle.
It’s no longer, or maybe it never was, a linear relationship between sales and marketing where marketing = message and sales = closing deals. Both teams need shared goals and agreed-upon metrics. That’s the philosophical part.
But, tactically, how do you achieve this?
Ty Heath, Global Lead, Market Development of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions will tell you that LinkedIn is a great place to start. I realize she works there and it is her job to tell us this but the team at Think Better agrees. I am very excited about the direction that LinkedIn has taken to provide tactical and effective tools to help sales and marketing start to finally speak the same language.
The Think Better team has long thought that the LinkedIn platform is the best business social media channel for B2B, but with the recent updates to their Sales Navigator service, the platform has become even more effective.
Below are some of the LinkedIn tools we are most excited about and have had some success with:
Sales Navigator: “Target the right buyers, understand key insights, and engage with personalized outreach.”
Account pages and insights
Lead summary and highlights
Sales alerts when leads interact with content
InMail Campaigns: Allow you to send personalized messages to a targeted audience. We have used this and have seen great success with this tool.
LinkedIn Elevate: This feature from LinkedIn is one I haven’t used personally but am excited about the potential. It is a way for companies and employees to share the content with one another to encourage employees to then share content with their personal networks. This is one we’ll keep an eye on to
PointDrive: Provides a way for company pages to build and share content directly on their company page and also will alert you when that content is viewed.
What is great about these tools is that they truly are sales and marketing tools. In the efforts to leverage LinkedIn for client campaigns, the development and deployment of LinkedIn targeting and messaging are a collaboration between both sales and marketing.
In our experience, the teams work together to:
Determine who to target
Define the message sent to the target contacts
Decide on the nurture and engagement strategy to turn leads from LinkedIn into sales opportunities.
Of course, embracing one software platform won’t immediately double ROI and create instantly collaborative teams. But, we’ve found this platform and LinkedIn approaches to be a great way to initiate more collaboration between teams that ultimately builds trust, joins the teams in shared goals, and begins to create relationships that support collaboration in other areas of the sales process.