It’s no secret that sales and marketing work better together.
The organizational match-made-in-heaven has been proven to bring in better B2B sales productivity, higher ROI and improved top-line growth. And when sales and marketing combine forces for virtual events? The closed-won opportunities come rolling in.
What’s not to love? 💘
But as with all love stories, there’s an obstacle to contend with. Sales and marketing are traditionally lone wolves—and it requires serious work to take your teams from siloed to synchronized.
Here’s why a sales and marketing alignment is worth it:
But how do you combine two departments that work in such deeply nuanced ways? What are the most efficient ways to bring sales and marketing together? And how can they work together to bring in and convert quality leads into real revenue for the business?
In this article on creating a sales and marketing dream-team, we’ll answer these questions and go deeper on exactly what to do before, during and after the event to make your smarketing efforts 100% worth your while.
To keep and confirm their seat at the revenue table, field marketers need to work with sales to set crystal clear goals, purpose and intentions.
But before you press ‘Go’ on your next SKO or team strategy sesh, first you need to prep like you’ve never prepped before. Top tip: whatever you do, don’t skip this step.
Here are the questions field marketers should be looking to answer at the pre-event sales/ marketing meeting:
Once you know what you need out of this meeting, it’s time to define your pre-event metrics. This is the customer data that can arm sales with key insights and help them build relationships before the event:
All great field marketers know that communication makes the world go round—that’s why the first step to bridging the gap with sales is to connect on a human-to-human level.
The bottom line is both departments have jobs to do, and those jobs don’t always align—so finding common goals should always be your first task.
Once you have your goals ready (see the previous section), use this quick checklist to help get the conversation flowing from day one:
It’s showtime! One upside of event marketing in the post-2020 world is that field marketers are better equipped to gather insights in real-time on lead engagement, intent, interests and more.
This crucial intel can be passed on to sales so they can instantly deliver personalized communication during the event. With the right tools, here’s what you can uncover:
The aim at this stage is to get as granular as possible into how your leads behave during the event. What questions are they actually asking in sessions? How do they respond to in-session polls?
Use this engagement data to focus on relevant relationship building. Think: Links to personal break-out rooms for top priority contacts, so you can answer their questions and follow-up on their favourite topics.
As much as possible, make sure the sales team is involved and engaging with the event.
Here’s where rubber meets the road for modern field marketers. After an event, you can use the data you’ve collected to bring the brand experience full circle for attendees through personalized sales follow-ups. 🙌
Armed with smart event data tracking tools, field marketers can finally deliver a concrete answer to the $64,000 question: What happens after the event?
For Nicole, post-event success is all about acting fast.
“Speed is important because leads are obviously the most engaged immediately following an event. Having clear metrics for expected follow-up from your SDRs or AE (within a certain amount of time following the event and minimum number of follow-ups) is crucial. Agreeing on these expectations early and often in the event prep will ensure your teams are well aligned to execute,” explains Nicole.
She also makes sure all their event data goes straight to sales.
“Immediately following the event, we share a summary email of who attended, broken down by account status, spend tier, vertical, etc. plus a recording of the event (if possible). Information is power!” she adds.
Ottavio Dattolo, Account-Based Marketing Manager at Terminus seconds Nicoles “act fast” approach. For Ottavio, the true key to post-event success is for sales to make the effort with warmed-up priority contacts.
Ottavio Dattolo is one of those unique marketers who’s spent time on both sides of the fence.
As an ex-sales rep and Account-based Marketing Manager for B2B marketing powerhouse, Terminus, Ottavio is well-versed in bringing sales and marketing together.
Here’s the complete walkthrough for how Ottavio uses the power of sales + marketing to bring closed-lost leads back into the fold:
Like Batman and Robin or peanut butter and chocolate, sales and marketing simple work better together. When you can successfully combine their unique strengths and apply those to your B2B events, you can get some seriously drool-worthy revenue results.
Reaching that point takes time and effort but with the right tools and mindset, you and your sales team can become true partners in revenue marketing.
As Ottavio puts it, “Overall, I believe that event/field marketing and the sales/marketing alignment will continue to evolve. It's important to be different, take risks, and most of all, have fun! As we continue on this endless stay at home order, we need to continue to think of new ways that we can make our events exciting, engaging, and worthwhile.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.