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In an online business, marketing and sales both play important roles throughout the customer lifecycle process. When we look at the popular buyer funnel model, each portion of the funnel (top, middle, and bottom) is either the responsibility of sales or marketing, or a responsibility shared between the two teams.

The middle of the funnel, where qualified leads take place, is the shared responsibility of both sales and marketing. In order to funnel a prospect from a one-time website visitor to a recurring customer, it is vital that sales and marketing teams work together toward this common goal. When these teams are not in sync, there are missed opportunities and, ultimately, customers are lost. Through years of SEO and digital marketing work, RefractROI has picked up a few tried-and-true best practices that can effectively and efficiently help your sales and marketing teams work together.

1. Position Marketing as Your Content Creation Engine & Sales as Your Learning/Distribution Engine

As the saying goes, content is king–especially with an online business, but it can be difficult to brainstorm topics that are important to your target audience and get it to them in an effective manner. When your content doesn’t provide the end results you’d intended, it’s essential that your marketing and sales teams work together to put together a solution. How? Sales reps are regularly in contact with your target audience and they’re privy to the questions they ask about your products or services. If your sales team can communicate these to your marketing department, they can then generate answers through the content on your website.

This content can then be converted into assets, like whitepapers, case studies, and ebooks, that can be used to drive qualified traffic to your website. Using this newfound knowledge, you can customize your content for each different part of the funnel, driving your prospective buyer from visitor to customer.

2. Stop Chasing Different Metrics & Unite Around a Common Goal

Sales and marketing teams typically focus on certain KPIs to measure the success of their efforts. Often, the KPIs for marketing differ from the KPIs used by sales, meaning that two teams that should be working together are frequently pursuing different goals. Rather than setting different goals for each team, first take stock of what metrics best align with your business and bring in the most revenue. Pick one or two of these metrics, then use both with your sales and marketing teams to enable them to work together to produce overarching improvements. Essentially a method of forced collaboration, this allows unification across the board and often results in greater ROI.

3. Create Structure Around Your Communication Goals

In the years following the pandemic, the work environment has continued to change and adapt to the new demand for hybrid and work-from-home models. While we’ve seen numerous benefits come from this, it’s become increasingly difficult for businesses to maintain routine and foster a collaborative culture in the workplace. 

However, through the continuous use of communication solutions, like Slack or Zoom, businesses have the ability to provide teams the flexibility to work where they want while still maintaining the open communication needed to work in tandem. Whether you choose to hold weekly video meetings with both sales and marketing present, or choose to provide a communication software depends on your teams’ unique needs, but putting structure to your communication standards will provide that connection needed for effective collaboration.

4. Invest in Your Website’s User Experience

By improving your website’s user experience, you position your website to generate additional online leads. Start by optimizing the pages your visitors often see first: your landing pages. A great landing page helps to lead a prospect down the sales funnel and increase sales, whereas a poorly designed or built landing page can drive away potential customers. If you choose to use a call to action on your website, make sure that the call to action is clear and pronounced. Next, focus on your natural site navigation. If a member of your target audience has difficulty navigating your website, they aren’t likely to make a purchase and may bounce off your site entirely. 

Additionally, you can utilize progressive web apps like push notifications or SMS updates to frequently remind potential customers of your business or of specific product/service you’d like to highlight. Consider using automated ordering by using cache data for repeat customers and make sure your website has the speed to handle the amount of traffic your website generates. 

Finally, leverage user-generated content like a photo gallery voluntarily submitted by customers as part of a customer review to help others visualize your product in action. An astonishing 63% of consumers say that they are more likely to buy a product from a website that includes consumer reviews. Keep in mind that the experience your target audience has on your website can either positively or negatively impact their potential purchase, so set yourself up for success with a user experience-first site.

Need Help Developing a Strategy to Connect Marketing & Sales?

Don’t allow a decrease in online leads to negatively impact your business revenue. Implement these best practices to connect your departments to see if you just needed to strategize to improve your site traffic and boost how you’re converting potential customers into additional revenue. If you still need a fresh perspective to help implement your practices or need assistance putting together a new strategy, call the RefractROI team at 303-945-3715 to learn more today.