It often takes a village to change the buyer’s perspective from sales rep to trusted advisor in today’s competitive marketplace,. For some of you, the village might be sitting down the hall in the marketing department.
Decision makers today understand that sales and marketing teams are the go-to source for acquiring and maintaining customer relationships. Both teams can accomplish more by working together. While it sounds obvious, in most cases sales and marketing are siloed. When sales and marketing work together, metrics soar, costs decrease, and life cycles are shortened. In fact, companies with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions have 36 percent higher customer retention rates.
Why the Push for Sales and Marketing Alignment?
Successfully aligning sales and marketing can be somewhat of a unicorn in business. We’ve all heard of it, but few have seen it with their own eyes. In the customer-focused reality, it’s a pivotal point if companies want to provide a memorable and compelling buyer experience.
Buyers today are savvier than ever before. Buyers’ initial level of trust is based upon their perception of a company’s brand, referrals or previous experience. After their initial impression, client trust is most impacted by external influences that provide information or opinions that build or break that trust.
Building trust and maintaining trust requires effort. Once a buyer decides to make a purchase, external influences such as reviews and social media continue to impact their trust. However, it will lessen in importance compared to their perception of the service experience during implementation and use.
If trust increases due to a favorable impression, then the likelihood of renewal or expansion increases and the chances of switching suppliers decreases. A decrease in trust obviously, has the inverse effect.
the Importance of Trust in Building Client Relationships
If building relationships is the key to sales success, then trust is the foundation. Ask any top sales performer what factors contribute to their success, and you'll hear that building trust is vital in their dealings with customers. But how do you build trust?
One of the biggest ways that you can build trust with a client is by aligning sales and marketing. If marketing and sales are on the same page, then the customer will have a unified buying experience at every interaction.
For example, if a customer is reading an email or following the company on social media and they receive a sales call with a completely different tone and personality, it’s off-putting and detrimental to their buying process. When sales and marketing don’t work together, it creates not only a divided office but a fragmented brand image. In turn, customers will be confused and dissatisfied.
Creating Unified Content to Build Trust
The best way to create unified content is for marketing and sales to work together seamlessly. And marketing teams already use sales metrics to measure their results. According to MarketingProfs, the most important metrics B2B content marketers use are sales lead quality (87 percent), sales (84 percent), and higher conversion rates (82 percent).
Marketing helps shape content that is relevant and engaging to the target audience, while sales can develop content that is personalized to the individual buyer. This type of marriage creates perfectly-balanced content that drives leads all the way through the sales funnel. And it’s more likely to get results for your bottom line.
Moving from Sales Rep to Trusted Advisor
When interacting with clients, sales should be viewed as a trusted advisor. When your marketing and sales messages are aligned you invest the time to understand your customers':
- Business situation
You are building trust by making an effort to see the world through their eyes. Asking questions that show an interest in their day-to-day business challenges is one way of doing this. Being able to speak the language of their business in terms the particular LOB understands, shows the buyer you care about their business and are truly looking for solutions to help their bottom line. This research shows that you understand what it means to walk in their shoes and speak his or her language. Understanding not only builds trust, but also gives you the confidence and tools to provide the right solution.
Building an integrated brand between sales and marketing sends a cohesive message to buyers. As marketing nurtures the leads, and sales builds rapport and conducts meaningful meetings with potential buyers, buyers see a unified story that allows for trust and confidence to grow in the sales team. By delivering top-level customer service and providing client-centric solutions, your sales department is sure to close bigger deals and gain trusted friends amongst their clients.
Want to learn more about building credibility? Watch our on-demand webinar you can use specific insights to build trust.