I’m a huge Seinfeld fan and one of the episodes that sticks in my mind is when George complains about his “worlds colliding” (in this case his friends and his girlfriend). I am in marketing and this topic continually raises questions with our relationship with sales.
Today’s B2B sales and marketing teams struggle with the overwhelming number of channels for finding and reaching new leads. In traditional roles these two departments are at odds making any form of peace virtually impossible. As most of us do from time to time, searching the internet for educational yet intriguing information, I ran across a term recently that I would like to share with you:
SMARKETING. What happens when sales and marketing meet in the middle.
This word caught my eye because it was a little bizarre, but I liked the philosophy. After all, sales and marketing have the same goal, (or least should have) to grow business and generate revenue, and though each department uses different mechanisms and tactics, both are vital to increasing the bottom line and eliminating the colliding worlds. They achieve more than when they work independently. A lot more. This efficiency makes SMARKETING an effective strategy to drive growth.
Anonymous web visitor platforms like VisitorTrack support the SMARKETING philosophy. Harmony between these two departments allows marketing to see who is engaged on their website without filling out a form, prioritizes prospects based on interest and can identify return visitors providing sales with a high quality lead. In turn, a sales rep can see which products the prospect is interested in, have all the important contact information for the potential buyer at their fingertips and contact them before the competition, which allows deals to be closed faster. Thus, generating revenue which is the common goal, and eliminating the colliding worlds.
Imagine these formerly divided departments speaking the same language, maintaining open communication and relying on the same data! Crazy isn’t it?
When your salespeople are talking to and following up with the same target audience that marketing is engaging in advertising, social media and other channels, the results are bigger numbers, more deals, and a better return on investment as a result of this SMARKETING.
As much as I like the term SMARKETING, I am not sure it is going to catch on and become the new buzz word of the 21st century, however, it is a simple concept to bring two worlds together that before would always collide. I think even George would agree! #Smarketing!
Buyer’s Journey from Awareness to Purchase
On the continuum of the buyer’s journey from Awareness to Purchase, the roles of Marketing and Sales have a symbiotic relationship- at least in theory. At the beginning of the buyer journey, Marketing plays the primary role in creating Awareness of the vendor’s products and services and then positioning these products and services in the minds of the buyer for their Consideration in the buyer’s list of possible vendors.
As buyers have shifted their journey on-line, Marketing has played a more prominent role in the Preference stage of the buyer decision process. Depending on the type of product or services, and based on the business model of the vendor, at some point in the Preference stage Sales takes over as the chief protagonist. A hand-off is made from Marketing to Sales (aka “Lead”) at the Preference stage and Sales takes the lead (pun intended) on to the Purchase stage and closes the deal.
In a perfect world, the coordination between Marketing and Sales is beautifully orchestrated. Marketing starts the buyer journey and Sales completes it. But, the relationship between Marketing and Sales is seldom peaceful. Despite careful planning and communication, these two groups rarely see eye to eye. Neither group is to blame. They are from two different planets.
Marketing is from Mars and Sales is from Venus. These two worlds play just fine together when there is clear distinction on who has the lead role in the buyer journey. Marketing is responsible for creating Awareness and getting their products and services on the buyer list for Consideration. Sales is clearly responsible for the Purchase phase. The worlds collide in the Preference phase as responsibility for the prospective buyer passes from Marketing to Sales.
These different views and blind spots result in an implied consent between Marketing and Sales – they simply agree to disagree. But, it doesn’t need to be this way. The two worlds could peacefully co-exist if they each had daily visibility of the “invisible visitors” to their website.
Marketing and Sales need VisitorTrack from netFactor. VisitorTrack provides the visibility of anonymous web visitors that otherwise go undetected. These “invisible visitors” are taking a self-directed journey on your web site and the web sites of your competitors. These visitors remain anonymous until they want you to know they are interested. By then, it’s too late for either Marketing or Sales to guide the buyer’s Preference or for Sales to establish the terms of engagement.
Adding regular visibility of these anonymous visitors and gaining insight on their digital journey makes life on Mars and Venus more enjoyable. VisitorTrack can’t guarantee Marketing and Sales will see eye to eye, but it will make them more agreeable.
* Thanks to Dr. John Gray, author of “Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus”, 1992, HarperCollins
Depending on the industry served, a typical B2B small to mid-sized business will get thousands of unique web visitors each month.
Most digital marketers are thrilled if 2%-3% of these unique visitors self-identify interest by completing one of the forms on the website. At this conversion rate, marketing is able to generate several hundred “warm” leads for sales follow up on a monthly basis. To digital marketers, these are “signals” of market demand.
The other 97% of the web visitors
who don’t complete a form are visible to digital marketers as numbers. This monthly web “traffic” is measured by web analytics tools such as Google Analytics (GA). Measuring web traffic is useful for determining the effectiveness of marketing campaigns – events, SEO/PPC, advertisement, direct marketing, etc. Marketing spends a lot of money to generate awareness and drive prospective buyers to their website. Determining the effectiveness of these dollars by measuring the amount of monthly web traffic is critical feedback to marketers. Hence, the rise of “data driven marketing.” For digital marketers, tools like GA help measure the “noise.”
But, the ultimate goal of marketing is to generate revenue. Creating compelling campaigns that get prospective buyers to your website is a means to the end goal of generating revenue. Sales teams don’t find web traffic measures particularly useful when it comes to generating revenue. To support revenue generation, marketers must be able to increase the ratio of web visitor “signals” to the “noise.” In other words, marketers must make more of the 97% monthly web traffic volume actionable by sales.
That’s why we made VisitorTrack
VisitorTrack gives digital marketers the ability to increase the “signal” to “noise” ratio from the thousands of monthly web visitors who are otherwise visible only as numbers. VisitorTrack starts with identifying the “invisible” web visitors who don’t self-declare. Next, we filter out the unidentifiable visitors – those who came to your site via an ISP or some other service provider that masks the visitor company I.P address. Unless you sell to very small businesses and/or home office businesses, this filtering process reduces the noise to a more relevant set of business prospects. Like all good web monitoring tools, VisitorTrack identifies the specific web pages and content viewed by these visitors which provides deeper insights to the interests of these prospective customers. Then, VisitorTrack appends this visitor data with demographic and firmagraphic company information. Once the company data are identified, VisitorTrack further filters the visiting company data based on user-defined criteria – industry, geo-location, company size, pages visited, etc., and delivers this visitor data via automated reports to the designated marketing and sales professionals. Voila! Signals from the noise.
Web visitor data collected via form conversions are collected as signals of market demand. The visitor information is immediately ready to pass to sales as a “warm” lead. For a well performing website, these signals are generated by 2% – 3% of the visitor traffic. The other 97% of visitor traffic is anonymous and is collected as noise. Converting this noise to more actionable data requires sophisticated intelligence and automated filtering technology. That’s why we made VisitorTrack.