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11 August, 2017 Sales Plays That Are Bringing Sales and Marketing Closer Together

We’ve recently completed a great Account Based Marketing (ABM) project for Zyme (the global leader in the emerging channel data management (CDM) space) and it has highlighted how effective sales/marketing collaboration can be. I’m not saying that organisations who don’t use sales plays will have a marketing and sales disconnect; but there are still a lot of gaps between the roles on a practical level. The ones who are usually on the same page can deliver better lead/sales results.

Read the full Zyme ABM case study.

So, What Are Sales Plays?

Sales Plays have been typically used to focus the sales teams on the customer need and go-to-market approach for a product/solution/offering and may include the steps or actions that should be taken throughout the sales cycle (such as Prospect, Investigate, Evaluate, Negotiate and Close). Sometimes known as a ‘sales playbook’ or ‘sales book’, they usually contain various information to help a seller get an overview of the product/solution/offering, an elevator pitch, key personas, competitive differentiators and how it benefits the customer. There also can be a number of internal and external assets to support the conversations with the client.

Getting these in one ‘Play’ can help everyone in the organisation to focus and align themselves to one on-brand message – and in the case of ABM, address a specific customer pain point. This alignment of marketing and sales can help to eradicate any confusion the customer may have, by delivering a very consistent message and value proposition.

Who Has Responsibility For The Sales Plays?

Sales Plays can reside in a number of places within an organisation; including Marketing, Sales, Sales Operations, Product Development, Consultancy and Support, and cover a huge range of topics or entry points such as solutions/product launches, specific geographic needs, cross-sell / up-sell opportunities and special pricing. They can have a strategic approach or have a tactical requirement to react to an urgent market or sales need.

The level, direction and entry point of sales plays can be influenced by the originating department(s) involved in the creation. For example ‘Plays’ originating from product development, may have a more technical/feature/function approach and based around product launch, whereas sales may have a more client centric approach driven by a compelling need.

Customer Centricity Is The Key

The best sales plays are those where the customer need is front and centre, and a joined up approach has been taken by different departments in the business through sales play discovery workshops. For example, where Sales and Marketing work together to develop sales plays through a customer pain and need, and then marketing support these with email/social campaigns and the creation of associated digital / creative assets, appropriate to the sales cycle.

This joined-up, customer-centric approach doesn’t need to be restricted to new sales as consultancy and support for existing customers all have opportunities to create sales plays that continue to build value for the customer – driving further revenue and profit.

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Originally posted on LinkedIn



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