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3 Tips to Teach New Reps for Successful Sales and Marketing Alignment


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Niti Shah is the Head of Sales Content and editor of the new Inbound Sales section of HubSpot’s media hub. You can follow her at @nitifromboston

You’ve just hired a new rock star salesperson for your organization – she’s had a few years of experience in complex sales and knows her way around the block. She’s a prospecting guru, great at building rapport, and can negotiate like a pro. There’s one problem – she’s never heard of inbound sales, and that’s going to affect your sales and marketing alignment unless you teach her these three lessons during training. 

  1. Understand When to Contact a Prospect Depending on Buyer’s Context

    Teach your salesperson how to take advantage of all information available at hand – such as marketing intelligence on the prospect’s activity on your website (what pages have they visited? What offers have they downloaded?). Your new rep needs to take these actions and put them into the context of who the prospect is: are they a marketing manager at an enterprise-level company? Are they the SVP of sales at a mid-size company?

    Teach your salesperson when to reach out to a prospect depending on this buyer’s context. A rule of thumb is that your rep should contact a larger company earlier in the buying cycle – for example, after they’ve first visited your website – because they have more purchasing power. For a mid-size company, you will want to have your rep keep tabs on activity and gauge how serious interest is in purchasing your solution before picking up the phone and reaching out.

  1. Be a Consultant, Not a Salesperson

    It's much better for the prospect if the salesperson diagnoses a problem and works with them to solve it. When you’re just starting out as a salesperson, you are often tempted to go into a call with prospects eager to pitch your services, and then ask for the sale. Most of the time, the pitch does not resonate for some reason that the salesperson never uncovers. The prospect then gets turned off because the salesperson seems only interested in helping themselves, not helping them.

    How do you avoid this? During training, run through sales call scenarios using typical sales pitch language and more consultative dialogue. Have your new sales rep play the role of the prospect – they’ll get a prospect’s perspective on how off-putting it can be when a salesperson is being just a salesperson. Go through techniques for making the process more consultative by role-playing an open dialogue and have them listen in on sales calls from your best inbound sellers.

  1. Leverage Marketing to Improve Sales

    Part of your new sales rep’s training should focus on how your marketing team works, and how they can help your rep.  Have your salesperson learn about how marketing approaches leads – what personas they define leads by, how they change messaging to reach different types of personas. Knowing how marketing defines personas will help your new sales rep better understand prospects’ wants, needs, and how to talk to them.

    Expose your new sales rep to the wonderful world of content. The marketing team is constantly creating new material to entice website visitors to turn into leads. These materials are relevant to your target audience and can be leveraged by your sales rep during the sales cycle. For example, when a prospect mentions they’re having trouble with lead generation, your sales rep will think to send a piece of marketing content, such as an ebook, that helps the prospect understand lead generation better. Leveraging marketing materials to help the prospect is part of a consultative process.

Training new sales reps to approach the selling process as a partnership between marketing and sales will help you better align the two vital departments. When sales reps are taught from the beginning to value marketing and to take advantage of the assets created by that team, it sets the foundation for a positive relationship between the two parties.

When marketing and sales are aligned, there’s more opportunities to work together to better serve the prospect – the front-facing salesperson can provide marketing with valuable insights into what the prospect needs, and marketing will be more inclined to create valuable content that aligns with these needs. 


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