Time is money.
This popular colloquialism becomes painfully obvious to business leaders who gather their sales and marketing teams for alignment meetings, only to find the discussion degraded to complaints without solutions, ideas without context to company strategies, activity metrics without a tie to business ROI.
Your sales and marketing team are valuable resources, and studies have shown that when working together, your company is 50 percent more likely to achieve or exceed sales quota. A key way to foster this teamwork is through thoughtfully planned working sessions.
As opposed to a routine update, working sessions are intended to tackle a heady topic from strategy to implementation and measurement. They require some advanced planning so that the team is quickly brought up-to-speed on the topic, can add impactful feedback, and the group has the ability to make decisions, often including a go-forward plan for implementation.
Working sessions have a virtuous “side effect” of knitting the group closer together through the process.
Here are 7 Sales + Marketing working session topics to consider tackling each quarter:
1. Persona Profile Development (or Annual Review)
By defining buyer persona profiles, the team can better customize their message, marketing outreach channels, and make a greater impact when engaging prospects.
Resource: Defining Audience Personas
Here's an example of a buyer persona.
2. Value Proposition and Content Asset Map
In this working session, the team will discuss your value proposition and content assets by persona along each stage of the buyer’s journey. This process often uncovers messaging gaps, or a need for content assets during particular stages.
Here's an example of a content calendar that has content for each buyer persona and stage in the buyer's journey.
3. Brand Positioning and Messaging
How is your brand perceived internally and externally? How consistently is the company communicating, both through key messages and visual branding? Through this working session the team can understand the importance of a strong brand, identify gaps in brand consistency, and address a plan to improve them.
Resource: How does your brand measure up?
Genuen created this video to introduce their brand and tell their brand story.
4. Product/Solution Launch Planning
Launches are a powerful way to build awareness and make quick revenue gains. Particularly when entering a new market or reaching a new user, launches take much thoughtful planning.
Resource: Smart Product Launches for Engineers
According to Booz and Company, 66% of product launches fail within two years. By strategizing, you can avoid a product launch fail.
5. Pipeline Conversion Model Development
Your sales + marketing team should not only be aware of each other’s targets along the funnel, they should also own and manage the company’s conversion model together.
Here's an example of a pipeline conversion model with goals mapped out.
6. Lead scoring model (or a prospect rating criteria)
What is a qualified lead? When are leads ready to be passed from marketing to sales? A sub-set of your pipeline model, lead scoring (or the more basic prospect rating criteria) is a highly important alignment topic for sales and marketing.
By strategizing and defining your lead scoring model, you can gain insight into your marketing and sales data.
7. Corporate and Sales Social Presence
Amplify your results by tackling social together as a sales and marketing team. Marketing first drives awareness and brand recall through organic and advertising efforts, setting the stage for targeted sales outreach. By timing these efforts together, sales will see higher engagement and meeting conversion. Meeting topics include target audience criteria, content themes, calls-to-action, and outreach scripts. Consider how to leverage your most popular company spokesperson to amplify organic posts and mine prospect connections.
Resource: Social Media Strategy: define, action, measure, analyze, improve, repeat
Engineers find professional community networks and LinkedIn as top sources for finding new information and solutions.
Ready to plan your next sales + marketing working session? TREW Marketing’s onsite workshops are designed to facilitate group discussion, utilizing homework and workbooks to prepare, engage, and ensure an outcome with traction. Schedule a meeting with a TREW Consultant to learn more.
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*Data Source: Research Report -- The State of Sales Enablement, Aberdeen Group
Wendy Covey is a CEO, a technical marketing leader, author of Content Marketing, Engineered, one of The Wall Street Journal’s 10 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs in America, and she holds a Texas fishing record. She resides in a small Hill Country town southwest of Austin, Texas, where she enjoys outdoor adventures with her family.
TREW Marketing is a strategy-first content marketing agency serving B2B companies that target highly technical buyers. With deep experience in the design, embedded, measurement and automation, and software industries, TREW Marketing provides branding, marketing strategy, content development, and digital marketing services to help customers efficiently and effectively achieve business goals.