Crappy in-house marketers are expensive.

They charge you more money than they should, and they bring in fewer clients than they promise.

Unfortunately, today’s world is crowded with lousy marketers.

As social media has found its massive online footing, everyone who’s read Contagious by Jonah Berger or Purple Cow by Seth Godin considers themselves to be a savvy marketer.

And they might know a thing or two about the industry.

But the problem is that all of that marketing theory isn’t nearly as useful as actual experience.

While marketing often focuses on theory, sales focuses on actual one-on-one, hands-on, unavoidable experience.

Which is probably why businesses with heavily aligned marketing and sales strategies experience a more effective marketing effort overall.

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Sadly, a whopping 79% of businesses don’t have a tightly aligned marketing and sales team — which means they’re losing out on all that benefit.

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As it turns out, the experience of your sales team might just be your most valuable marketing asset.

After all, salespeople deal with your clients firsthand, which means that they probably understand your customers better than anyone else in the company.

Here’s why that understanding makes them savvy marketers, whether they want to be or not.

1. Salespeople know that personal connection is key

It’s no secret that personalization rules the marketing roost.

Generally speaking, the more personalized the prospect’s experience, the more likely they are to purchase from you.

Sometimes, it’s really that simple.

When people feel welcomed by your company, they engage more, share your company with their friends, and buy your product.

Which is probably why personalization is one of the top 3 priorities for digital marketers.

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But the benefit that personalization offers is not an easy thing for marketers to tackle.

With their high-level focus, they tend to make the mistake of using a shotgun approach instead of a highly-targeted and personalized approach.

The solution?

Leveraging the knowledge of your salespeople.

More than likely, your salespeople spend a massive amount of time on the telephone with your clients and prospects. It is, after all, the most effective sales method.

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This means two things.

First, it further emphasizes your prospect’s desire for personal contact. If you offer phone calls, you’ll increase the likelihood that they’ll purchase from you; it’s one of the most personal forms of communication in today’s digital world.

Second, it means that your salespeople understand the importance of building a connection with prospects in order to make a sale.

But they don’t just understand its importance. They also understand how to do it.

They understand what it takes to immediately build trust with the person on the other end of the phone.

That’s valuable knowledge that would benefit your marketing team.

Sadly, salespeople often get bogged down by menial tasks. 32% of salespeople spend 30 minutes to an hour every day entering data or doing other manual tasks.

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Consider freeing up some of that time for your salespeople by semi-automating data entry or paying someone else to do it. That way, salespeople can spend more time on the phone with potential customers and clients and, in their free time, offer opinions to the marketing team.

All of those phone calls have dumped a massive amount of knowledge into your salesperson’s head.

In particular, your salespeople know why personalization is important and how catering to prospects individually is so powerful.

Marketers would benefit from being reminded of that lesson.  

2. Salespeople understand your ideal client better than anyone else

Knowing your ideal client is critical for your marketing strategy. Because if you don’t know your ideal client, you’ll quickly put your prospects to sleep.

Yaron Tal of 6scan had this to say: “It doesn’t matter that you think your idea is the next big thing. If your pitch is dull, unattractive, with only dry details, you’ll fail to catch the [prospect’s] attention. He’ll lose focus.”

While marketers generally have a good idea of who they think your ideal client is, salespeople actually know. So much so that they can put a name and a face to your customer avatar.

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In other words, they can help define your ideal client so that the marketing team can target them better.

After all, no one understands your ideal client better than the person who spends all day talking to them on the phone.

Salespeople deal with customer objections all day long.

They understand your ideal client’s concerns and questions.

They understand how your ideal client thinks and what consistently gets them to go from thinking about purchasing to opening their wallets.

But they don’t just understand who your ideal client is. They also understand who your ideal client isn’t.

Which is equally important for your marketing strategy.

The last thing you want is to pour marketing cash into a strategy that targets the wrong people.

Your sales team can help you make sure that doesn’t happen.

If you don’t believe me, just consider this.

The primary source of leads that turn into sales for businesses come from the sales team.

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The proof is in the pudding. And the pudding says that salespeople generate qualified leads better than the marketing team.

That might be a hard pill to swallow. But it’s true.

Salespeople know who your ideal client is better than anyone else because of their low-level, one-on-one focus. They talk to your ideal client all day long.

Leveraging that knowledge will help your marketing team ensure that they’re targeting the right people.

3. Salespeople are familiar with the negative effects of a dismal conversion rate

In the end, all that you care about is the business’s revenue.

You want to know if the marketing team and the sales team, whether together or apart, are bringing in additional cold, hard cash that your business wouldn’t generate without them.

Another way to say that, though, is that all you care about is conversion.

After all, leads take your revenue numbers absolutely nowhere on there own.

Ideally, leads will turn into conversions. But if they don’t, your business is no better off.

Luckily, your sales team is acutely aware of the importance of generating conversions.

Just think about a salesperson’s average day. They spend most of their time on the phone trying to turn cold leads into warm conversions.

This means that they know a thing or two about the importance of conversion and what it takes to convert your ideal client.

Mostly, that’s because sales is traditionally a bottom-of-the-funnel strategy.

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So most sales teams won’t even talk to prospects unless they are a pre-qualified lead.

In other words, they spend their days trying to convert your ideal client.

The top marketing priority for businesses is to turn more leads into customers.

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And the same is true for sales priorities.

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That’s because your business relies on income, which relies on conversions, which relies on salespeople who know how your ideal client thinks.

Marketers sometimes get overly focused on bringing in leads, but sales and conversion is where the real magic happens.

4. Salespeople know the power of upselling

The high-level focus of marketers has them thinking about lead generation and customer acquisition.

Often times (and unfortunately), marketers do very little to leverage the benefits of already existing customers.

Instead, they throw out social media advertising, PPC and SEO strategies that build business awareness.

But here’s a question to think about: What good is awareness of your business if your current customers aren’t heavily integrated?

In other words, if the people inside your business haven’t been tapped out, what is the point of looking to find more business?

After all, it’s far easier to sell to an existing customer than it is a new customer. There is also a direct correlation between customer retention and an increase in profit, and loyal customers are worth far more money than newbies.

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Yes. Your business will need more customers at some point. It won’t be able to survive and thrive forever on a small customer base.

But, by now, it should be common knowledge that treating your current customers well — customer retention — and upselling those customers isn’t just a strategy for leveraging existing assets. It’s a strategy for generating new customers in and of itself.

How?

Because when you treat customers well and they love your product, who do you think they’re going to tell about your business?

Are they going to immediately forget about you when they’re at work, at a coffee shop, or at home?

No.

They’re going to tell their friends, family, and co-workers about the awesome new business they discovered.

And as you know, word of mouth has always been the most powerful marketing strategy.

Salespeople are well-acquainted with the buying habits of your existing customers because of all the time they spend trying to upsell customers to the next product.

You can use that knowledge to focus your marketing strategy on the people who matter most: your existing customer.

5. Salespeople understand how a client moves through the purchasing process

Many people will tell you that the sales funnel is a clean, linear, and obvious process.

Something where people move from awareness to engagement to consideration to purchase.

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But that funnel is increasingly outdated with the way shopping happens on the internet.

People jump from one website to another via a search engine without thinking twice, and they generally trust most websites that look reliable.

Which means that they purchase from the place with the best price, the fastest delivery, or the product they want without ever seeing an advertisement that increased their awareness of the company.

The traditional marketing and sales funnel is slow, linear, and overly simplistic. Today’s buying process is difficult to predict, and customers arrive on your website and purchase your product from a variety of different avenues.

So how can you possibly determine the sales funnel that best applies to your business?

Well, your salespeople should have a lot of knowledge to contribute to your musings.

Understanding your sales funnel is important because satisfied customers tell an average of 9 people about their experience, but dissatisfied customers tell an average of 22 people about their experience.

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And a smooth funnel makes for a smooth customer experience, while a rickety one makes for a rigid and unpleasant experience.

Salespeople understand your business’s funnel better than anyone else because they spend their days selling your product to real people with real concerns and a real voice.

They know how people think about your products, the questions they consistently ask, the concerns they have, and the objections that have the potential to destroy a sale.

Your marketing team, on the other hand, is functioning via theories. They try this and that without ever actually talking to customers because their efforts are high-level and often impersonal.

But salespeople can help your marketing team make the most of their efforts and target the prospects who have a high chance of converting. It’s just a matter of getting the knowledge from the brains of your salespeople into the brains of your marketers.

Salespeople know how your customers think. You can leverage that with your marketing strategy.

Conclusion

Are you tired of your undefined marketing efforts not producing the results you expected?

Are you sick of trying to get your marketing team to create processes around their efforts and be more strategic?

Well, it’s not really their fault.

Marketers are usually expected to have a high-level focus instead of a low-level, personal focus.

They’re not expected to convert a few qualified leads. They’re supposed to generate leads from the masses.

But the problem is that they don’t fully understand who the ideal client is and how to best market to them.

Why?

Because they don’t spend any time with that person. All of their communication with real people is artificial.

They struggle to put a face to their ideal client and really nail down exactly who their target market is.

This is because marketing is often based on theory.

But sales… well, sales is based on practice.

In fact, because of all that time spent interacting with your prospects and customers, your salespeople understand the power of personal connection.

They know who your ideal client is.

They are familiar with the impact of high or low conversion rates.

They know the importance of upselling existing customers.

And they understand how a client moves through your business’s sales funnel.

And that’s why sales reps are your savviest marketers.

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