Employee Advocacy – The Sales and Marketing Disconnect
B2B sales and marketing trends have been changing over the years. I recently came across this infographic on the Top 5 B2B Sales and Marketing Trends in 2016, and it caused me to reflect on the social business coaching we do for clients and how there’s a disconnect between sales and marketing. This disconnect is becoming increasingly more important to resolve with the way the roles for both sales and marketing are changing.
“Only 8% of B2B companies say they have tight alignment between sales and marketing. That means that 92% of organizations have a marketing and sales alignment problem because without alignment, a company cannot effectively execute.” (Social Media Today)
What’s the Sales and Marketing disconnect?
The disconnect comes into play because the two teams do not always see eye-to-eye on techniques to increase sales. One of the biggest driving factors of this disconnect is the disagreement and lack of involvement in employee advocacy practices.
Marketing understands the value content plays into driving more traffic and leads to your website and that the more exposure the company has online, then the greater potential to increase your sales. Consumers aren’t the only ones that do the majority of their research online prior to making a purchase. More and more B2B purchase decision makers are using social media to help them make their decisions…over 70% in fact (Hubspot)! Marketing teams understand that decision makers are looking for products or services online before they ever even consider reaching out to a sales rep. Marketers also recognize that implementing an employee advocacy program can increase the probability that their company will be the one that is top of mind with decision makers.
On the flip side, many sales reps do not fully comprehend the impact they can have on sales if they are active social business practitioners. The role of the salesperson has been progressively changing with technology over the years. Unfortunately, many salespeople look at employee advocacy/social selling as something they just don’t have the time to incorporate into their daily routines. Yes, it will take some time if you want to get it right…but it is worth it!
Employee advocacy – “72.6% of salespeople using social networks as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often.” (Social Media Today)
How to mend the disconnect?
Here are some tips on how to mend the disconnect between sales and marketing when it comes to employee advocacy involvement.
- Provide Proper Training – Ensure that your sales reps are properly trained. They should know how to use the various social media platforms as part of your employee advocacy program. Without the proper training, people will get frustrated and give up. This leads to stalled progress and failure.
- Provide Content – Marketing should provide relevant content for employees to share via different social media channels. This will alleviate time the sales team may otherwise have to spend searching for content to share. It may even be beneficial to have a repository of Tweets and posts that the sales team can pull from to make it a bit easier for them to engage.
- Provide The Right Tools – There are many online tools to help manage social media. Ensure your employees have the tools available to them so they can have a better experience with the program.
- Provide Feedback – Marketing needs to share analytics and insights on how its efforts impact the sales pipeline. It’s important to understand how the work that’s being done is positively affecting the overall company and sales funnel.
- Identify SMART Goals – Make sure everyone involved in the program has clear, set SMART goals. Once they have their goals identified, then it will be easier for the individuals to know the direction in which to take with their strategy.
- Provide a Company Strategy – As a company, it’s important that you have an employee advocacy strategy outlined. Share this strategy with your teams and make sure that everyone understands the why and the how. If they don’t understand why they’re doing it and how to do it, then they won’t be successful.
- Provide an Individual Strategy – Make sure their social business coach understands what each individual’s SMART goals are so that they can help create a customized strategy to help them reach those goals.
Being a social business practitioner isn’t rocket science, but it does involve time and planning. So, it’s important to get both your sales and marketing teams aligned when it comes to employee advocacy. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you develop a social business program, then contact us today to learn more about our Social Business Workshop for Business Development!
View the Top 5 B2B Sales and Marketing Trends in 2016 infographic.