The end of a quarter/half year is always a time for reflection – this has never been truer than the end of Q2, 2020. The biggest thing that hit me as I was reviewing the past quarter’s accomplishments was just how much has changed in such a short time. In March, clients were completely uncertain. We were having daily discussions with clients that included questions like:
- Should we reduce our forecast for the quarter to 0? What about the rest of our year?
- We had 3 big events this quarter that were going to drive our leads, what do we do now?
- How do we need to re-think our organization and structure?
- What will we do now that we can’t meet with customers and prospects in person?
Here is the good news – most of our clients emerged from this quarter in better shape than their worst scenarios. Even more importantly, there is now a quarter’s worth of data and experiences to inform where to go for the balance of the year. One of the conversations that we are having with many clients right now is around an age old topic that has taken on a new sense of urgency: Sales and Marketing Alignment.
We have been learning with our clients through this time and have identified some best practices that you can implement to accelerate the quantity, quality and velocity of opportunities entering and progressing through your pipeline:
- Refocus – at the beginning of Q2, none of us knew how the world would change – now we have data. Have a hard look at:
a. Where are new leads coming from?
- How many?
- Which ones are converting?
- Which ones are dropping off?
b. Are there specific verticals, company sizes or buyer personas that are more interested than others?
c. What new pressures are our customers and prospects now under? What kinds of plans are they putting in place to deal with these?
d. What problems are our customers and prospects most interested in solving? How are these changing?
- Review the full cycle – many marketing and sales alignment discussions focus on top of funnel. This makes sense as this is the point of connection between the two organizations. However, in a highly dynamic environment it is critical to understand not only what is happening at the top of the funnel, but also how this is flowing from contact to contract.
a. Which deals are accelerating? Are there specific verticals, company sizes or buyer personas that are progressing through our cycle faster than others?
b. Which deals are stalling? Are there specific verticals, company sizes or buyer personas that are slowing or stalling?
- Reposition – many of our clients are finding that the problems that their market is looking for them to solve have changed. As a result, it is critical to rethink how we position and message to the problems of the market today.
- Rethink Roles – many of our clients with heavily field-oriented sales forces are finding that their teams have more time now than they did previously due to lack of travel. These sellers were traditionally traveling frequently to see clients and now have more time to do activities that have been traditionally thought of as marketing – for example, client or market specific webinars or virtual roundtable events.
- Renew Relationships – if there is one thing that any of us can say with certainty, it is that things are changing and will continue to change for some time into the future. It has been a stressful quarter for all of us and it is important to take time to renew the relationships that we have across departments within our organizations.
These 5 ‘R’s are excellent food for thought for commercial leaders to implement as you think through how you can best leverage sales and marketing alignment to drive quantity, quality and velocity of opportunities for your business in the second half.
To your success!
Contact us to learn how we can help your team reach new levels of growth.