We all know that marketing's primary objective is to assist in driving revenue. But for many life sciences companies that becomes secondary because of competing projects and constantly managing through the compliance minefield.
Many organizations are also implementing new sales processes and working with marketing and sales organizations with low tenure. Life Sciences marketers struggle to support multiple brands and sales organizations efficiently. Marketers often become reactive to the needs of their teams and sales organizations are tied to the pace of the marketing department.
Marketing needs to become agile and proactive in the support, education, and enablement of their sales teams.
Start with the stars
Avoid launching new initiatives at the end of a fiscal quarter. Schedule a review of new programs with your top performing reps, at the beginning of the sales quarter, and preferably when they are in the office. Focus on the top performing reps because they are more apt to embrace new solutions to aid in their efforts. If they have success others will soon follow.
Feed them bites, not meals
The last thing sales wants is another tool they "have to use" simply because its part of the process and the company needs that information, on record, from the sales team. While tools and technology are great, roll out one solution at a time, and only after the sales team sees positive results from the previous tool.
Don't just explain, demonstrate the value
Merely explaining the benefits of sales tools will not equate to adoption. Identify the top sales opportunities for those reps and showed them the activity against those contacts in CRM. With the right tools sales can see form submission data, view marketing content, and set-up web alerts for specific contacts. This will get their attention. Eliminate the complaint that sales doesn't know what marketing's doing. Provide the forensic evidence of their contacts? activity so sales can approach their contacts better educated. Sometime you'll need to be proactive. Send reports to the sales organization with the results of their account activity. As the sales teams began to see engagement you will see traction with the sales teams.
Work together, sell together
Many companies know that activity within their database is occurring, but that activity is often occurring as unknown visitor activity. Use your sales teams to assist in converting unknown activity to known activity. Because they communicate one-on-one they have a higher chance of conversion. Develop messaging together that is determined by conversations that occur between sales and contacts. As you continue to demonstrate support of sales efforts, the sales organization will begin to open its door. The sales people will become much more comfortable sharing the successes and failures of various messages and campaigns.
Show them you care
Develop weekly "care packages"for your sales teams. Each week provide suggested email templates your sales people can utilize. In that template outline a key message for the week along with a corresponding blog entry and offer like a white paper, eBook, podcast, or webinar that supports that key message. Allow them to customize their communication around this key message based on the conversation that occurred with the contact. Not only does this result in more valuable conversation, but your sales members engage with this material and are learning as well.
Repetition + Reinforcement = Retention
Reinforcing the value of the exercises above can be a challenge. Consider creating an online tutorial for your sales team. This can be done by recording a webex or even using a learning management system. When developed in a LMS you can extend beyond basic tutorials and walk the teams through exercises and tests. Additionally, sales managers can see how their teams perform and where they need assistance. Ensure this is training reps can also refer back to and walk through the exercises again at any time.
How are you aligning your sales and marketing organizations?