TLDR: As a sales rep, your instinct might be to keep your core client base as far away from marketing as possible—but that would be a mistake. From working together to define who these targets are and creating joint efforts to reach them, there are so many opportunities to have marketing and sales work together on reaching this key base. Here’s how you can start the conversation and foster that alignment.
Let’s face it, more often than not, sales reps are hesitant (at best) to share their core client base with marketing.
We get it.
You don’t want marketers to get in the way of your communication flows or interrupt them with messaging that might distract prospects from your interactions with them.
However, there’s a lot to gain from having sales and marketing aligned and working together to meet your core clients where they are—and delivering a more optimized path to purchase.
It’s a scenario worth testing if only to see whether it fosters more engagement from your core client base.
Try it out and keep an eye on your key metrics, that’s what should be guiding your decisions. And remember, just because one approach fails, doesn’t mean that a slightly different alternative won’t be effective.
So, if you’re ready to take that initiative and get marketing on your side, here are some insights that might be useful as you talk to your marketers about core client bases.
Set a foundation
The first thing you can do is make sure you’re all on the same page about what the core client base is. If you want to use terms that resonate with marketers, consider the following definition.
What is a core client base? A core client or customer base is a group made up of customer personas that the sales team is targeting because they’re the most likely to need and purchase your products or services. They represent the deals that should be easiest to close and are therefore a high priority for sales reps. This persona is defined with a set of parameters including:
- the industry they operate in
- the number of employees they work with
- their decision-making abilities, and
- whether there’s an existing relationship with someone on your team.
Beyond that, the decision to add a prospect to the core client base is determined by the:
- amount of time it might take to close the deal
- potential return on investment, and
- profitability of the deal.
Ultimately, if a deal isn’t profitable because you have to bring in a bunch of resources for just a tiny slice of the pie, it’s not worth the effort.
A big way you can bring your marketing team into the conversation is by getting their help in reviewing and refining the parameters that define your core customer. How close are they to the parameters they use for determining who to market to?
At the end of the day, your core customer base should align with the target personas they’ve identified, as that will make it much easier for both teams to work together towards the same goal.
Find the points of alignment
Beyond identifying the core client base, there are a number of places where sales and marketing can work together to make those interactions as effective as possible. Consider these as you talk to your marketing team about potential opportunities for collaboration.
1. Landing on collective timelines
When sales and marketing work independently, it’s far more likely that they reach out to the same people with different messages.
This could mean that someone at a prospect’s company is in both a sales sequence and a marketing sequence at the same time, receiving emails on the same day that do little more than flood their inbox. In this scenario—which isn’t uncommon—sales and marketing get in the way of each other.
The alternative is to create an environment where there’s clear full transparency into who is talking to someone in the core client base and when. This strategy creates clear handoff points for when marketing can step in if a sales conversation is paused or vice versa.
2. Building a single source of truth
If you’ve built a robust sales and marketing tech stack, your customer and prospect data likely lives in a number of different places.
That shouldn’t be the case.
Instead, there should be a single source of truth for prospect information that’s available to both teams.
For instance, if you’re logging your prospect data and key activities in Salesforce, any relevant fields should be made readable to your marketing automation platform and any outreach tools.
Taking a step back, sales and marketing are going to have to spend some time getting aligned on what fields you are using and the stages a lead should pass through to prompt a particular activity.
3. Capitalizing on personalization
Don’t forget that your marketing team has the skills and resources to help you be more effective in reaching your core client base.
For starters, they can help you create collateral that showcases your understanding of the prospect and connects the dots on how your product or service can support them.
Marketing can also provide information such as whether your prospect has visited your website and any other metrics that sales can use in an automated approach to personalize messaging.
A joint effort leads to success
Your core client base is a big priority for sales teams and it should be.
Working with marketing, and making sure your efforts are collaborative (rather than combative), can accelerate your success rate with these targets—but they’re not going to help you if they don’t know about it. Start the conversation with your Marketing team, and see how you can work together to strengthen your efforts.
Need help creating an effective, multidisciplinary program for reaching your core client base? We can help.
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