No matter what industry, company size, or how the corporate work culture is internally, one common interest is making sure marketing and sales teams are aligned.
There are thousands of articles online that talk about the disconnect between marketing and sales, why these teams need to work together, or how to make sure they are united.
But it makes sense right? Marketing needs sales and sales needs marketing.
This especially is true in the current digital age where social media platforms become so important for growing businesses. No longer is marketing just involved, but sales also need to be active socially.
That’s why the importance of social media advocacy or as it is more commonly referred to, employee advocacy comes into play. More and more companies are implementing a solution and realizing how important it is for their company to be a social business.
Yet, while an employee advocacy strategy and a program will boost your company’s results in multiple ways, it also helps ensure your marketing and sales teams are united and working together.
Typically, with an employee advocacy program in place, we tend to look at the big picture. How it improves web traffic, how it will affect deal size, revenue, lead quality, etc. It’s easy to overlook how it also will boost the overall productivity and communication between marketing and sales teams.
“leads developed through employee social marketing convert seven times more frequently than any other leads (IBM).”
Let’s dive in as to how marketing and sales can unite through social media advocacy.
Can help spark discussions on blog content needs
A big challenge when it comes to content is making sure sales teams are armed with what they need. If not, they are less willing to share on social and will be frustrated that they do not have the necessary materials to help engage with a prospect.
It’s a common issue most companies have probably faced before and even more challenging for companies with a few thousand employees. Essentially, a lot of times conversations about content needs go through many people, sales has to dig through the blog and try to find what they need, or generally aren’t sure what is being published.
By being a social business and using an employee advocacy program, marketing and sales are usually two of the main groups of people to first be involved. This already sets up the two departments to be involved in any training or meetings pertaining to the program.
But more importantly, as the software is organized and content streams are set up, sales can see everything being published and organized in streams.
Since everything is in one central location, sales can easily have the content most important to them organized into categories, but can also see where the content gaps lie. This can help keep marketing and sales closely working together on the content needs and ensure sales have simple access to any articles.
In order for sales to succeed and build a rapport, they also need to be armed with the right type of content. Here are 7 types of content B2B salespeople should be sharing to their social networks.
Makes it easier for marketing teams to provide field marketing materials to sales
For marketing teams, field marketing materials are perfect assets for lead magnets and for “gated” forms, that capture a lead. Yet, a lot of those materials are also perfect for sales teams to share with people they are having conversations with already. These materials can greatly move the needle for sales.
But a challenge is sales needs a simple location to access these materials, needs to know where the materials are, and shouldn’t have to fill out any of their companies own forms to grab a resource.
And a good amount of time and money is spent on the creation of good resources (images, infographics, GIFs, marketing copy, etc.) that could easily be used to start conversations with prospects, but marketing tends not to have a process in place to pass this kind of information on to sales teams.
This is exactly why an employee advocacy program is beneficial. Marketing can upload all their field marketing materials in one specific stream within the software, allowing sales quick and easy access to what they need.
Again, just like the blog content, this also gives sales a chance to see what gaps are missing and make suggestions. The plus is, you can leave comments directly to specific people instead of endless emails back and forth, trying to schedule meetings based on everyone’s availability, which can drag out the conversations for weeks.
Sales and marketing teams have different times of being active on social
A great aspect of becoming a social business and exploring an employee advocacy program is it gets sales more interested in social selling.
Being an active member in social networking helps sales establish relationships and build a rapport with prospects and potential buyers before any emails or cold calls happen.
Yet, when it comes to being active and sharing, marketing and sales team members may be sharing on social media at different times. Especially sales, who will most likely be looking to share content and be posting at various times that differ from their colleagues in other departments.
Your sales team may be more active on social media in the evenings, when marketing schedules more during work hours, etc. Where this becomes a challenge is if sales are not sure how to format their copy for a post, looking for the latest blog article, or need a specific resource they might rely on marketing members for that info.
However, an employee advocacy program eliminates that as marketing can set up the copy of articles, will already be in the system, and can leave any comments for sales members.
Now, sales does not have to wait until work hours for any questions or needs, they can go directly into the system at their convenience and share when they want. Thus, helping eliminate delays and frustration.
Gives marketing and sales a chance to expand their teams
One other worthy aspect to mention is how it helps marketing and sales teams expand.
This is one of the best value props for having an employee advocacy program within your company. While a software solution, in the beginning, will generally be about sales and marketing teams getting onboard, the next step is opening it up to more employees or all employees, no matter what department.
Now, marketing and sales teams have an entire army of employees that help push the messaging to their social networks. The entire company is acting as an extension of the marketing and sales teams, ensuring content and field marketing materials are in front of new audiences and getting the brand in front of more people.
This helps marketing:
- Drive more web traffic
- Increase brand visibility
- Increase lead volume & quality
- Expand social reach
This helps sales:
- Get in front of more prospects
- Helps fill the sales pipeline
- Increases deal size
- Improves win rates
Have you considered harnessing the power of your greatest resource—your employees—to accelerate your marketing and sales strategies? Transform employees into thought leaders with this guide.
While marketing and sales teams should be working together, an employee advocacy program can help unite these teams even further. A program gives marketing a chance to get sales involved in more social sharing and also gather valuable feedback on content gaps that sales needs.
Additionally, because marketing and sales teams might be sharing at different times for social media, an employee advocacy program makes it easier for sales to access material and content at any time.
This, of course, is just scratching the surface with employee advocacy, but a program can put all employees on the same page when it comes to content and social media.
Wondering how to become a social business? Learn how Dell got over 10,000 employees actively engaged in employee advocacy.