If you’ve ever had the thrill of watching the Blue Angels perform at an air show, you’ve experienced pure lockstep synchronicity. I live in Chicago, and each August, the Blue Angels of the U.S. Navy dazzle the crowd at the Air and Water Show off the shores of Lake Michigan with unbelievable precision, talent, force, creativity and discipline. Whether you watch from the beach, a window of a highrise or a rooftop, the performance is truly breathtaking.
Before I came to SyncShow, I was a client. I hired SyncShow at my previous company to help us create a digital footprint that would expand our brand awareness, professionalize our marketing and generate leads through this new concept I was just learning called inbound marketing.
We were, dare I say, a traditional company in that sales and marketing had limited interaction. We had our kickoff meeting, and the next day, I was debriefing with my team in our boardroom 11 stories above Michigan Avenue. And yes, it was the same week as the Air and Water Show, and the Blue Angels were running through their practice maneuvers in the skies above.
So much of our conversation was centered around our unique value proposition, our ideal customers, personas, buying triggers, our competitors and ultimately, what internal and external needs we address for our customers that the lines between sales and marketing were blurred. That’s when I knew we were on to something.
It dawned on me, as I could hear the jets racing above, that the tight alignment we were creating between our sales and marketing efforts were not entirely dissimilar to the precision and choreographed moves the Blue Angels were executing.
Don’t get me wrong, we were far from flying F/A-18s at 1,000 miles per hour, but for the first time in my 12 years at our company, we were truly synchronizing marketing and sales along with our overarching company growth strategy. We weren’t just jumping into inbound marketing. We were walking down the path of synchronized inbound marketing.
An Organizational Strategy
Synchronized inbound marketing transcends the roles of marketing and sales. In today’s B2B environment, sales and marketing need to work as one revenue team. Gone are the days when marketing could focus on brand, and sales being solely accountable for the revenue number. The companies that are succeeding at the highest level and outperforming their competitors are embracing this synchronicity for their gain.
What’s exciting is that it doesn’t stop with sales and marketing. Once those walls are broken down, others start to crumble as well. Customer service becomes in lockstep with the brand promise and customer experience. Purchasing and operations understand that vendors are held in the same light as customers.
The buyer’s journey is at the center of the conversation, and marketing and sales are in lockstep with messaging, content and lifecycle stages to ensure the handoff from marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales qualified leads (SQLs) to ultimately, customers. It truly lifts the entire organization to deliver an excellent experience for customers.
The reality is that customers and prospects are always looking, and they’re doing so online. We, as marketing and sales organizations, have the opportunity to start that conversation and keep it going, wherever they may be.
Synchronized inbound marketing focuses on helping you define your ideal customer from a sales and marketing perspective, identifying what digital channels matter most, when they matter, and producing the most relevant content that enables your audience to satisfy their needs. A marketing ecosystem is created that ensures whatever path they take, and whatever social channel they value, that your prospects are finding your content when and where they need to.
Data & Insights Centric
You’ve likely heard the phrase “data rich and insight poor.” This couldn’t be truer in our professional lives. With more data available today than ever before, companies can get lost trying to understand what truly moves the needle. More data isn’t necessarily the answer. The right data, however, is.
Synchronized inbound marketing is all about collecting the right data that aligns with your goals and breaking it down into actionable and measurable steps that provide insights and lead to growth. Don’t get too wrapped up in big data and small data. We want to make sure it’s the right data.
When is the right time for marketing to hand off a lead to sales? The answer is when they’re sales-ready. So let’s back up to a bigger question. What’s the difference between a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and a sales qualified lead (SQL?)
At SyncShow, we define this by the level of engagement with your brand. Both fit your buyer persona and ideal customer criteria, but an MQL is typically at an earlier stage of awareness. They may have visited your site and downloaded some of your content or received one-way communication from you. From a marketing perspective, it’s important to nurture these leads until they become more engaged and “sales-ready.”
Now, occasionally, an MQL will come along that is just a perfect fit, or perhaps a prospect you’ve been trying to reach for a long while. When that happens, we recommend a more custom approach—follow-up at your own discretion.
An SQL is further down the buying path, past awareness and into the consideration stage. This could mean they’ve responded to an email from your organization, met someone at an event or had a phone conversation with someone from your company. From a digital perspective, it means they've ‘raised their hand’ by submitting a form that requires sales following. For example, a request a quote submission or a consultation request. It’s who the sales team is or should be speaking with in a timely manner.
Synchronized inbound marketing focuses on efficiencies in the marketing and sales handoff, and that includes identifying the MQL/SQL definitions so that sales knows what marketing is responsible for, and vice versa. The goal is to make sure the customer experience is seamless and happens at their pace, not yours.
The engine under the hood of the F/A-18 that enables all of this to happen is a marketing automation platform. At SyncShow, we’re proud to be a platinum partner for HubSpot, the industry leader that offers a full stack of software for marketing, sales and customer service, with a completely free CRM. Individually, they’re powerful. Synced together, they’ll enable growth and customer satisfaction that you thought were previously unattainable.
We as buyers have become accustomed to experiences that are seamless, easy and without friction. In order to adapt to today’s buyer, companies must work to break down the barriers between departments, and sales and marketing need to work as one revenue team. Synchronized inbound marketing helps B2B organizations align corporate strategy with marketing and sales to ensure you’re building your company for tomorrow.