Marketing and Sales Alignment Through SWOT Analysis
Marketers building a feedback loop with their sales teams was one of the topics I covered that generated the most interest and response during the “Why Sales Doesn’t Use Your Content” webinar with Percussion Software.
The specific slide that triggered the most interest was the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) slide, where I talked about doing a Q&A with sales that is effectively a SWOT analysis from their point of view. Since it generated so many questions, I decided to elaborate on it and provide the specific list of questions I ask when doing this. Feel free to grab them, copy and paste them into an email (or even easier, a Wufoo form), and try it out on your own.
Why, as a marketer, should you survey your sales team in this manner?
At a high level, it very much helps with a feedback loop from sales, which helps drive marketing and sales alignment. Your sales team is out there every day talking to customers and prospects, running into competitive situations, and getting put on the spot with all kinds of questions. They should have some pretty good feedback to give. Marketing teams, though, are typically less well staffed than sales teams. So hearing scattered bits and pieces of feedback from many angles, or worse during a groupthink sales feedback meeting, can make it difficult to aggregate all this disparate information and map it with the direction marketing is heading. To remove the groupthink, and to help determine the frequency with which common answers appear, I use this survey.
Questions for your sales team
Below are the questions I use to survey my sales team. I leave them open-ended, and typically send them out once a year, but sometimes more often, depending on how quickly the marketing is moving.
- Why do clients choose us?
- What are the most common questions you are asked in the sales process?
- What objections do you hear?
- Why do prospect choose competitors? Who do they choose?
- Are you noticing any trends you feel we as a company are not reacting to?
- If you could have anything from the marketing department that you feel would help increase you lead-to-close ratio, what would it be, and why?
As you can probably see, aggregating the answers to these questions help you understand what is going well, but also points you in the direction of competitive positioning, common questions you can develop content to answer, objections you can help write responses to, market trends you might not be aware of, and what sales feels is the most important material they need. Try it out, and let me know how it works for you!