The Blurred Line Between Marketing and Selling in Today's B2B Social World - Leading Practices Top-Down and Bottom-Up
Brand awareness is a key component to the buying cycle and 70-80% of the buying process is complete before a buyer ever interacts with a potential vendor or seller. In other words, they've already narrowed the consideration set of who will likely be in the mix before contact is ever made. So how do they get into that consideration set? Historically, marketing and sales in the enterprise world haven't gotten along very well. Sales continually complains about the quality of leads it gets from marketing and marketing complains that sellers aren't giving them the feedback required about what's happening in the street so they can better provide meaningful collateral. The tremendous value of LinkedIn is that sellers can now extend the reach of their own marketing - effectively creating their own micro-marketing organizations to help them run "their business" - regardless of what that business is. Instead of having to wait for the marketing department to get them leads and generate demand, sellers have the opportunity to create grassroots efforts in to not only create their own brand awareness and equity, but combine that with "intimacy" with specific accounts and buyers. In other words, they can more easily insert themselves into the 0-80% of the buying cycle and get more "at bats" and real chances to win, rather than being down-selected even before they knew an opportunity was out there. The sales and marketing alignment paradigm can now be extended, redefined, and scaled.