Top Content of 2013: The Sales Optimization Roundup

This year, there was a lot of discussion revolving around marketing strategy and optimization, but what about sales? How can sales reps make sure that they’re accelerating their pipeline, following up without a hitch, and closing all of the deals that they should? And what can marketing do to make sure that they’re supporting all of their sales reps’ needs?

Over the past year, we’ve been working to build up a store of content that can help your sales team close more deals, faster — with or without help from a tool like marketing automation. So let’s take a look back at some of our favorite sales optimization content from 2013, and see what lessons we were able to learn along the way.

“Cramming as many leads as possible into your sales funnel is no longer a viable option.”

In today’s sales and marketing landscape, lead quality weighs far more heavily than lead quantity. Sales reps have learned that following up with every lead, cold leads included, is a waste of time — and marketing has learned that only hot and warm leads will be appreciated by sales. Get a deeper look at the secret to a more efficient funnel in this post by our own Molly Hoffmeister.

secret to a more efficient sales funnel

“Marketing automation is for sales, too.”

Just because “marketing” is included in the product name, that doesn’t mean that marketers are the only ones who stand to benefit from a marketing automation system. In fact, sales sees just as many benefits as the marketing team after integrating automation with their CRM. See what your sales team stands to gain by implementing marketing automation in this post, “Top 4 Benefits of CRM Integration.”

sales benefits of CRM integration

“You CAN control the pace of your sales cycle.”

Wondering what you can do to speed up the pace of your sales funnel? This post will walk you through five different ways that you can shorten your sales cycle, from objective lead qualification to faster follow-up (hint: there are steps that both your sales AND marketing teams can take).

shorten your sales cycle

“Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. (”

There were plenty of enlightening sales and marketing stats that emerged over the past year, including the statistic above. Take a look at our roundup of marketing and sales statistics to see how other companies are approaching their lead generation, sales, and marketing strategies — then use this data as a benchmark to judge your own progress!

sales and marketing stats

“Marketing is valuable, but you have to prove it.”

According to a report by Forrester Research, only one in every two B2B marketers agree that marketing’s financial value is clear to their business. But this isn’t because marketing isn’t contributing, it’s because the marketing team doesn’t always have access to the hard data that can prove their team is impacting sales and contributing to the company’s bottom line. Watch this video by Mathew Sweezey to see how marketing can start proving their worth to the business.

“You can align your sales and marketing teams with commonly defined KPIs.”

Sounds pretty simple, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Take a look at some current marketing metrics best practices in this recorded webinar, presented by Derek Grant, Sales Director at Pardot. You’ll also get a few easy-to-implement tips that can help put your marketing and sales teams on the same page (you can also view the presentation slides here).

“Is marketing automation a sales or marketing tool? The answer: it’s both.”

The question commonly on B2B marketers’ and salespeople’s minds: is marketing automation best used for sales or marketing? It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that automation can be a powerful tool for both teams. Check out this infographic to see how each team can benefit from marketing automation, and finally put the great debate to rest.

sales or marketing tool

Want more information on sales optimization? Close the year out with one of our latest white papers, “Accelerate Your Pipeline with Marketing Automation,” and see how you can speed up your pipeline, improve marketing and sales alignment, and more.

 accelerating the sales funnel