World renowned Social Selling expert Jill Rowley is well-placed to comment on the intersection between Sales and Marketing, because - in her words:

"I'm a sales professional trapped in a marketer’s body!"

Jill co-hosted a highly valuable Salesforce World Tour session last week with Pardot Customer Success Manager, Vanessa McKenzie, which examined that Sales and Marketing intersection. Its title was: “10 B2B Marketing Automation Tips”.

There’s no doubt the relationship between the two is fundamentally changing as buyers are changing:

“The modern buyer is digitally driven, socially connected and mobile empowered.”

The lines between sales and marketing are merging and the roles are blending. Marketing needs to know more about sales, and sales needs to know more about marketing; but we all need to know more about the customers.

Salespeople and marketers are not necessarily keeping pace with customers.

“We have to see everything through the eyes of the customer,” said Jill. But one of the biggest changes facing salespeople is that they need to adopt new Social Networking techniques in order to succeed.

Particularly in Business-to-business (B2B), but in business generally, purchasing decisions are 57 per cent complete before the buyer even engages the vendor. They do their own research online and network with their peers using social media - and they can do it on the go, in real-time, using mobile devices.

“If your buyers are digitally driven and socially connected, don’t your salespeople need to be too?”

Share something you’d want to receive above the thing that you most want to share.

Sales and marketing people need to be more relevant to the customer  to build better relationships and drive more customer advocacy. Successful social networking with customers means “leading with value and earning trust online,” said Jill.

As Jill puts it: “Nobody tweets your data sheet.” You can’t just share traditional marketing material like brochures and such. You need to share content that is of value to the customer in their buying deliberation, and this is where Marketing comes in. They can provide Sales with that content - both curated from industry experts and commentators andcreated from internal thought leaders. This process is about moving the customer from one stage to another, along a journey. Sales needs to understand that journey.

Marketing automation tools - like Pardot - are soaring in popularity because they save time on that content effort, and allow Sales and Marketing teams to focus on strategy.

Don’t let your content be a one trick pony.

Vanessa McKenzie gave the audience an excellent step-by-step guide on the day as to how to manage that process using Marketing Automation tools. In particular, she showed us how to re-purpose one piece of content several times over to maximise its value. For instance, using a “gated” white paper to harvest leads, but from that “content asset” creating a blog post, an infographic, an eDM, a podcast and so on. One piece of  high-value content can sustain a campaign through an entire quarter and provide sales with all the armoury they need to provide that value and earn that trust that Jill spoke earlier.

Vanessa explained how, by using tools like Pardot, you can even provide Sales with the templates they need to run their own micro campaigns within their own territories. This means they feel empowered and can “own” their contribution. Tools also exist to set-up alerts and reminders for future sales-contacts in what Vanessa called a “nurture-track”.

Finally, by A/B testing everything - from different types of content, to different styles of headline, to channels and time of day - you can continually adjust your marketing campaigns to make sure you are maximising effectiveness.

Watch the World Tour Keynote recording "The Future of Innovation" on Salesforce LIVE here: