Navigating the sales funnel can be complex for any business. Developing a journey from prospect to customer acquisition demands a specific sales process—and, often, sales and marketing teams aren't sure of which responsibilities they hold during that process.
Marketing brings in leads; sales closes the deals. But sometimes those efforts overlap, or each team thinks the other is handling something and, as a result, it’s overlooked. The problem may come from a lack of alignment between the sales and marketing teams. A streamlined sales process can help define who does what and get both teams in sync. A smooth handoff between marketing and sales is essential, and a marketing agency can help reduce any friction.
Why Should I Have a Process for Our Sales Cycle?
Building a sales process can be challenging. It’s more than a sequence of phone calls or tasks—it's the backbone of your revenue generation strategy. What matters is not just having a defined sales process, but having one that truly works for your business. This must include:
- Efficiency and consistency: Each member of your team will bring different skills, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses to the process. Equip them with the tools they need to make the most of their time and efforts so no matter what their approach is, they are efficient and consistent.
- Improved customer experience: A structured process enables personalized interactions that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Better forecasting and decision-making: Clear stages in the sales cycle facilitate data-driven insights. This will help you create accurate predictions and strategic planning for your different teams.
- Flexibility: A structured process enables your team to easily adapt to market changes as your business grows. A flexible process adjusts and scales as quickly as you do.
The Stages of a Sales Cycle
Before delving into how a marketing agency can reduce friction in the sales process, let’s briefly define each stage of the ideal sales cycle:
- Prospecting: Identify potential leads and start building connections.
- Qualification: Qualifying leads helps determine if a prospect meets the criteria for becoming a customer. Defined buyer personas are important for this step.
- Proposal and presentation: Present solutions tailored to the prospect's needs and pain points.
- Closing: You will need to overcome objections before finalizing the deal. Sales battlecards are a great tool in this stage.
- Follow-up and retention: Building lasting relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction post-sale will be crucial. As you've probably heard, happy customers sell more than good marketing, so building lasting relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction after the sale is complete is crucial to strengthening the sales cycle.
How Can an Agency Help Enhance Your Sales Process?
Many businesses struggle with their sales process because their sales teams aren’t in sync with marketing or because sales is trying to also handle marketing and blurs the lines between the two needs and throws the funnel into chaos. In these scenarios and others, a marketing agency—especially one that thoroughly understands the sales process—can not only reduce friction but also increase the number of prospects, qualified leads, and, ultimately, sales.
Here’s a stage-by-stage look at how a marketing agency can create efficiency and results:
An agency can help you create advanced targeting techniques and effective lead generation strategies, resulting in more qualified leads that sales can work its magic on.
Quantity of leads will not be ideal if the quality is not good. Leveraging data analysis tools and CRM solutions is essential for ensuring the sales team is making the most of its time and resources. A marketing agency can help implement initiatives such as lead scoring that enable sales to focus on the best leads. Moreover, you can work with an agency to create niche marketing campaigns that better attract the most ideal, most qualified buyers.
Proposal and Presentation Stage
Crafting compelling content and providing sales enablement tools move leads closer to sales. The best marketing agencies empower your sales team by creating engaging materials such as articles, interactive pieces of content, quizzes, and FAQs.
Closing deals efficiently while minimizing administrative burdens is difficult without the right guidance. An agency can offer support by creating decision stage content around negotiation and implementing automation for follow-up processes.
Follow-Up and Retention Stage
Marketing agencies don’t just market to leads before they become customers. The best agencies work with businesses to foster long-term relationships and customer satisfaction through customer loyalty programs and CRM usage. Happy customers become evangelists for your brand and can be featured in case studies, which help close new deals and facilitate growth.
Reducing Friction with an Agency
Beyond streamlining your sales process, working with a marketing agency opens doors to innovative strategies and fresh perspectives. Agencies bring specialized expertise and access to diverse tools that can increase your sales efforts and recommendations.
Partnering with an agency also offers a 360-degree view of your marketing and sales efforts. The resulting alignment and collaboration between teams drive higher conversion rates and improved customer experiences.
Moreover, marketing agencies are at the forefront of technological advancements. They stay updated with the latest trends, tools, and platforms—ensuring that your business remains competitive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.
The innovation agencies offer can’t be overlooked. As your business grows, your sales strategies must also evolve. Agencies have the flexibility to adapt your sales process to your goals.
An Agency for All Your Needs
A streamlined sales process isn't just a goal—it's a necessity for sustained success. Partnering with a marketing agency can produce solutions to your challenges. The best agencies prepare your business for a journey of growth.
At SmartBug, we understand the challenges sales and marketing leaders face. We've been the driving force behind resilient growth across numerous customer lifecycles. Whether you are dealing with messy CRMs, spam leads, or the never-ending struggle between sales and marketing, we can help you find solutions. SmartBug is skilled at crafting strategies and implementing in-depth knowledge of platforms such as HubSpot. We don't just aim for best-in-class; we deliver it.
About the author
Viole Morales Viole Morales is a passionate marketer from El Salvador. With over 9 years of experience in digital marketing, customer success, and account management, she enjoys learning new marketing trends, managing and cultivating good relationships with her clients, and enabling them to achieve their goals through digital marketing strategies. Read more articles by Viole Morales.