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A Case Study on Bridging the Sales and Marketing Gap

The Challenge
SnapRetail, a marketing automation solution provider for independent store owners, struggled with what many companies face – a sales and marketing disconnect. While marketing was producing a lot of high-quality content to support sales conversations, sales had no way of easily knowing what content was at their disposal to use for lead nurturing and educating prospective buyers.

SnapRetail tried using both its intranet and Google Doc folders to maintain marketing content, but neither tool proved to be very efficient for marketing to keep updated and sales to keep informed. Salespeople were using out-of-date content that they had saved to their computers, and marketing would have multiple sales reps coming to the team on a daily basis asking where they could find specific pieces of content. Marketing also learned that sales reps were creating pieces of content on their own, not knowing that marketing had already produced something very similar. Not only did this take away from time that sales reps could have used to focus on closing more deals, but it also potentially compromised the branding standards that SnapRetail had put in place.

Another challenge the company faced was the inability to provide appropriate tracking links with content. Tracking the source, medium and campaign for each content piece was a key need for SnapRetail’s marketing efforts. Zach Lancia, senior marketing analyst at SnapRetail, desired a way to bridge this sales and marketing gap, ensure the sales team was capitalizing on the content available to them to bolster business development efforts, and maximize the ROI on budget spent developing content.

The Solution
Lancia was introduced to Postwire when he received a Postwire page from TimeTrade, a Postwire client. He realized that Postwire would enable him to easily create a complete content library that all of the sales reps could leverage. This would help to make the relationship with sales more cohesive internally. In addition, it would help ensure that the content being used would be consistent and current for all communications and bolster not only sales but also content tracking efforts, as relevant tracking links could be included with each piece of content. By tracking prospects’ content consumption (who’s viewing what, when), marketing gains valuable insights to which content items are instrumental in driving more revenue.

With Postwire, content including whitepapers, videos, how-to guides, one-pagers, website pages, demo links, etc. is posted and stored in one central repository, managed by marketing and easy for both marketing and sales to access and use. Sales reps are alerted to new content available and can easily pull relevant content for their prospects and create personalized Postwire pages to share with them, using the templates that marketing has created when desired. It takes sales staff just minutes to create a Postwire page for prospects, but recipients think it took hours. And, sales reps have commented that they customize their follow-up conversations with prospects based on what pieces of content they have viewed on the Postwire pages created, making the discussions more relevant.

Andy Weier, inside sales, said, “Postwire has made it easier to gauge interest among prospects. With other tools in place, we typically only see whether or not they open our emails, but with Postwire we're confirming that they're going a step further and clicking through to view a particular page. This not only makes the follow-up conversation easier and more specific, but it allows us to eliminate time spent making investigative calls to colder prospects.”

Lancia commented, “Postwire allows marketing to maintain control over our company’s branding and voice, while allowing the sales team to flex their creative muscles in designing their Postwire pages for prospects.”

The Results
Productivity Gains
– SnapRetail is seeing benefits from Postwire on both the marketing and sales fronts. From the marketing perspective, it is saving the team a lot of time, as they don’t need to dig through their files to find the documents that sales may need. Also, not only does Postwire make it easy for marketing to disseminate content, but it also ensures that each content piece that marketing and sales distribute is trackable, and is helping marketing identify which pieces of content resonate most with prospects.

Increased Visibility– Lancia says, “We’ve discovered that our pieces about our Marketing Consultants and our calendar feature are most enticing, with 20% of prospects who have viewed either of those content pieces resulting in subscribers. This has clarified for us that we should further enhance our Marketing Consultants content piece to make it even more engaging and that it should become a standard piece of content offered on all Postwire pages to prospects, for example.”

Greater Prospect Engagement– From a sales standpoint, they have content when they need it and feel they are creating better relationships and driving more engagement with prospects through the use of Postwire. In fact, one salesperson noted that three hours after a Postwire page he sent was viewed by a prospect, that prospect engaged with the company. Also, the company is scheduling more demos with prospects than ever before, since they are able to include a “schedule a demo” link right in the Postwire pages they are sending, making it easy for prospects to schedule at their convenience.

Personalized to Pain Points-- Weier concurred, “In addition to facilitating easier/cleaner transfer of information, I think Postwire has really impacted the development of my relationships with prospects. It allows me to customize the way I package and present our product for each individual prospect. They see the thought behind the information shared, and it helps them to know I'm listening to them. It really helps me make them feel special, and shows them how we can solve their problems.” 

Weier continued, “Postwire has positively affected my sales process by allowing me to have more meaningful exchanges with prospects. It's a great way to quickly and cleanly get information in front of our potential customers without committing them to a lengthy phone conversation or demo -- that is very valuable for SnapRetail in particular since our prospects are so busy running their businesses on a daily basis.” 

Improved Marketing and Sales Alignment– Postwire has had a significant impact on marketing and sales alignment as well. “Before Postwire, our sales team was at the mercy of marketing to provide content. Now, it’s easy for marketing to distribute content to sales and to empower each salesperson to pick what’s relevant to share on a personalized page that he or she quickly creates for prospects. Postwire has enabled us to create better alignment between marketing and sales and drive engagement with prospects,” Lancia noted.

Weier agreed, “Postwire makes the exchange of information between marketing and sales fast and easy. We have access to a library of shareable content that is relevant and polished, allowing us to take broader marketing messages and isolate topics of interest from those campaigns to tailor our communication for each unique prospect.”