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Listening to Sales Calls: 4 Things Marketers Can Learn

A lot of companies preach sales-marketing alignment, but few have it.

It’s not uncommon for sales and marketing teams to operate in silos, having little idea of what each is working on.

At Cognism, marketing and sales are aligned under what CMO Alice de Courcy calls a “shared destiny”, with both teams working together towards one key goal and one core metric. Revenue.

So, how can you get your B2B sales and marketing teams working in sync?

One of the best methods for alignment is having your marketing team regularly listen in on live sales calls. Or listen back using sales call recordings to learn the ins and outs of the buyer’s journey.

It’s a great way to get your sales and marketing teams on the same page and to start converting leads faster and more effectively.

We speak to Cognism’s marketing team about the insights they get from listening to sales calls. You’ll hear from:

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1. Listen to sales calls to identify key messaging

It may sound obvious, but listening to sales calls helps marketers to better understand their ICP. If you aren’t hearing what your customer has to say, you’re making assumptions that aren’t grounded in data. And these could cost you time and money! 💰

Ashleigh explains that for campaign planning, understanding your ICP is vital to identify key messaging that works.

“Listening to sales calls can really help you understand your core ICP. In doing this, you’ll be able to better understand your audience’s main pain points, which is vital when planning your next campaign.” 

“This ensures your messaging is relevant and impactful.”

There’s no doubt that it’s important to hear what your customer’s pain points and triggers are. But it’s also crucial to know what messaging from your sales team strikes a chord with your buyer.

Tim says:

“Other than uncovering our customers' pain points and buying triggers, sales calls are a great way to hear how our SDRs are positioning the product to our prospects.”

“I’ll identify the key messages they are saying, see which ones resonate most with the customer and ensure this is reflected in our ad copy.”

Listening to sales calls has two distinct benefits. It allows you to improve your messaging by:

  • Identifying pain points experienced by the customer.
  • Hearing what messaging from the sales team impacts the buyer.

Press ▶️ to hear Cognism’s CMO Alice de Courcy and VP Sales Jonathon Ilett talk all things sales-marketing alignment.


2. Discover unexpected uses for your product

As marketers, we often have an idea of what our product is used for, and we’re mostly right based on our data.

But there are cases where new uses for your product come up in sales discovery calls. These cases often fly under the radar.

For example, let’s say you have a task management tool that B2B software companies generally use. But lately, you’ve heard of non-profits using your tool’s free version to help them organise their outreach to donors. This is a golden opportunity for a marketer.

Similarly, Cognism’s Chrome Extension is a ‘freemium’ version which many people use initially. Once they’re wowed by the features and GDPR-compliant data, they upgrade to the full version.  

Armed with this knowledge, you can…

  • Create new content focusing on new verticals.
  • Schedule interviews for future case studies.
  • Craft new social campaigns.

A savvy marketer sees unexpected uses of a product and builds on it. That’s brilliant data-driven marketing.

3. Speak your customer's language

For B2B marketers, speaking your customer’s language should be second nature. But it’s easy to get carried away and add unnecessary jargon. That only dilutes what you have to say.

Using software like Gong to listen back to sales calls is a great way to ensure clarity in your writing. And most importantly, you’re speaking your buyer’s language!

Joe explains:

“It’s very easy to get caught up in your own world and get attached to buzzwords and certain ideas. Listening to sales calls gives a lot more clarity and is a big help in content planning and messaging.”

Listening to sales calls is also great because it teaches marketers to learn a skill from salespeople. One they don’t use as regularly. Active listening.

When you’re creating content from a brand’s perspective, you can quickly lose sight of how you’re appealing to your customer. You may think that’s how they think and feel. But have you really listened?

Laura says:

“Sometimes we think we know our audience best, but to be honest, I think most marketers see the world through their brand’s lens. We might use words and phrases that don’t feel natural for our audience just because it’s our preferred brand messaging.”

“So listening to customer calls enables me to speak to my target audience with the right tone and in a way that sounds appealing to them and not me, focusing on the pain points they name over and over.”

Creating authentic and value-led content is the best way to put your customers at the centre of your marketing.

Listen to sales calls to:

  • Speak to your customer naturally, using the right tone.
  • Stay authentic and avoid getting hooked on marketing buzzwords.

4. Uncover motivations and buying triggers

So we’ve covered the benefits for marketers when it comes to listening to sales calls. But what about your customers?

Arguably the biggest reason to listen to sales calls as a marketer is to help uncover your buyer’s ‘why’. If you don’t know their motivation for buying, you can’t propose your product or service as a solution to their problem!

Jamie explains that without knowing and understanding the ‘why’, marketers are taking a stab in the dark.

“Motivations and buying triggers - if you don’t know these, you’ll always be chasing the right message. You can guess. Many people do, but the chances of success narrow significantly.”

“Listening to calls and talking to customers gives certainty on WHY they came to you. You still have to test and see what works, but the learning curve is (usually) shortened dramatically.”

Getting down to the granular, word-for-word detail that customers and SDRs use in sales calls is great. But it’s also useful for marketers to widen their scope too. And understand where their solution fits in their customer’s tech stack.

Listening to case study calls really helps us as marketers understand why Cognism was chosen against other vendors.”

“It's also a great way to get a holistic picture of how Cognism fits into a salesperson's day-to-day workflow. These two reasons can help shape the messaging when pitching and marketing to prospects.”

From a customer marketing perspective, Emma explains that customer adoption and product retention are likely to be higher if the product fits neatly into the buyer’s daily workflow. 

Listen to sales calls to:

  • Discover the buyer’s why.
  • Gain a holistic picture of your customer’s workflows.

Want to break down the silos between sales and marketing? Hit play below. 👇

Listening to sales calls: key takeaways

Listening to sales calls should be part of every marketer's toolkit for success. Here’s why:

  • It improves marketing and sales alignment.
  • It helps marketers identify key messaging.
  • You can discover unexpected customer uses of your product, leading to further innovation.
  • Speaking your customer’s language is the fastest way to authenticity.
  • It uncovers motivations and buying triggers.

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