Do they really understand the sales process? How can we get them to create more quality leads? I’m not sure what they do? These are all common complaints I hear from business development professionals about their marketing teams. Like I’ve mentioned before, marketing should exist to be a strategic asset for business development. One practical way that happens is by constantly evaluating the impact your marketing efforts are making on sales and how your marketing team can continue to improve the way it’s supporting business development. 5 Questions Marketing Teams Should Consistently Ask Your Sales Team In order to make those things happen, here are five questions marketing team members should be asking their business development colleagues in order to be more effective: 1. What problems do we solve for our customers? What are we better at than anyone in our industry? Knowing the challenges your customers face—and how you’re uniquely equipped to help them—is essential for sharing a clear and compelling marketing message. Positioning your brand as an industry leader isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work to discover the thing that you’re truly best at doing. But from a marketing perspective, discovering that “thing” becomes the product or service you can invest the most time, energy, and resources promoting. 2. Where have we helped solve a major challenge before? Sharing success stories is one of the most effective ways to create demand for your products or services. Your sales team should know the customer who experienced a breakthrough because of the thing you provided them. 3. What are the common characteristics shared by customers who buy from us? Understanding the common characteristics of the customers who pay you allows you to create personas of your ideal target audience. Creating “look-a-like” personas is important for your marketing team, as it impacts everything from how they create content on social media to where they invest marketing dollars. 4. What are the most common questions you get during the sales process? Almost every sales team has a list of common questions that are asked by prospective customers. How much is ___________? Would we still have to purchase ___________? Why is it important for us to invest in _____________? But what if your marketing team could support business development by addressing many of these questions beforehand? Encourage your marketing team to codify and create responses for the frequently asked questions they receive during the sales process. 5. Where do most of your sales conversations stall? One of the most valuable ways marketing teams can support sales is to create resources that accelerate the sales process. In most cases, marketing teams have access to writers and designers who can help create tools that your business development team can use during the sales process to address areas in which they might receive pushback. If you’re struggling to create alignment between your sales and marketing teams, start with these five questions. If anything, these questions will get the conversation started around how both teams can work together to help your marketing professionals better understand the unique challenges and opportunities that exist for your business development team.