Within the traditional business model, each team or department typically works within its own silo that runs parallel to other teams. While not inherently problematic, it can become so when the teams are focused on departmental goals and not the bigger picture, or comprehensive, company-wide goals.
When we focus specifically on sales and marketing, aligning these teams’ strategies is crucial to ensuring better collaboration, communication, customer experience, and resource-sharing. Learn how to implement best practices for sales and marketing alignment to allow your company to flourish and create the impact you desire.
Where’s the disconnect between sales and marketing?
Your sales team’s number one goal is to secure business and help the company grow. For your marketing team, the goal is one in the same. While the approach these two teams take is different, they need to work together to best reach their shared objective.
Surveys show that some of the most common barriers to sales and marketing aligment include:
- Lack of accurate/shared data on target accounts and prospects (43%)
- Communication (43%)
- Use of different metrics (41%)
- Broken/flawed processes (37%)
- Lack of accountability on both sides (25%)
- Reporting challenges (21%)
What are the benefits of sales and marketing alignment?
When fully aligned, sales and marketing are a complementary pair that look out for one another and provide each other with constructive feedback to ensure ongoing success. There are a number of benefits to these two teams forming a coordinated effort, including better leads, messaging, and internal and external materials.
Both sales and marketing teams benefit from thorough customer personas and a clear customer journey. Put simply, they both need to know who it is they’re selling to—and make sure it’s the same person. When both teams have this information, they can work together to determine next steps and what will have the biggest impact on the ideal customer.
In their respective day-to-day roles, getting everyone on the same page opens up room for further collaboration between the sales and marketing teams. Sales can give marketing unique insight into what customers are looking for, while marketing can help warm up leads for the sales team to convert and prevent leads that are cooling down from looking elsewhere.
When there is a disconnect between these two teams, it will come through in your customer-facing messaging. To fix this, you must combine the marketing team’s industry knowledge with the sales team’s experience talking to customers. Through this exercise, you’ll achieve content with a tone that better resonates with your target audience.
Your marketing team is in charge of creating the content that potential customers see. They also create the materials that the sales team needs for both internal and external use. Tying into a topic we’re about to touch on in the next section, a feedback loop must be created between these two departments so that the sales team is letting the marketing team know when something is—or isn’t—working. Improved materials will lead to more confident employees, improved lead conversion, and increased sales.
What tools can help these teams succeed?
Initial meetings between these two teams are necessary to establish lead quality, understand what’s working and what’s not from the current approach, what the close rate is, what type of customers you’re looking for, and what feedback you’ve gotten from customers.
Upon finding common ground, regular department head meetings and brainstorming sessions are key for performing temperature checks and ensuring continued alignment. Similarly, the sharing of idea and feedback, as well as general communication, between teams should be continuously encouraged.
Using a CRM tool
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an investment that greatly benefits both teams in the short- and long- term. Keeping a record of every interaction a customer has with your brand in a CRM allows sales and marketing to better manage, and ultimately convert, leads.
“By using a customer relationship management software, the marketing department will gain a detailed understanding of lead progress, sales updates, a customer’s preferred time for contact, previous purchase behaviors, and whether a customer’s queries are being addressed,” states Zoho Corp. on their company blog. “At the same time, by integrating a marketing automation tool with your CRM, the sales team can have access to information such as how a campaign is performing, from which campaign a particular lead came from, how a customer has recently interacted with your website and social media channels, and their lead scores based on their level of engagement.”
Sync your teams up
Internal collaboration is key to your company’s success. Your sales and marketing teams must work together to achieve the same goals, albeit through different respective processes. Aligning your sales and marketing strategies, messaging, measurements, and operations is crucial to revenue growth.