Top 7 Tips for Sales and Marketing Alignment

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Raghuram KS
VP of Account Based Marketing

It doesn’t matter you are in which industry, to taste success, sales and marketing alignment is very important to understand sales funnel. Many people thought sales and marketing are two different worlds.

In a company, like in a relationship, there will be always a dominating hand. Sometimes marketing team dominates sales and sometimes sales team dominates marketing team. It’s also an issue that many companies find to be a struggle.

The marketing team is expected to generate as many leads as possible, while the sales team is under pressure to turn those leads into paying customers. If you see Ascend2 survey, 50% of sales time is spent on unproductive prospecting and sales can ignore up to 80% of marketing-generated leads.

Another research revealed that around 90 percent of the marketers believe that the reason behind their failure to achieve the overall marketing goal is the lack of sales and marketing alignment.

Although evidence suggests that organizations with strong sales and marketing alignment generate nearly 40% more revenue than companies lacking it, most marketing and sales teams remain in constant conflict.

Now the question is how to make sales and marketing alignment possible?

Let’s see top 7 tips you can implement for sales and marketing alignment..
1. Communicate with each other.
In order to accelerate your company’s growth, you should figure out what is the problem and why leads are not converting. If you think you can solve the problem alone, you are wrong. There should be a proper understanding between sales and marketing team.
In order to support sales successfully, it is very important to share processes, resources, and best practices from the start. Use this time to get to know each other and share how marketing will be supporting the sales team.
Attending weekly (or monthly) sales meetings allows marketers to know how sales team are doing with their quota and goals, and offer support when needed. Use this time to share the upcoming campaigns, content, and offers that Marketing will be promoting that week. Also, ask for content ideas and recommendations for your future offers and blog posts.
Share and communicate resources and materials through an easy to use platforms. Use cloud-based storage systems like Dropbox or Google drive to store data that is accessible to all.
Also, share feedback on lead quality and campaign needs and ideas.
2. Line up your goals.
As we discussed before, earning clients, understanding sales funnel and increasing the revenue of a company is the ultimate goal for both the sales and marketing team. Even though the working process is different, you have to ensure that two teams have the goal that is in sync. Have an email alias that gets sent to both the sales and marketing teams.

For example, marketing success should be measured against the value of the leads marketers provide in addition to the volume of leads. These leads should be effective and support the sales team in closing high-value contacts more frequently.

3. Content creation process.
A marketing person shouldn’t stick to a topic assuming that this will be more helpful in nurturing a lead. No, it is not going to help your prospect.

Discuss with the sales team, arrange a meeting, ask what content they would like to have to share with prospects or attract more leads. Because sales reps are the persons who are talking with the prospects all the time.
Use a shared platform to add ideas or certain references for content creation from the sales team.

4. Understand your sales funnel.
An optimized sales funnel is not only useful for generating sales, but also for developing lead generation tactics, as well. When the sales funnel is operating optimally, marketing teams can analyze available data to see where prospects are dropping out, and what content keeps them moving down the funnel.

When the sales funnel is understood and accessible to both the sales and marketing teams, individuals can create better content for lead generation while also placing at strategic touch points throughout the funnel itself.
5. Sit with your sales team.
Take some time to sit next to your sales team and listen to their calls. This will give you a great learning experience that will help you get ideas for future content creation and how to build some of the follow-up emails of your offers.
6. Acknowledge sales team on updated campaigns.
Marketers are constantly promoting new offers and content. If any changes were made in campaigns, let the sales team also know what are the changes you have made and discuss more about the campaign. This promotes a seamless front so that the sales team can directly engage the leads who have consumed these new marketing materials.
Make sure that marketing is coordinating with sales whenever a new email blast is sent out, or any new leads have been acquired. This will not only give additional insight into a customer’s interests, but it will also provide sales reps with an idea of what motivates leads to take the next step.
7. Spend quality time together.
Sometimes the only thing you need to foster alignment between marketing and sales is allowing them to get to know each other. Instead of just attending joint sales and marketing meetings together, set time aside for the two teams to mingle outside of the office. Organize a group lunch for both teams or a post-work happy hour. The more comfortable and friendly everybody is with each other, the more likely they are to work together effectively and lean on each other when necessary.
Aligning your marketing and sales teams can be an enormous task, especially if they’ve operated independently for a long period of time. The only way for each team to reach its potential and provide maximum value to the organization, however, is to integrate with the other by following the tips listed above.
However, sales and marketing alignment is no easy feat. In many cases, there’s even a rivalry between the two, because both sides fail to see how each one can benefit from the other.
It requires an investment in both time and resources from all involved parties and coming together on a regular basis to discuss goals, communicate concerns, and most importantly, celebrate successes. By utilizing the seven tips for marketing and sales alignment as stated above, these two teams can formulate a strong sales and marketing strategy that incorporates the strengths of both teams, using up-to-date, accessible online sales funnel information and content to their advantage.

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