There are countless articles, blogs and podcasts decrying the importance of sales and marketing team alignment, and the negative impact on revenues when these efforts aren’t aligned. Misalignment between sales and marketing can cost companies 10% or more of annual revenue.
So how to get it right? Here are five key strategies to ensure your sales and marketing engine is humming:
1. Start From the Top Down
If sales and marketing sit under different leaders (as they often do), then ensure these roles are strategically aligned and working toward the same key organizational objectives. This can be particularly challenging when the average lifecycle of both a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is less than 3 years. If you have a CRO that doesn’t believe in the value of marketing, or a CMO that doesn’t respect the sales process, you’ve got the wrong folks in these seats.
2. Understand the Buyer
According to Marketing Sherpa, 61% of B2B marketers send leads directly to sales but only 27% are of these leads are qualified- which is a real productivity suck for sales. Developing key client personas and competitor kill sheets are key collaboration opportunities for sales and marketing. Ensuring both teams are aligned on who your key buyers are and co-creating a strategy that converts leads to sales will set both teams up for success.
3. Ensure Roles are Clearly Defined and Get the Process Right
The marketing to sales handoff is tricky at best. Utilize technology-driven processes and reporting rigor to ensure that any marketing qualified leads (MQL’s) delivered by marketing to sales are promptly and consistently followed up on. Too often marketing leads are disregarded by sales leading to a lack of follow-up and low conversion rates.
4. Agree on the Balance Between Demand Generation and Account-Based Marketing Strategies
Generating new client demand is important, but of equal importance is that existing client relationships are being nurtured for growth. Too often sales and marketing focus solely on getting new clients through the door, only to have them leave when the relationship isn’t properly nurtured.
5. Meet Regularly
As in weekly. A big component of sales and marketing alignment is sales and marketing CONNECTEDNESS. We naturally collaborate more effectively with teams we feel connected to which is why meeting regularly as a group is imperative. Use Slack? Ensure your sales and marketing teams are connected digitally and regular updates are going out to/from both teams.
Remember... there is nothing so time-consuming and expensive as muscling through sales without the help of a solid marketing practice to drive brand awareness, prospect engagement and lead generation.