Marketing Tips, Insights, and Trends
Aligning Sales & Marketing Teams
Author: Carolyn Menz Category: B2B, B2C, Marketing Date: March 16, 2018
Teamwork makes the dream work – especially in executing your business’s sales and marketing strategies.
Experts on the topic believe that synergizing your sales and marketing teams should be your absolute first organizational goal because each and every one of your business successes is ultimately a direct result of the collaboration and free exchange of ideas between the two sides. As one marketing pro – a man named Marshall Lager, who spoke to the American Marketing Association about this very topic – has been quoted as saying, “You can’t serve the customer right when your best people are working blind.”
Although aligning sales and marketing teams actually presents a huge opportunity for success and growth, many companies tend to keep the two separate – which typically serves to create friction, and not much else. Usually, the two teams are operated independently of each other because they are believed to have different goals, and each side ends up misunderstanding the role of the other.
The confusion is understandable. Marketing projects are typically longer-term undertakings with a focus on establishing brand recognition and generating and nurturing leads – all things that take time. Sales teams, meanwhile, often move much more quickly as they work to meet short-term sales quotas. Marketers also tend to think of generating leads as a numbers game, while sales teams think of it as understanding and solving a business problem. And then there’s the issue of measurability. Because marketing activities can be difficult to measure, salespeople sometimes view them as less important than the more easily measured converted sales.
There certainly are differences between the two sides. But to get the most out of your marketing strategy, communication with the sales team is key. As marketers, you should plan to have at least one marketing representative present at weekly sales meetings, and the head of marketing should plan to meet monthly with sales managers to review results and other important metrics, like leads generated, percent of leads worked, conversion rates, etc.
By making it a point to align the work of the marketing department with the sales side of things, you open up the channels for communication and growth. Here’s what we recommend:
- Use these meetings as an opportunity to understand who is in the sales pipeline and what the sales goals are, and then adjust your own work to help drive the connections that will lead to meeting those sales goals.
- Share your content calendar and upcoming offers so that your sales team will know what is being sent to prospects, and they can more accurately target their sales pitches.
- Gather feed from your sales team. Ask them what they are hearing and seeing in their conversations, and use that information to generate leads and to suggest topics for future marketing content, like blog posts and special offers.
- Curate an internal library of reputable content for your sales team to leverage in emails and calls. Ghostwrite content on behalf of your salespeople, and create gripping social media content that they reference.
When sales and marketing teams work together, there becomes a greater focus on the quality of a lead, versus the quantity, and that translates into a higher rate of conversion and ultimately improves your ROI. This is especially evident in B-to-B companies, where sales and marketing alignment tends to shorten the sales cycle and links ROI directly to marketing materials.
Until recently, very few marketing professionals or C-level executives looked at marketing from a revenue generating standpoint; but that’s starting to change. It’s becoming more widely understood now that once marketing teams begin to accept responsibility for revenue generation and then adjust their campaigns accordingly, that’s when the industry will be able to move forward and truly be able to declare that sales and marketing are aligned.
For help aligning your sales and marketing teams, contact Paradigm Marketing and Design today to schedule a consultation.