5 strategies to improve Sales and Marketing alignment

Sales versus marketing: it’s a classic feud. Sales brings in the actual revenue, but without the messaging, branding principles, and offers created by marketing, sales would be forced to sit around with a whole lot of nothing to do.

In other words, sales and marketing need to get along and collaborate to make a company truly succeed. According to HubSpot, a misalignment between marketing and sales can cost B2B companies 10 percent or more of their yearly revenue. On the other hand, companies that are able to coordinate efforts between the two can effectively double their revenue, while keeping more customers and winning more sales.

So, if your company struggles with generating leads or closing sales, perhaps misalignment is to blame. You can improve the co-functioning of these two departments by using the following tips:

1-Start with a Persona Roadmap

The most critical thing for sales and marketing to agree upon is the way the company attracts and earns new customers. Both sales and marketing have a few specific types of people in mind when they picture the typical customer. Problems emerge if these types of idealized customer do not match up, or if sales and marketing cannot agree on how these people ultimately come to a purchase decision.

To get everyone on the same page, start with a map. Sales and marketing can meet together to hash out the personas of who they feel are the company’s most important buyers. Then, both teams should sketch out a version of each persona’s journey to a sale.

The journey should include every touchpoint between both real people and branded assets. For example, one customer may slowly research their options until discovering the company through a blog and then gradually getting in touch with sales. Other customers may jump directly to the company website and contact a sales rep that instant — along with reps from competitors.

In these journeys, sales and marketing play varying roles and need a multitude of tools to improve their chances of getting someone to the next step. Mapping therefore helps establish the strategies, messages and assets needed to make everyone’s life easier, not just one department’s.

2-Marketing Should Solicit Input from Sales

Sales teams can often become frustrated with marketing for seeming “out of touch” with the front lines. To ensure that this is not the case, marketing can enlist sales to help them define customer needs and what effective assets might look like.

For one, sales implicitly understands customer pain points. Marketing can come across more understanding in ads, website copy and content if they internalize these issues when writing. Also, sales can tell marketing the types of messaging and offers that drum up interest versus those that flop.

On top of that, marketing should regularly “preview” new materials and campaign rollouts with sales so that they can offer feedback and prepare early on for new sales approaches — as opposed to simply having orders from marketing land in their inbox.

Input like this not only gives marketing more ideas, it also helps sales appreciate marketing assets more since they had a hand in creating them.

3-Marketing Should Include Coaching Tips for Sales in New Campaigns

Simply put, when the marketing teams come up with new campaign ideas, like offers, new messaging or a slew of new content, they should include a brief to sales on how to make best use of these materials.

4-Collaborate on Content

Marketing isn’t the only office in the building with content ideas. Invite input from your sales teams about content that can resonate with your audience personas, not just during meetings but as part of an ongoing basis. You can use tools like a shared Google Doc to invite participation from everyone and promote collaborative brainstorming.

Additionally, sales should have a face in content so that audiences become familiar with them, too, not just your c-suite and marketing heads. Have top sales reps or VPs write a post, or feature them on a profile or as a quote. Humanizing your sales team and making them visible can often warm up prospects to their presence.

5-Sales and Marketing Alignment Means Having Outings Together, Not Just Meetings

At the end of the day, sales and marketing are part of the same team. If they only interact during occasional meetings, they will still feel like siblings vying for their parents’ affections. Instead, they should learn to work together and learn more about one another on an interpersonal level.

That requires hanging out at the literal end of the day, on scheduled company outings, retreats or even impromptu events. By bonding and getting to know each other, sales and marketing can feel a sense of shared stakes and exhibit genuine empathy towards one another, and that’s the only way to be truly aligned.

If you think your marketing team could use a strategy boost that helps align sales, consider working with an experienced digital marketing services team that can help you identify best practices while creating content and other assets that will make everyone work better together.



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