Have you ever wondered what the importance of sales and marketing alignment is? Despite the fact that these two departments are on the same team, they’re not always the best of friends. In fact, a survey from 2011 found that 87% of the terms used by marketing and sales teams to describe each other are negative. Meanwhile, a more recent LeanData survey showed that “51% of marketers are not satisfied with the level of communication between the teams, and 53% of sales professionals are not pleased with marketing’s support.”
Holy waste of energy, Batman!
This longstanding rivalry is more than just being able to easily determine sides for your organisation’s annual softball game. When your marketing and sales teams can’t agree, it can really slow down your business’s growth. However, when you get them in synergy, this dynamic duo can produce a decrease in costs, an increase in metrics, and create more concise lifecycles to support your clients’ needs better.
Additionally, Aberdeen found that “highly aligned organisations achieved an average of 32% annual revenue growth, while less well-aligned companies reported an average 7% decline in revenue.”
Another research shows that “B2B organisations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth.” – SiriusDecisions
“Organisations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoyed 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates.” – MarketingProfs
Simply put, understanding the importance of sales and marketing alignment can help you achieve higher sales!
But how exactly can you get these two departments to go from rivals to besties?
First, you need to get them on the same page
Come on, Robin! To the Bat Cave! There’s not a moment to lose!
Because your sales team is frequently communicating with customers, marketers can use those insights to develop more relevant and timely content. Such as, guides that describe how customers can get the most out of your product.
For example, you’re an online retailer. Your sales team discovers that a major pain point for your customers is determining their size and how to exchange items. With this information at hand, your marketing department can quickly whip up helpful blog posts. For example, “5 Quick Ways to Determine Your Shoe Size” or “How You Can Exchange Your Purchase With Just One Click”.
Share information to personalise emails
Once your marketing and sales departments realise the impact of them working together, you’ll be well on your way to smashing those targets.
Now if you want to deliver an out-of-this-world customer experience, it’s time to really know your customers. We’re talking demographics, behaviours, hobbies, and the challenges they face. You will also need to talk to them on their terms to fully understand where they’re coming from.
Thankfully, because we live in this wonderful age of connected tech where we have all of this data within reach. Now it’s in the hands of your marketing team.
Now, your sales team will dive deeper and interact with the customers one-on-one. Guiding them through the journey. Doing so allows sales to personalise the entire customer experience, specifically the emails. Instead of sending the same email to your entire audience, you can send the right message to the right person at the right time.
This workflow will strengthen the relationship between you and your customers and increase conversions.
Systematise lead scoring
It’s necessary for marketing and sales to have an ongoing conversation regarding lead conversion. What’s working, what’s not, and why it’s either working or not. The reason is that creating and converting MQLs to SQLs is a constantly evolving target. Both teams need to have one system in place for scoring and evaluating leads in order to understand their potential and how you’re going to engage them in a timely and relevant manner.
This is when developing buyer personas come in.
Your sales team is on the frontline of the organisation and can tell you who are these people buying or consuming your products. Marketing understands your industry and who should be targeted. Together, they can create the best buyer personas using market research and actual customer insights.
Your sales team can provide insights and generalisations about the leads they’ve been interacting with. And your marketing team can conduct research that can inform more broader insights. Ultimately, both teams are focused on engaging the same prospects and need to be aligned on decisions and pricing.
Together, both teams should develop comprehensive buyer personas so they can effectively target your ideal customer, increase acquisition, and generate targeted ads and pitches.
Establish and maintain your organisation’s culture
Your strategy isn’t as effective when sales and marketing aren’t getting along. Remember, even though they’re on two different teams, they ultimately have the same goals, such as working to grow the company, spreading more brand awareness, and increasing overall revenue.
Here’s an example. A customer reads an email newsletter or social media post that was lighthearted and a bit quirky. This is is the first time they’re encountering your business. A couple days later, they receive a sales call that carries a drastically different tone and personality — this person was serious and pushy. Not only is the customer confused, but they’re now also put off and may no longer move further down the sales funnel. In other words, when sales and marketing aren’t on the same page, it creates a divided office and fragmented brand image.
In order to encourage collaboration and camaraderie among these two teams, you’ll need to schedule regular meetings, create standard processes, and agree on mutually beneficial goals.
Does your team truly get the importance of sales and marketing alignment?
Clearly, when sales and marketing work as a dynamic duo, they pack a bigger punch and stand a better chance of success.
How have you gotten your sales and marketing teams to work together?