How can you align sales and marketing?

Sales and marketing go hand in hand. Marketing feeds sales with lead generation, so there’s every reason why the two departments should align. They aren’t the same, however, and for that reason, it’s not uncommon to see some companies failing to integrate a proper sales and marketing setup. Here we look at how to create synergy between the two teams. 

Understand the difference between the two

First and foremost, it’s good to understand that sales and marketing are two different disciplines in how they function. Marketing is about creating brand awareness and generating leads, while sales is a more laser-focused practice dedicated to converting leads. 

Even with their differences, companies can’t flourish if the two aren’t in sync. Marketing needs to understand what the sales team is tasked with delivering, and the sales team must understand the challenges marketing is trying to overcome. 

If one exists without the other, the job becomes imminently more difficult. And if marketing doesn’t feed sales, converting leads is more of a challenge. At the same time, sales need to provide feedback to marketing on what’s happening during those sales pitches. The best setups are ones where both are in total sync working towards the same goals. 

Communication is key

All aspects of the business must communicate, but sales and marketing should be continuously in contact with each other. Communication is critical, and you need to ask if sales is talking with marketing about the questions that are coming up in calls and general feedback. 

A constant feedback loop leads to better results for content from the marketing team that’s shaped towards customer pain points and fewer leads being lost in the funnel. It can also lead to insights on customer retention and how to improve sales and marketing for better results. 

One way to encourage more communication involves creating a single customer journey. Instead of separate siloed experiences for prospects, you should aim for one single brand customer experience. It starts at the awareness stage and continues right through the funnel for a holistic view of the customer. To do this, there needs to be communication at all stages. 

Total alignment

Targets won’t be identical, but they should be heading in the same direction. A marketing campaign might aim to generate leads through a piece of content, such as an ebook. In contrast, sales will set a target to convert a specific amount of the leads generated from that content. 

For the ebook to succeed, sales should be involved and provide feedback on what will appeal to readers. Businesses looking to grow can’t afford to have misalignment between sales and marketing. 

While it might be a buzzword, there’s truth to the need for complete alignment between both disciplines. The goal is to attract, inform and retain customers. Combining these two departments and using KPIs that align plays a vital role in the future of your business’s success. 

Share data and dashboards

In today’s world, there’s no excuse for not using data. We have access to data points virtually everywhere, from how many people interacted with a piece of content to the information displayed on CRMs – data drives everything. 

Encouraging shared data and dashboards between sales and marketing will increase transparency across the board. Take the call feedback, for example. Often referred to as Voice of Customer Data, gathering feedback from sales calls offers the perfect opportunity to get real insights into customer behaviour. 

Social media is another platform where you can learn more about customer behaviour and get data on how they interact with you online. This can all be used to create better marketing material and improve the quality of leads for salespeople to convert.  

Encourage the right behaviour and mindset

Ultimately, alignment is all about the culture of a company. Encourage the right behaviour and mindset from the top down, and you’re increasingly likely to get departments in sync with each other. 

There shouldn’t be any finger-pointing, and actions should be solution driven with everyone on the same page. Create that type of environment, and your sales and marketing team stand a high chance of functioning together seamlessly and getting the right results.

Market, sell, market, sell

Alignment across the board is becoming increasingly important for companies, as seen by the popularity of RevOps. Yet, sales and marketing are two departments that should always be on the same page. When they work together, you’ll see a slicker approach to business and better content that drives high-quality leads to the sales team. 


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