Aligning Your Sales and Marketing
Marketing and selling are both front-end activities aimed at driving revenue. However, their particular roles are usually very distinct. Because of different functional objectives, a rift may even form between these two departments.
To optimise your lead generation and sales development, you need a close alignment between marketing and sales. After all, we all want the same thing – more customers!
The following are three tips to achieve it.
Tie Goals Together
Employees and teams tend to naturally act in alignment with the objectives that matter most to them. The simple difference between marketing and sales is that marketing looks to collect data and build long-term lead generation strategies, while sales teams are tasked with converting prospects attracted by marketing into paying customers.
To align these teams more closely, you need to develop some shared goals.
Collaboration on a lead generation strategy is an excellent starting point. Have marketing and sales teams work together to identify the best strategies to attract the right buyers and land appointments.
It’s what we do here at Internal Results. I sit within touching distance of the sales team, and we often collaborate on campaigns, landing pages and marketing materials.
I talk with the team regularly to get a better understanding of the issues that prospects may be having so that we can try to address them in our marketing efforts. We share ideas and the challenges we are facing.
We understand what our goal and the company’s goals are and we all want to be successful in what we do.
Evaluating revenue or growth production as a team is another way to get people working together.
Make It a Top-Down Commitment
Like most significant changes that take shape in an organisation, it takes executive-level commitment for marketing-sales alignment to develop and endure, according to the American Marketing Association.
Instead of higher authority, marketers look to the marketing director and sales reps to sales management for direction.
To align these functions, the CEO needs to dictate it.
Otherwise, each group naturally reverts to conventional goals, responsibilities and activities.
Emphasise Mutual Benefits
One of the main reasons people don’t work together in any setting is they fail to understand the benefits.
Salespeople, in particular, may view marketing requirements as an intrusion or annoyance.
Marketers want sellers to consistently input data from prospects and clients, for instance, which takes time.
Reps can view this as unnecessary, counter to established habits and even an attempt to monitor performance.
In fact, marketers use the data gathered on prospects to optimise the development of content marketing strategies that are critical to lead generation.
The more marketing learns about customers and prospects, the more precise its ability to create campaigns and deliver them to the right people in the right way.
Marketing also equips reps with valuable materials and e-mail messages to deliver to prospects and clients.
When done effectively, salespeople close more deals and earn more commission.
A cooperative relationship between marketing and sales leaders contributes to active alignment as well.
Goals drive the behaviour of employees and work teams. Therefore, to align sales and marketing teams, you have to develop unified goals.
Top-down directives are also necessary to get people to change ingrained patterns of behaviour.
Finally, sales leaders can help their reps by emphasising the benefits gained from a cooperative approach to marketing.
As far as your CEO is concerned, your goal is the same whether you are in sales or marketing – to generate profitable business for the company.