3 Principles for Effective Sales-Marketing Alignment
Gone are the days of marketing and sales working in silos. You will not be winning business just because of your market presence, or the success of your sales team alone. That’s why modern teams that find a way to make marketing and sales coexist successfully enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates.
Customers demand a unified experience with one cohesive voice
Sales and marketing misalignment is not a new topic. What’s changed is the way customers buy – sophistication level is up, and the customer now gets through a substantial part of the sales cycle without engaging with a sales person, receiving most of the information from 3rd parties.
What also changed is marketing technologies and the way organizations generate leads, qualify and nurture them. Especially in the current economic climate, the marketing discipline is becoming more account-focused (read more about account-based marketing and how we’ve been using it with top clients here), which forces a stronger collaboration between sales and marketing.
What can you do to align sales and marketing in your organization? If you are a decision maker, whether in marketing, sales, or another executive position, here are 3 principles you can start implementing in your organization:
Principle #1: Channel the team player within
Encouraging collaboration between sales and marketing involves active steps that managers of both teams can define, among them –
- Weekly meetings
- Structured, consistent sales feedback to the marketing team about marketing content, tools, and campaigns
- Have marketing sit on sales calls and attend some sales meetings to better understand needs and hear the client
- Develop a library of sales materials for everyone to use and ensure sales are updated with new materials
- Involve sales in messaging and content development
Principle #2: Own it
Both teams should be able to openly discuss accountability and alignment issues and use data to support their cases. Marketing and sales goals should also be discussed openly, while each team understands the way they support the company’s business goals.
Topics to be discussed should include –
- Leads flow
- Leads quality
- Close rate
Principle #3: Stay continuously connected
To be able to support collaboration and accountability, it is recommended to integrate sales and marketing software. It is easier said than done, especially in smaller companies, but the benefits are substantial. This kind of integration helps everyone invested in the company’s sales goals see the entire lifecycle from lead to customer. It helps both sides – marketing and sales – to better allocate time and resources to optimize results.