An organization’s sales and marketing team tend to be led by two different people with different skill sets and methodologies, but ultimately with the same goal – an increase in sales. Unfortunately, the two separate teams do not always see eye to eye and can often be misaligned in their goals.
When marketing and sales teams unite around a single revenue cycle, they dramatically improve the marketing return on investment (ROI), the sales cycle shortens and conversion rates increase.
Investing in bringing these two functions together is sure to have a positive impact on the company.
Doing so creates more efficient processes, communicates a clearer objective for everyone, and diminishes the amount of finger-pointing. Breaking down these silos will lead to an increase in marketing conversion rates; when the sales team understands the marketing mission, it enables them to close more deals.
A crucial part of this “smarketing” success is sales alignment.
This refers to the sales leader and their team ensuring sales goals are aligned with marketing efforts. There are many things that need to happen for sales alignment to be successful: Ensure both teams know what their buyer persona/ideal customer looks like
- Ensure both teams know what their buyer persona/ideal customer looks like
- Identify team members to receive and qualify marketing-generated leads
- Identify a process through which leads are shared and tracked
- Facilitate training between the two teams – this will eliminate miscommunication
- Have salespeople do product demonstrations for marketing
Many companies are doing this really well. Let’s not reinvent the wheel – let’s use some of their tactics as best practices and adapt them into your company’s structure.
Again, start from the top – the management team for these departments has to be on board in working together to become more unified. Without that buy-in, it won’t work, and you will get stuck in your old ways.
Here are some smarketing tips and tricks:
- Meet regularly. This reduces the creation of silos and helps team members stay connected.
- Marketing should attend sales meetings. This will ensure marketing is focusing on the right products and services in their efforts. It also allows marketing to share upcoming campaigns with sales.
- Meet to assess campaign successes. Sales Managers should report to marketing on lead conversions to analyze what worked well.
- Attend events together. Get to know each other outside of the work environment. Marketing should be not only promoting products and services but their people too.
- Create a marketing calendar accessible to the sales department. Allow them to add marketing ideas to the calendar. They talk to the customer, so they understand the pain points and obstacles customers are facing. Be open to feedback from the sales department on content and creative.
- Develop clear goals and have both departments sign off on them, creating a structure that will allow you to look at the campaign’s successes based on actual leads and sales.
- Always share the data – good or bad. The analysis will determine where a campaign broke down if needed and how to fix it for the next campaign. Having a good CRM will help not only track this data but also give transparency to both departments.
- Develop a cross-training program. Make sure the sales team is using social platforms and knows how to share and commentate on company news. Allow marketing to shadow sales calls to really understand what sales is hearing.
- Create one team. Organize outings, lunches, etc. for both teams to ensure the comfort level of both departments with each other.
Easy, right? The answer is yes if you have the right people in the manager roles of these departments. A good marketer knows they need sales to follow up on the leads they bring in with all their pretty pictures and content, and a good sales manager knows they need the pretty pictures and content. If you have these people and practices in place, an increase in revenue is sure to follow.
About The Author
Jenn Cline is another idea-based evangelist who connected with ABC after doing business with the agency as a client.
After 20 years in communications and sales, she decided to shed the stuffy layers of corporate structure to do business on her own terms. An expert marketing strategist, Jenn needed more space for creative planning and carefully measured execution.
As a marketing executive, she familiarized herself with ABC’s culture and talent. As a consultant, she sought the agency as a creative partner.
Jenn’s idea-based sales service adds a unique layer to traditional marketing. Her strategies give great consideration to conversion of a campaign. Not only does she develop plans for execution on the sales side, Jenn also works with clients to develop measurement tools that keep campaigns sustainable long term.