By Taran Nandha
“There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Sales and marketing alignment is an indispensable element in any organization’s success mantra and stating this is nothing, but well, a broken record. In theory, it’s all rainbows and sunshine; practically, not so much! So, what can you do to make sales and marketing as in sync as Sherlock and Watson, or Batman and Robin, or Bert and Ernie? You get the drift. We’ve broken it down for you. Here are 5 essential steps to establish an infallible ‘Sales + Marketing = Smarketing’ strategy:
1. Revenue Discussion and Agreement Between Sales and Marketing: B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth. Shared revenue goals with well-defined service level agreements (SLAs) are sure to help you achieve this number. Numbers make ideas more realistic. Therefore, when sales talks about revenue per customer, deal size, etc, marketing is more likely to determine the number of viable leads that are needed to hit that number. Once that cat’s out of the bag, both sales and marketing would be more driven to closely working together than running in Schrodinger’s circles.
2. Focus on Strong Sales Enablement Tools: According to research 76% of content marketers forget sales enablement, and 65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects. This is nothing but a plague on sales and marketing alignment. Marketing works day in and day out on collaterals that help make the sales representatives ‘sales-intelligent’. These could be brochures, leaflets, presentations, case studies, etc. It’s important that marketing takes a step further and helps sales folks access these tools easily enough to make optimum use of them.
3. Closed-Loop Reporting: More than 80% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Whatever happens to those leads? Hence the need for closed-loop reporting. Not just to know the status of all leads but to run analysis on what is working and what is not in terms of sales. Understanding what marketing channels, campaigns, and tactics are yielding the best results as far as sales are concerned because that is what really matters. It brings focus on the revenue impact of marketing versus the lead volume. Knowing what matters when it comes to closing more sales helps marketers focus on making sure they are cranking up the right channels and tactics and, in turn, get an up-to-date status of those leads. Closed-loop reporting also helps in identifying leaks and stalls in the sales and marketing funnel to help plug those holes. Sales benefits from closed-loop reporting too as it receives cleaner and better leads, thus increasing a lead-to-conversion rate and sales ROI.
4. Top-notch Sales and Marketing Technology: 35-50% of sales go to businesses that respond first. Businesses are responding to leads at an average of 40 hours response time. If responding promptly isn’t a priority for you, what is? Aligning sales and marketing would always remain a far-fetched dream in the absence of a CRM and a marketing automation platform. Even with systems in place, most sales teams are either not receiving leads in real-time or sales follow-up process is not optimized. Make sure that the process between marketing and Sales handoff is tight and when results flow everyone will be inclined to follow the required best practices. Make sure you have the right level of commitment from all team involved to ensure the success of your Martech and Salestech investments.
5. Campaign Deliberation Between Sales and Marketing: Companies with dynamic and adaptable sales & marketing processes report an average of 10% more sales people on-quota compared to other companies. This step could be considered as the easiest upgrade for aligning sales and marketing. Since sales reps deal with prospects on the front line, they have a better and more explicit insight into the prospects’ needs. Marketing can make use of that insight for fashioning highly relevant content which should be sent out through campaigns (email, social media, paid, etc). This would give salespeople more than a sneak-peek into the marketing execution process, thus establishing higher understanding and confidence amongst the teams.
If you took a look at these steps as closely as we wanted you to, you’d have understood by now that the core of each of these steps is “Collaboration”. Regular sales and marketing meetings and catch-ups would help the respective team members develop confidence in their ideas, processes, and outcomes. Let these teams breathe easy and get rid of their ‘holier than thou’ outlook. Don’t let the taboo of misalignment hit you like a stupefy spell. Let genuine collaboration make your sales and marketing teams aligned like Sherlock & Watson, Batman & Robin, and Bert and Ernie. Yes, you get my drift!
Do you have a solid sales and marketing alignment?
If yes, great! If not, we’ve got your back! Just write to us at email@example.com and we’ll take it from there.