Sales & Marketing teams are meant to be best friends. They’re both working towards the common goal of generating higher revenue for the company! But too often, they’re not as connected as they should be. Sadly, they run in silos, defeating the purpose for which they’ve both been created.
As per Hubspot’s 2018 Inbound Marketing report, 11% of respondents said their sales and marketing teams were ‘rarely aligned’. 9% of respondents didn’t know about alignment between the two teams, and 7% felt they were both misaligned.
There are heaps of reasons why this misalignment could occur, and clearly, there’s plenty of room for improvement in aligning sales and marketing teams. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can create this alignment for enhanced sales effectiveness. Let’s get into it!
Alignment Tip 1: Build A Relationship Between Sales & Marketing Teams.
Depending on the size of the company, sales and marketing teams are not always located close to each other. They could be in separate rooms, or floors, sitting at their desks, working in silos. Usually, they’re both focusing on their independent goals, without consulting each other, not truly feeling or working together as a team should.
To create alignment, you need to first create a relationship between both teams. Make them shake hands, talk to each other and get to know one another as people. Rapport is the secret ingredient for stimulating team chemistry!
We’d recommend organizing events where both teams can meet, conducting team rapport building activities like improv workshops, regular catch ups in a casual setting for both teams to talk about their interests and spend quality time together. This can lay the foundation for a fantastic relationship at work, to celebrate the highs and lows of the sales process.
Alignment Tip 2: Align Their Goals.
To align teams for them to collaborate, their goals must be aligned and connected in some way. They need to feel like if one team wins, the other does too, and vice versa so they develop the “we’re in this together” mentality.
Marketing usually has the goal of generating leads, and sales teams are responsible for customer conversions. If the marketing team generates high-quality leads, the sales team will usually convert more leads into real customers. If the marketing team generates poor-quality leads, sales teams are going to have a tough time closing deals.
Having said that, high-quality leads doesn’t always lead to a high sales conversion rate. This could be the case if sales teams aren’t skilled enough, or if they’re not working collaboratively with marketing teams to close deals.
On the other hand, sales teams can help marketing teams produce high-quality leads through their experience of interacting with customers. Sales executives have the closest insight on who their customers are, and what they really want! So it’s important for marketing teams to constantly seek feedback from sales executives to feel the pulse of the market.
Aligning their goals would mean:
- Both sales and marketing teams know the larger company revenue goal they’re working towards. This is their ‘collective goal’ as they’re both direct stakeholders of this target!
- Both teams know their independent team specific goals. The marketing team should know how many leads they need to generate for reaching the target revenue number, what their target cost per lead is, and what their lead generation rate should be. The sales team should know how many conversions they need to reach the goal, how many leads they need from marketing to get there, the number of calls or conversations they need to make, and the number of deals they need to close.
- Marketing & Sales teams support each other to reach their team specific, and collective goals. Once they know how their goals co relate with each other, they’ll find it a lot easier to be of help to each other.
Alignment Tip 3: Making Communication Between Sales & Marketing Teams, Easier!
Alignment is a lot easier with great communication. That’s why, it’s so important to make the communication between the two teams, smoother, more efficient, and frequent.
We’d recommend the following:
- Using tools like Slack for team communication, Dropbox or Google Drive for sharing and storing work documents, and using CRM tools like Pipedrive or Hubspot CRM for sharing vital customer specific information.
- Scheduling weekly meetings between the two teams to discuss key issues, track their performance and agree on future steps. Agreeing on what action(s) they’re planning to take is the key to ensure they’re always on the same page.
Alignment Tip 4: Evaluate Their Performance With Metrics
What gets measured, gets done. That’s why having some key metrics to track will help you determine your progress for creating this collaboration.
Some metrics you can track include:
- Number Of Leads: Knowing your organizational revenue target will help you determine the number of leads your marketing teams need to generate. For instance, if your revenue goal is $10,000 per month, you need 10 customer per month paying you $100 each. To generate 10 paying customers per month, you may need to generate 100 leads, assuming a sales conversion rate of 10% (i.e. your sales teams convert 10% of all leads they’re given). With a clear lead generation target in mind, tracking the number of leads marketing teams churn out will go a long way in building a meaningful partnership.
- Lead To Sales Conversion Rate: Knowing how many leads are being converted to customers will help marketing teams hold sales teams accountable. Generating leads isn’t easy, and it’s important that sales teams treat each lead with the respect it deserves, to enhance the sales conversion rates. The higher the conversion rate is, the happier both teams will be.
Alignment Tip 5: Using An Agile Approach To Sales & Marketing Effectiveness
An ‘agile approach’ to sales and marketing implies that all efforts are user centric. Depending on the response users give, both teams can adapt or iterate their approach for producing desired results. This can be very effective in creating alignment, not just between sales and marketing teams, but also alignment with the customer! It also saves time and resources for both teams.
For instance, both teams could agree on running a particular campaign as a test to generate leads. If customers don’t respond positively to the campaign, both teams could pivot to a completely different campaign or approach, until they start to see results from their efforts. Working collaboratively in this manner will also help them with deciding the right path to take.
Through this agile approach, sales teams can be important contributors to marketing campaigns and also be involved in the content creation process as they feed insights into the marketing team to guide their efforts, while marketing teams can also participate in nurturing leads through direct customer conversations, until they’re ready to be handed over to sales teams.
Wrapping It Up
Just like 2 heads are better than one, 2 teams working collaboratively are better than 2 teams working independently. Aligned sales and marketing teams can have a much stronger impact on your bottom line! Implement the tips above and watch the sales numbers rolling in!
About Scott Miraglia
Scott is the CEO of Elevation Marketing. He is a balanced risk-taker with nearly three decades of experience starting and growing advertising and marketing agencies. His business acumen is matched with a drive to build creative teams that thrive in open, collaborative work environments. Scott seeks out the best creative individuals, not only to provide quality service to clients, but to also help shape the future direction of Elevation.