Many sales and marketing teams are disconnected: restricted by a lack of communication and a disregard for one another’s roles. And with the added pressure of remote working and disruptions caused by the pandemic, this is a situation that has (in many cases) only gotten worse. This is a problem that needs to be solved.
When targets are not being met, it’s easy to point the finger. If you speak to a salesperson, they are likely to say they aren’t getting enough leads, but if you speak to the marketing department, they will tell you the number of leads isn’t an issue, but rather the lack of conversions. This results in an endless cycle of blame that offers absolutely nothing of value; no solution, no learning opportunities, just frustration. By aligning your sales and marketing teams, you can overcome this.
From increased revenue to improved customer retention and almost 40% higher win rates, the numbers really do speak for themselves. But, of course, it’s easier said than done. Things like this take time to perfect, and results cannot be achieved overnight, but if you invest enough time and resources, there is no denying that over time, the benefits of sales and marketing alignment (also known as Smarketing) will be seen.
So, what can you do to help bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams? Here are 6 tips to get you started:
Define your customer
The first step to getting your Smarketing on track for success is to establish a clear target customer, allowing both teams to gain an understanding of what a good lead should look like. After all, if they don’t know who they are trying to sell to, their strategies are likely to be disjointed and ineffective.
To unite your sales and marketing teams and create a strategy that sells, you should devise a clear buyer persona that includes everything from company size and location to industry and experience.
Create a common goal
By establishing a common goal for both departments to work towards, you will be encouraging the two teams to collaborate more effectively and form an understanding of mutual contribution from both parties. And with almost half of all marketers saying they feel salespeople fail to understand priorities, this needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Whilst there are, of course, some objectives that will remain exclusive, others – such as lead generation and conversions – can be influenced and measured by both sales and marketing teams.
Devise a sales-marketing service-level agreement (SLA)
Ensuring you have an SLA in place will establish a shared set of expectations surrounding both departments’ roles within the sales process. This can help to mitigate misalignment and create accountability between both teams.
An effective SLA should include:
- Clear definitions and goals surrounding leads
- Customer outreach and communication expectations, including frequency and expected follow up timeframes
- Definitions of lifecycle stages
- Internal communication and feedback between the teams
- Outline of performance goals
Naturally, different teams will have different definitions for key terms. When working collaboratively, this can cause confusion and misunderstanding, often resulting in tension between the two parties.
To mitigate any issues and promote communication, you should ensure to create a common set of definitions to be used by both departments. For the best results, you should delve deeper than simply defining the term: encourage both teams to work collaboratively to create questions to help qualify their decisions and aid their understanding of each phrase.
46% of sales and marketing professionals say the quality of communication between their teams is poor. And this poor communication, unsurprisingly, leads to frustrations and friction and can have an impact on the success of your business.
Arranging regular meetings and encouraging daily communication between your sales and marketing departments will help the two teams to unite by enabling them to share their progress, recommendations and resources, offering new perspectives to help optimise their performance and achieve their common goals.
Some tips to help heighten communication between your sales and marketing teams include:
- Organise regular meetings with clear agendas
- If office-based, mix sales and marketing desks
- Facilitate feedback sessions to help refine the sales process
- Organise social events to build trust and relationships between both departments
Whilst facilitating collaboration through shared goals and increased communication is great, it will only get you so far. To truly bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams – especially whilst working remotely – you must embrace technology.
With a recent survey revealing a third of marketing and sales professionals feel dissatisfied with the technology offered to align the two teams, this suggests more businesses need to research and invest in more valuable tools to optimise their Smarketing. Some examples of how technology can be used to help align sales and marketing include:
- Using a content management system to ensure consistency across content throughout both teams
- Making use of CRM (customer relationship management) software will enable both sales and marketing teams to access customer data on-demand, allowing them to act efficiently and effectively at every stage of the customer journey
- Allowing both teams to have access to shared drives on cloud-based storage systems to enable efficient access to relevant resources when required
With businesses who align their sales and marketing teams being up to 70% more likely to see continuous revenue growth, it’s time work smarter and embrace Smarketing.