Ten things to consider as you develop your company’s sales and marketing alignment strategy

23 Apr 2022

Nurture a happy family of sales and marketing folks in your business.

Sales and marketing are the two ties that find themselves in a never-ending headlock if you consider your organization as one big, happy, but a dysfunctional unit.

They are the ultimate corporate siblings because they were born to the same family but constantly bickered and picked on one another.

They can be quick to point the finger at one another when they lock horns. They will highlight each other’s shortcomings and frequently try to shift the blame onto one another.

It is an undesirable role as a sales or marketing manager. Keeping the peace and repairing damaged relationships may become tiring, especially when you know your time is better spent on more productive activities.

So, if you find yourself dealing with squabbling children, why not take a page from parenting and set some limits to help them get along? What happens when these two frenemies become friends?
Aside from the obvious benefits of a peaceful and more harmonic workplace, such as improved productivity, greater collaboration, and synergy, sales, and marketing alignment may have a significant impact on growth (these figures are from an infographic by Wheelhouse advisors:).

  • 208% increase in revenue.
  • 38% increase in deal closure.
  • 36% in customer retention.

Here are our top ten sales and marketing alignment practices to help you improve collaboration and build a healthy relationship between your sales and marketing teams.

1: Find out who your buyer is.

Overall, sales and marketing are both attempting to achieve the same goal: to create and increase income.

However, it’s difficult to be aligned on increasing revenue when everyone has a different notion of the client.

There are, however, several tried-and-true techniques for aligning oneself with the buyer and how they purchase.

Create a buyer persona for each of your buyers.

This had to be the first item on our list of sales and marketing alignment best practices — you must know who you’re selling to.

The greater you can comprehend your buyer, the better. Creating a few buyer
personas will allow people in your business — regardless of role or department — to have a feel for who you’re marketing to, who you’re selling to, and who you’re building for.

The following are some essential features for buyer personas:

  • Demographics include your age and geographic location.
  • The size and kind of business they work for.
  • What are the responsibilities of each position?
  • The buyer’s goals.
  • Their priorities.
  • The buyer’s and their company’s biggest headaches.

Another useful exercise is going through a day in the life of the buyer, as described above. What do they accomplish all day? Who do they interact with? What are they looking forward to, and what are they dreading? This method may help you connect with the buyer.

The buyer’s process for selecting a product or service is also critical to understand. It’s not enough to know what you’re selling; you’ll need to figure out how the prospect goes about choosing something new and exciting. Additionally, it’s crucial to note how the buyer makes purchasing decisions.

Prepare a timeline for the buying process.

It’s important to figure out who the buyer is, but understanding how they buy maybe even more beneficial.

If you haven’t already, make a flowchart of how each of your major buyer personas goes about making a purchase.

Try to include the following key elements as you map out the buyer journey:

  • The buyer’s goals.
  • How the buyer spends his or her time.
  • What data the buyer could consume is a key consideration.
  • What methods of communication will the buyer use to obtain information?
  • The length of time it takes for the procedure to complete.

2: Define your job descriptions and responsibilities as precisely as possible.

Sales and marketing have gotten lost in some organizations. It’s not unusual for marketers to consider themselves the creative side of the business, only concerned with brand recognition.
Roles are frequently blurred, making it difficult to distinguish responsibilities and who is outperforming or slumping.

Because of this, it’s not unusual for salespeople to be dismissive of marketing and characterize them as “fluffy.” When it comes to sales strategy, salespeople may be vocal about their disbelief in marketing having a say.
In the example above, everyone is incorrect. Sales and marketing must collaborate to drive revenue. A cohesive strategy for business growth will be achieved if these two functions are aligned.

Sales and marketing must work together.

As a result of the above, the direct and digital media teams collaborate to promote clients in both their social networks as well as across integrated platforms. Brand exposure, lead added to the funnel, and revenue-generating transactions are all shared responsibilities between both teams. This is sometimes lost in the big picture. Everyone is on the same team now.

As the heads of these departments, you must make sure that your staff members are aware of their overall function: to educate and interact with the buyer to develop a genuine interest that will result in a qualified lead.

Collaboration between teams must be a two-pronged strategy for long-term success. Remind your personnel that they are striving for the same result, and urge them to collaborate to achieve it.

3: Stay in your lane

It’s time to “stop their roll” once your team members are aware of the overall goal and their responsibilities. This doesn’t imply you should slow down; it simply implies that you must instill best practices for each team to think about the other before launching new campaigns and initiatives.

There’s nothing worse than being thrust into a project at the last minute when you know that you could have made a significant contribution much earlier in the process.

Disengagement is also caused by a lack of communication, and if your staff isn’t kept informed, they will have less interest in new ideas.

Encourage cooperation at the ideation stage to ensure that everyone is on the same page. To boost participation from both departments and help build buy-in, try letting people talk through their ideas before they become a reality.

4: Be present

Attend each other’s weekly meetings, which is rather straightforward, but it’s frequently overlooked: it’s important.

It’s not always necessary to have this many people in one place. When there are too many individuals in a single location, it kills productivity. Select someone each week from the sales team to go to the marketing weekly meeting, and select someone else from the marketing team to attend the sales meeting every week.

Having a voice in the meeting will allow for more communication. When your attendee can contribute, he or she may do so as well, and he/she can carry the news back to your team to keep everyone up-to-date.

Attending these meetings allows teams to exchange ideas, request new collateral, and offer comments on how effectively material is being received.

5: Lead by example

As the leaders of these groups, you must set an example for everyone else. Your workers will be looking to you for direction, so if you openly criticize another function in front of your team members, they will do the same and feel comfortable doing so.

Instead, make it clear that you’re a big fan of the other team. Give credit where credit is due. Make yourself apparent by openly collaborating and inviting additional team leaders to share their ideas.
To keep your teams on track, hold your monthly meetings and communicate the learnings back to them. If you act in a certain way, your workers will copy that behavior.

6: Prepare and inform others.

You can generate campaigns, content, and sales materials by boatload. However, if your sales staff aren’t aware of it, it’s meaningless. Send team-wide emails to notify sales about future campaigns and invite them to contact their clients.

When it comes to distributing material with prospects, marketing can play an advisory role. Should it be sent over email or social media? If it’s a business gathering, let the sales staff know when the invites will be distributed so they may remind their customers when they next chat about it.

When it comes to keeping marketing informed, sales also have an impact. Make sure your sales staff is providing marketers with the information they require to run a successful campaign.

What kind of consumers do they intend to attract or retain? Are they attempting to acquire or keep a client? How far down the funnel are they? Working together to obtain this information will allow your teams to come up with a much more detailed campaign that can help you fulfill your objectives.

7: Amplify

We assume that salespeople have a gift for conversation and, for the most part, this is correct.
They may have difficulties when it comes to amplifying marketing content.

Encourage your marketing staff to assist their sales siblings in starting conversations via social media. Provide the sales team with social posts that they may distribute on their accounts. Hold sessions to teach them how to conduct online discussions and give them content for email distribution.

8: Feedback and reporting mechanisms

The matter of feedback is one of the most frequently neglected sales and marketing alignment fundamentals.

Sales and marketing collaboration requires specific, direct, and constructive feedback to be effective. However, when it comes to sales and marketing cooperation, this is frequently overlooked.

Post-event or campaign wrap-ups are critical for keeping the momentum going and ensuring that both teams maintain touchpoints with their customers.

Marketing may develop feedback templates for each campaign type and send them out to obtain comments.

For an event, for example, you’ll probably want to know the following things:

  • Who was it that came?
  • Why do they come?
  • Have they met with sales?
  • Have they ever been to an event like this before?
  • What were they told about the event?

This will assist in the organization of future events and conversations by allowing sales to offer input for future activities and discussions. People are more likely to participate in marketing campaigns if they are passionate about them because they are more likely to support them.

9: Sales enablement

The idea of sales enablement is becoming increasingly fashionable, however, it is rarely implemented successfully.

Sales enablement is the process of giving information, content, and resources to assist salespeople in selling. It may appear easy, but it can be tough and time-consuming to put into action.

Ensure that the marketing and sales teams are using the same file storage system. We’ve all probably got access to Slack, Dropbox, or some other service for sharing information. But are everyone utilizing these services in the same manner?

If you have a more sophisticated sales department, consider using dedicated sales enablement software such as ShowPad that is specifically developed to make marketing teams and sales collaborate efficiently.

Encourage sales to make the use of a common portal their first choice for marketing assets and ensure that marketing is keeping it up to date with the most recent versions of marketing materials.

When sales are aware that all relevant data may be found in one location, they will be more inclined to utilize the information available to them and will be able to communicate how well prospects have responded.

10: Be empathetic

One of the most common misunderstandings between sales and marketing is the belief that one is doing it for himself or herself.

Encourage your employees to think of the situation from their coworker’s perspective and adopt an empathetic attitude. It will significantly enhance how they take initiative and encourage them to bring concerns back in a constructive manner rather than in a harmful way if everyone feels that decisions are made with good intentions.

Take advantage of these best practices for aligning sales and marketing to get started today!

Hopefully, the information in this section on aligning marketing and sales has been beneficial in assisting you to work more together. There’s no reason why you can’t do it — so don’t make it into a difficult project.

Here’s what to do right now to improve alignment: find out what you can accomplish it all starts with a casual conversation.

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Great list. Thoroughly enjoy the marketing and sales tips. It is an area of the utmost importance and these tips will assist enormously in creating much needed alignment. Thanks
You brought some good points. I think that having a clear and concise sales and marketing strategy is key to a company's success. It allows each department to be on the same page, working towards the same goals.
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