Sales and marketing alignment best practices can help both teams come together and get better results than if they worked separately. Both of these teams have strengths and insights that can take the other’s work to a higher level.
Sales and marketing alignment can help your business become 67% better at closing deals.
The main goal of sales and marketing alignment is to share a vision, and that vision should be to serve your customers. Every step that follows after should derive from that goal. In fact, companies that focus on serving clients are 60% more profitable.
“Your buyer doesn’t care what function you belong to. Their experience should feel seamless across channels, throughout their journey, whether that experience is being delivered by marketing, business development, sales, or anyone else.” - Leela Srinivasan, CMO of SurveyMonkey
Sales and Marketing Alignment Best Practices: “Smarketing”
To achieve higher ROI, better team alignment, and prioritizing your customers, we bring you the three Cs of “smarketing.” “Smarketing” is a business strategy that aims to unite both marketing and sales teams to achieve better results.
The First C of “Smarketing”: Coordinate
Before either team goes out and meets prospects or creates materials, make sure to coordinate on goals, schedules, and resources to be used.
To coordinate on a strategy, both teams should clearly define goals together.
Have the leaders of your sales team and marketing team discuss in detail the projected numbers of prospects to be reached, which locations or industries should be targeted, the timeline and shape of the campaigns, and expectations each team has for the other.
"None of us is as smart as all of us." - Ken Blanchard, Business Consultant
Scheduling meetings should take into account the priorities of each team as well as the rhythm of the sales cycle in your company. Setting up regular meetings to discuss progress, setbacks, or update each other on development will help both teams stay informed and on track.
Since sales representatives make use of resources, they are the best source of knowledge on which resources work best, and which ones can be optimized or discontinued.
The marketing team can update the sales team on any innovative resources they can use as well. Perhaps the sales team is not aware of new assets to be used or how these assets can have a greater impact when used at the right time.
Take into consideration each other’s feedback so that you can work on serving your clients best.
Related Blog: 2 Customer Experience Pain Points and How to Solve Them
The Second C of “Smarketing”: Contribute
Let’s go into a little more detail into what each team can do for each other.
Sales reps are the first touchpoint with your customers. They are the ones having the conversations with clients and listening to their pain points. Therefore, your sales team can contribute valuable insights to marketing.
The marketing team should take advantage of this insight the sales team can offer. The sales department understands first-hand the customer’s needs and desires, in the customer’s voice and from the customer’s perspective.
Therefore, the content marketing is creating should align with the sales reps’ approach to selling.
Similarly, the marketing team often invests a lot of time researching target audiences and creating buyer personas based on that research and data that can illuminate the way the sales team speaks to the customers.
Not utilizing this research and using it engage the customer would not only waste a valuable resource, but also take longer for the sales team to learn about their clients.
When both teams collaborate and benefit from each other’s strengths, you can follow a shared vision of success, which is serving the customers.
Related Blog: How to Use Audience Data in Omnichannel Lead Generation
The Third C of “Smarketing”: Communicate
The two steps above cannot lead to desired outcomes unless both teams are open to listening and learning from each other.
Consider implementing a joint internal enablement program for both teams to brainstorm, discuss, and share pain points. Establish the goals of these sessions at the beginning and make both teams aware of what they are. These can range from sharing ideas, to communicating frustrations, to socializing to increase team cooperation.
Often, frustrations don’t need to be addressed at that moment, but giving teams the space to verbalize their concerns can create a culture of communication in your business.
Whether disagreements arise, it is important to understand the other’s point-of-view. To do this, listen carefully to what the other team members are saying and take a second to digest the information. Besides the explicit message, is there more meaning underneath?
Try to pinpoint if the person you are listening to showed excitement or concern at some point. Feelings can often give you a clue as to which is the implicit information the other person is trying to convey.
Both marketing teams and sales teams should keep in mind each other’s strengths. While the sales representatives have first-hand experience with the clients, marketing can show them all the available assets to use and where they are located.
Organization is a great way to continue communication. The marketing team can create an organized asset library where content is easy to find. Sales team leaders can create thorough documents with information gained from the sales representatives to share with marketing as well.
Remember that both teams may not have all the answers, but when you maintain open communication, you can better serve your customers.
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The Consequences of Misalignment
In the United States alone, marketing and sales waste an estimated $1 trillion annually due to lack of coordination.
Since sales and marketing alignment best practices bring benefits, misalignment can also have undesired side effects. Besides the waste of invested time and money, businesses can lose touch with customers and see them dripping off their sales funnel.
Leaders of each team can also underestimate the amount of influence the other team has on buyers. With a mere 12% of sales executives believing that marketing qualified leads count, it’s no wonder that companies that align their teams do so much better, both in culture and in profits.
Because marketing and sales can have a different vantage point from which they view consumers, sometimes miscommunication can cause marketing materials to be underused as well as content creation that is not relevant to the target audience.
However, effective alignment practices and “smarketing” are considered the number one success factor attributed to achieving revenue goals.
“Smarketing” is the business practice of having the marketing and sales teams come together and share insights, measure outcomes, and work toward a shared vision: serving their customers.
Sales and marketing alignment best practices involve the three Cs of “smarketing”: Coordinate, contribute, and communicate.
Coordinate meetings, schedules, and outcomes. Contribute insights that each team has exclusive access to. Communicate and listen to frustrations to improve as a unified company.
When both teams support each other, companies are one step closer to reaching a shared goal: serving the customers.
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