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Sales & Marketing: It Is Time To Bury The Hatchet

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According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, there are only 8% of companies that have created a strong alignment between their sales and marketing departments. A company’s inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies costs them more than 10% in revenue per year.

A troubling challenge that has been prevalent in B2B companies is the misalignment between sales and marketing. These companies suffer from fractured relationships, lost leads and sales, processes that are inefficient and lowered revenues.

A study conducted by Marketo, confirms what B2B companies have always known, an organization can become 67% better at closing deals if only they worked towards creating a harmonious environment for their sales and marketing teams.

There is a lot in common between the sales and marketing teams. They both play crucial roles in customer engagement, revenue generation and in the growth of the organization. In spite of having almost identical functions and quite a tight interdependence, sales and marketing teams often find themselves at each other’s throats or throwing each other under the bus for missed targets and fails.

Benefits of Alignment

Sales and marketing teams need to unify, execute joint strategies and reap major benefits from their shared success and there are many, some of which are:

  • Improved quality of leads

With sales and marketing working in tandem and having constant communication between them, information can begin to flow more smoothly between the departments. Leads that aren’t sales ready can be returned back to marketing for further nurturing and in turn sales reps can keep marketers informed about where poor leads are coming from. The marketer can then use this information to make adjustments to their strategies.

  • Boost in revenue

Companies that have a great alliance built between the sale and marketing teams close 38% more deals, achieve 27% faster 3 year profit growth.  They also achieve 208% higher revenue than organizations that have a misaligned sales and marketing department.

  • Audience that perfectly matches pre-decided buyer personas

With an effective line of communication, comes the bonus of creating and deciding buyer personas that line up perfectly with the target audience. A sales and marketing collaboration helps marketers generate content that capture the right audiences for sales.

  • The right content gets made

When a sales rep speaks to the customer, they get inundated by a barrage of questions. In a well aligned sales and marketing environment, sales is able to easily communicate to marketing the kind of content they would need like white papers, blog posts, ebooks, etc. to keep audiences well informed. These materials can then be used to save time, and prospects will also benefit as they will be able to make informed decisions.

  • Outrun the competition

More often than not, marketers keep a close eye on the competition’s marketing materials in order to know where they stand in comparison. This information if passed on to sales can be properly addressed. This will ensure product superiority when talking to prospects.

  • Satisfied customers

Brand messaging need to always be aligned between both the departments, and the right promotions and the right products need to be highlighted. This will help provide the customer with the smoothest experience. Poor communication will also leave customers with an unhappy experience.

These benefits are great and every company desires these results but how to get these two opposing teams requires work.

Tips for Alignment

Here are a few tips to help you get on your way to enjoying sales and marketing alignment.

1. Communication, Friendship and Achievement of top-down support

  • The performance of marketing campaigns must be reviewed on a weekly basis.
  • Lead scoring and assignment must be then discussed and plans need to be adjusted as businesses evolve.
  • Summary reports must be submitted to the executive team on a weekly basis.
  • Weekly plans that include action items, supportive ideas, templates, and battle cards need to be created for field and inside sales teams.
  • In order to allow the marketing team to launch campaigns and build a buyer ecosystem content design and execution need to be used.

2. Review development strategies and usage of technology

  • Processes need to work properly in order to support effective communication between both teams.
  • Data and lead integrity needs to be maintained at all costs. Insufficient data can be a stumbling block.

3. Alignment around the matching metrics

  • Both must be in agreement about definitions and measurements.
  • Quality of leads is more vital than leads quantity.

4. Become a data-driven organization

  • Chart course towards a mature and predictable modeling.
  • Analyze performances and assess wins and losses.

Marketing and sales teams are both valuable treasures to a company, and when their efforts are in sync, the results are immense. Follow the above tips in order to achieve the benefits, and your prospects will flow effortlessly through your sales funnel.

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