The relationship between marketing and sales should ideally be symbiotic. Marketing identifies and attracts valuable leads, while sales closes the deals. However, marketing and sales alignment can often be a challenge – especially if there’s a lack of communication between departments.
While sales and marketing work toward a common goal, all too often there is tension between departments. This is especially so when one department feels their needs and concerns are not being heard or met. As sales and marketing rely on each other, marketing and sales alignment is vital for your company’s well-being. A recent study actually indicated a strong partnership between departments led to a 208% increase in value from the marketing department.
Alignment between sales and marketing departments can increase conversion rates, improve lead generations, and benefit your company’s long-term growth. We will go over some quick tips below to get your teams on the same page to foster overall growth.
Marketing And Sales Alignment Means Messaging Is In-Sync
No one likes a bait and switch. One surefire way to cause tension between sales and marketing is having both departments putting out very different messages. This makes closing leads difficult for sales. The sales department ends up dealing with hostility from prospective customers who felt they were roped in with false advertising.
You need to ensure the message marketing is putting out aligns with what sales is actually offering customers. Regular meetings between departments will ensure messages reflect each other. Oftentimes, marketing is not intentionally making false claims, but their wording can be slightly off. Having sales sign off on marketing campaigns, social media ads, and other aspects of lead generation ensures a smooth process for everyone involved.
This does not just lead to less friction between sales and marketing either. It betters customer relationships and your company’s overall reputation. Keeping your messaging consistent across departments fosters trust during every step of the buying process.
Create Buyer Personas Together
Buyer personas inform a lot of marketing strategy. The sales department often has invaluable insight about who is actually buying your product. While marketing can draw a lot of information from data, sales can bring in real world experience. When combined, these two perspectives can both enhance your overall strategy and lead to increased sales.
The sales department communicates with prospective customers every day. They can identify gaps in current personas and assist in creating new ones as necessary. Having regular meetings between sales and marketing teams to create and adapt target personas can generate more marketing qualified leads. This may make closing deals easier on the sales team.
The sales department understands customers’ needs, hesitations, and pain points at various points throughout the sales funnel. This takes away a lot of guesswork and speculation on behalf of the marketing department. Working on personas together helps identify how different demographics interact with your product or service. This helps marketing fine-tune their message from first contact to retargeting campaigns.
Establish Clear Metrics
When sales and marketing metrics are out of sync, this leads to tension. The sales department may feel marketing is not generating adequate leads. The marketing department may feel sales is failing to close enough deals.
If one department feels the other is not meeting expectations, this is a recipe for stress. Both teams need to be clear about reasonable goals and expectations.
Companies often base expectations on dated metrics. If your metrics were established months or years ago, have regular meetings to review and adjust. Current events, changes in your industry, and other factors can affect reasonable expectations for leads, conversions, and so on.
Schedule a recurring meeting in your company calendar to review and update metrics for both departments. This way, sales and marketing will be on the same page with expectations. This allows both departments to hold one another accountable and offer help when needed if one department falls short.
Make Sure Marketing Knows What Sales Needs
Marketing serves to enhance and expedite the sales process. Oftentimes, the marketing department is unaware they are failing to meet the sales team’s needs. If a particular campaign or approach is not working, feedback from sales is important.
Regular meetings are always helpful, but there are several concrete steps the marketing department can take as well:
- Take over email templates and designs for the sales team. The marketing team is often a strongpoint of creativity in a company. Compelling language and design can help sales close more deals.
- Keep an eye out for industry news that could affect sales numbers or prospects. Keeping the sales team informed on the latest trends ensures they’re proactive about both opportunities and setbacks.
- Write white papers and case studies. These are excellent sales tools that can speak to your company’s values.
- Reach out to customers and ask for reviews. Providing testimonials in sales pitches can help close deals.
Marketing and sales alignment allows your marketing department to work smart, not hard. The sales team will appreciate being given documents and information that makes their job easier. This smooths over any friction and bolsters overall company growth.
Work Together On Content Marketing
While content marketing is often seen as exclusive to the marketing department, collaboration can be hugely beneficial. Asking the sales team for feedback and insight can help the marketing team create higher quality content.
Content is often at the top of the sales funnel. Your marketing team needs to create buyer-focused content that will generate interest in your product or service. As the sales team understands – probably better than anyone in your company – what appeals to customers. They can offer invaluable guidance.
Ask the sales team about pain points, challenges, and trends you can incorporate into everything from blog posts to video marketing. For example, say you work for a catering company. The sales team may hear many common complaints about customers struggling to determine the correct budget for different types of events. Marketing could turn this information into a blog post breaking down the rough catering costs for different event types.
Celebrate Wins Mutually
If people feel underappreciated, this is a recipe for internal tension. The sales and marketing department both play a vital role in bringing in new customers. Therefore, wins should be celebrated mutually rather than attributed to one department or employee. This fosters feelings of solidarity between sales and marketing, encouraging teamwork and collaboration.
If a marketing initiative increases sales, this is a net positive. During company meetings, make sure to praise both teams equally and give specifics about how each department contributed. This helps with marketing and sales alignment as it makes it apparent that teamwork yields success.
In addition to celebrating wins, it is always a good idea to get both teams together outside of work to help foster stronger relationships. From happy hours to work lunches to company picnics, creating personal relationships can reduce tension and create a better company culture overall. In general, people feel more comfortable collaborating and communicating during work hours if they have a mutually respectful relationship outside of work.
Marketing And Sales Alignment: The Bottom Line
Aligning your sales and marketing team can help you achieve better results. Sales and marketing are highly related, so ensuring both departments are in-sync is vital to success. Sales can offer marketing invaluable insights on what customers want and need. Marketing, in turn, can provide sales with the tools necessary to close deals.
Marketing and sales alignment is an ongoing process that requires continual work to succeed. Putting in the effort is well worth it. Not only will it lead to an increase in revenue, it will help create a positive company culture overall.
Need some help? At LookinLA, we build data-driven marketing strategies for clients to help them become industry leaders. We have experience working with a diverse range of clients. You can read success stories here and reach out to book a call here to talk. We look forward to hearing from you.