Marketing Mary: “I can’t believe they’re cutting our budget again to hire more sales reps. It’s not our fault that the reps we have don’t follow up on the leads that we give them.”
Sales Sammy: “If I get another bunk lead from marketing this week, I’m gonna scream. They don’t have monthly quotas they have to hit.”
If these are the types of conversations that you’ve heard while walking through your marketing or sales department, it’s pretty clear your sales and marketing teams are not in harmony. Both teams should ultimately have the same goal – to increase company revenues. It’s time for your sales and marketing teams to work together.
By aligning sales and marketing can lead to a 20% annual growth rate. On the other hand organizations with poor alignment see a revenue decline by 4%. The choice seems pretty clear. Do you want your company revenues to increase or decline?
Sales and marketing alignment can take time and effort, but it is certainly possible with a few key tips:
Probably the most important component to aligning your teams is to improve the communication between the sales and marketing teams. Too often, the two teams are not only physically separated within the office, but they have little knowledge about what the other team really does. By opening up the lines of communication, you can create what the folks at HubSpot call smarketing, a connection between the two departments.
Understand and Establish Joint Goals
Your sales and marketing teams aren’t that different. In fact, they just represent two parts of the same funnel. Your marketing team fills the funnel on one end and your sales team brings them through the other end as customers. Rather than putting them at odds with each other, unite them in the overall goal of increasing lead quality and revenue. Have your marketing people sit in on sales calls to better understand what makes a quality lead for sales. Have your sales teams better learn about your company’s products or services from the marketer’s point of view. Let them walk each other through their ideal buyer’s journey and learn where the best handoff points are.
Implement a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an important agreement between your sales and marketing teams. It basically serves as a formal commitment between the teams in working towards a common goal. The SLA should have marketing committed to providing a certain number and quality of leads to the sales team each month. It should also have sales committed to contact each of the provided leads within a certain time period, as well as guidelines for when to abandon, disqualify or return leads back to marketing. Ensure that the terms are discussed and agreed upon by both sales and marketing, as they will hold both teams accountable to a common goal.
Establish Closed-Loop Reporting
Closed-loop reporting is simply the exchange of information that each team has learned. Many programs, such as HubSpot, make this easier by using the same database for both teams. Basically, you want your marketing information (recent visits, lead history, download history, etc.) shared with your sales team so they can gain the intelligence needed to win more deals. Similarly, you want the sales team to share how many contact touches are being made once handed off, lead status updates and even revenue numbers. By closing the loop, you can better track how your leads turn from strangers to customers and beyond.
Collect and Analyze Data on EVERYTHING
At least on a monthly basis, your sales and marketing teams should come together to hold a joint meeting on their activities, wins and losses. The meeting should cover the campaigns that have occurred, the hurdles each team has been faced with and what each team feels can be done to improve.
What are you doing to align your sales and marketing departments? Do you need assistance? Let’s talk!
Updated: Apr 18, 2022