Sales and marketing teams drive the business of any organization and are the backbone of the customer journey, responsible for the first moment someone hears about a company all the way to when they make a purchase.
But the fact of the matter is that sales and marketing teams can no longer function the way they once did.
Not long ago (and in some companies, it still remains true), marketing teams’ only responsibilities were to create buzz and brand, while sales were strictly in charge of making sales – but times have changed.
In today’s world, where there’s constantly evolving technology, customers can get the information they want first hand, with no salesperson guiding them. People consume the content they like, buy from the companies that resonate with them the most, and, all in all, shop on their own time and on their own terms.
What does this mean? The roles of marketing and sales must adapt and change.
There needs to be a shift from marketing handing over business cards to the sales teams in a linear manner, to where there’s synergy and alignment, where sales and marketing work hand-in-hand.
Where marketing creates opportunities and nurtures them so that when they hand leads over to sales, they know the buying intent and the needs, and then marketing can continue nurturing follow-up and vice versa.
When the teams don’t work synergistically and together, when one party does not ‘feed’ the other – chances are that the potential deal will fail.
“Misalignment between both sales and marketing teams costs a staggering $1 trillion a year.”
When marketing and sales fail to achieve synergy, the quality of leads is low, so leads fail to convert, wasting the efforts of both teams and costing companies major potential revenue.
So, it’s time to say goodbye to the strict, linear hand-off from marketing to sales; it just won’t cut it anymore.
It’s much, much better working together.
Companies must ensure that the relationship between sales and marketing is strong and harmonious if they want to succeed in today’s market.
Businesses that achieve synergy can significantly improve business performance, with one study citing a 32% increase in year-over-year revenue growth. On the flip side of the coin, less aligned companies cited a 7% decrease in year-over-year revenue growth.
Furthermore, almost 90% of marketing leaders saythat increasing alignment between sales and marketing is the top opportunity for improving business performance.
This goes to show that sales and marketing synergy is an absolute necessity for businesses that want to truly engage with their customers, build loyalty, and increase revenue.
Moreover, having the two teams synced will bring in better-qualified leads, sharpen buyer personas, and open important lines of communication that lead to more feedback and improved operations.
So, the question is – how do you do it?
If you haven’t already, now is the prime time to hold a meeting with your sales and marketing teams together and get everybody on the same page.
First, this means identifying and clearly outlining the responsibilities of the two teams and the individual players within them. Without clearly defined responsibilities, tensions can arise and important duties become neglected.
These should include things like who is responsible for updating your CRM as a lead progresses and at which lead stages a potential customer should be handed over from marketing to sales (but remember – just because this hand-off happens, doesn’t mean marketing can forget about these leads. Nurturing and ‘loyalty upkeep’ is a lifelong process).
Once you’ve done that, it is also critical to discuss what the ideal customer looks like. Sales must provide details on this so that marketing can adjust marketing activities accordingly to ensure that they’re targeting the proper people.
Just this simple and clear synchronization can greatly improve the sales to marketing flow and increase the quality and quantity of leads coming in and signing on.
This synchronization is key, but it would be great to take it a step further and schedule regular check-ins with the purpose of aligning sales and marketing.
2. Analyze and adjust
Once you’ve gotten your marketing and sales teams on the same page and increased communication between the two, you will have more insights and shared data.
This is gold! Use it.
Research finds that organizations with strong alignment between sales and marketing close 38% more deals and achieve 27% faster three-year profit growth.
Combining cross-team alignment with the right CRM and analytic tracking software, you can start to understand what campaigns work better for which personas, how your audience responds to content, and where and why customers drop off.
Take these insights and use them to equip the sales team with the best assets and the most effective information, so they can implement in the field.
Meanwhile, make sure that your sales team is utilizing their lead tracking software to not only track leads as they move through the funnel, but also to report back to the marketing team about any insights they gather.
This is key to increasing sales and marketing synergies, and will help you sharpen your strategy for results.
3. Implement lead scoring
Another fantastic way to increase harmony between the two teams is to utilize lead scoring.
In order to do this, marketing and sales need to discuss the various characteristics of leads (such as demographics, lead intelligence information, etc.) and assign point values to each one.
By putting this system in place, marketing will be able to use their CRM to implement lead scoring, and sales will be able to prioritize leads accordingly.
This mutual understanding of lead prioritization improves how sales and marketing work togetherand improves results and workflows for both teams.
4. Create valuable content together
Another great way to enhance sales and marketing alignment is to utilize each teams’ niche knowledge to create useful content for your target audience. Some examples of this content can be:
- Infographics about industry trends
- Educational blogs
- Thought leadership pieces
- Customer success stories and case studies
- Industry insights and predictions
Creating content that benefits your prospects is an excellent way to generate traffic and interest in your product.
While it is usually the responsibility of marketing to create content, utilizing sales insights and knowledge to diversify your content will bring in more leads and can even shorten the sales process.
Furthermore, collaborating on content creation also provides an opportunity for ongoing team-strengthening and can enhance communication between the two departments.
So – there you have it.
Sales and marketing need a refresh ASAP for businesses that want to remain engaging and successful.
Synchronize your teams, analyze the resulting data and make adjustments accordingly, implement lead scoring, and create meaningful content together, and you’ll be well on your way to doing just that.