When it comes to sales and marketing working together in alignment, well, let’s just say the interactions would be an entertaining reality show. Sales often thinks marketing delivers low quality sales leads, and marketing’s content does not speak to prospects and clients. Marketing frequently views sales as obstinate and unwilling to work the provided leads effectively. The end result is communication breaking down into an “it’s their fault’ mentality that claims one important victim: the bottom line.
B2B growth strategies hinge on sales and marketing successfully aligning. Though definitely not an easy task, CMOs must realize making the effort to align sales and marketing is absolutely worth tackling. An aligned team is a powerhouse in building business and increasing revenue.
So what does it take? Here are 4 important steps to help align sales and marketing.
First, both departments must get on the same page. Oftentimes marketing and sales are not just reading different books, they are in different libraries reading in different languages! Both teams should share the same big picture goals, and know the part they play in making them happen. Begin with a broad initiative, and then drill down into the nuts and bolts. What is expected of a product rollout? What is the objective of a pay-per-click campaign? A professional demand generation agency can assist in laying out this initial framework. Once both sides have the same questions AND answers, alignment can begin.
Then, agree on inbound marketing initiatives. When is a lead considered HOT? What is the time frame sales will work the leads? Inbound marketing is a big commitment of marketing's resources, and can reap enormous rewards. Both teams must commit to play an integral in its success. Once the inbound marketing initiatives are agreed upon....
...Practice ongoing communication. Effectively communicating tears down walls and builds a cohesive unit. Cement alignment with scheduled meetings where both sides can share their ideas and concerns. Productive communication sessions are key to attaining company B2B growth strategies.
Finally, measure the alignment's success. Marketing and sales alignment is not a 'set it and forget it' enterprise. Key indicators should be implemented by management, including successful campaigns, lead- to-close ratio, etc. The CMO and VP of Sales need to analyze what works, what doesn't, and devise edits that maintain cohesiveness.
Alignment between sales and marketing requires a plan and ongoing revisions. The results are worth the effort, and the B2B growth strategies will benefit from both teams operating from the same point of view.
Hiring a demand generation agency is a fantastic place to begin to determine how to align sales and marketing to increase ROI.
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