Unify Your Business: How to Align Sales Team with Marketing Efforts

May 20, 2023

A LinkedIn study revealed that 87% of sales and marketing leaders believe team alignment is vital for company growth, yet most find it challenging to achieve. The question then arises: how can sales and marketing teams harmoniously coexist?

Acknowledging the divide between these teams is the first step. Despite being responsible for different tasks, sales, and marketing ultimately share a common goal – informing customers. 

Overcoming challenges such as different daily routines, reporting structures, and pay can pave the way for effective collaboration.

In the following sections, we'll explore how to integrate your sales and marketing teams in 2023 and discuss actionable steps you can take to set them on the right path.

What Is Sales and Marketing Alignment? 

Sales and marketing alignment is the collaboration between these two teams to boost revenue and provide a consistent, excellent customer experience. 

It holds great potential for improving company performance and increasing return on investment. 

Challenges and Solutions for Sales and Marketing Alignment

Misalignment between sales and marketing is common, disadvantaging businesses with segmented teams. 

The shared goal of boosting sales and revenue makes maintaining alignment essential. 

Industry-wide, silos between these teams have led to inefficiencies, such as creating marketing content without conversion goals, resulting in wasted resources.

Statistics highlight the negative impact of poor alignment: 60-70% of B2B content goes unused due to irrelevance, and 79% of marketing leads fail to convert due to insufficient customer engagement. 

These issues can be mitigated when both teams work together towards the same objectives.

Why Sales and Marketing Teams Need to Be Aligned

Aligning sales and marketing efforts may give your company the best chance for expansion. 

When your sales and marketing teams collaborate, more effort is put into achieving objectives like return on investment and revenue.

Let's look at some of the effects of sales and marketing alignment on your company.

Sales Team Not Picking up New Leads

Reachforce claims that sales representatives spend more time prospecting their leads than pursuing up to 50% of marketing leads. That is enough to make you dizzy.

But in practice, does your sales staff receive assistance in understanding how marketing generates new leads? And how are new leads added to their list made known to them? 

Sales may be losing out on crucial lead information by operating in silos. And why would your sales staff be eager to pick up leads if your marketing team has traditionally been dropping off low-quality leads?

Aligning sales and marketing will allow both teams to collaborate on a single objective.

Sales Teams Getting Low-Quality Leads

Is your sales team complaining about the poor quality of the leads?

When sales and marketing operate independently, leads generated by marketing are frequently passed over the fence to sales, never to be handled again. Data disconnect affects many marketers, particularly those in the B2B sector.

They can monitor the number of leads they are producing. Nevertheless, they frequently struggle to comprehend where those leads are from and which results in income. 

The difficulty in producing high-quality leads is due to this gap.

Shorten Sales Cycle

The evolution of the B2B purchasing process has led to a significantly more complicated purchase cycle and a significant change in client interactions. 

Customers actively put off dealing with salespeople and frequently disregard conventional strategies like phone calls and emails.

Sales and marketing professionals must collaborate to deliver the message their clients want when they want it. 

Segmentation, targeting, content creation, nurturing, content engagement, and customer support are recent innovations in the industry.

Increase Revenue Through Marketing and Show ROI

The issues we have discussed thus far have an impact on your reporting. 

Even if your teams attend meetings, your marketing and sales teams' key performance indicators (KPIs) likely differ significantly. 

The reporting is so disjointed that we question whether this is not the root of every other issue. Reporting on revenue is necessary for sales and marketing alignment.

Yes, you can continue to report on different KPIs to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing, such as lead generation or vanity metrics. 

Your teams must comprehend how their efforts directly affect one another to emphasize return on investment throughout the entire funnel, from marketing to sales.

A Better Understanding of Your Customers 

Only 15% of companies collaborate on buyer personas when marketing and sales are not correctly synchronized. 

On the other hand, 58% of businesses with high levels of alignment work together to define and identify their buyer personas.

The creation of buyer personas is typically the responsibility of marketing, which will gather data through market research methods, including social media, client interviews, and competitor analysis. 

Yet, talking with actual clients and prospects is the greatest way to define the buyer persona. Sales talk to customers daily, so they know their most significant problems and most urgent objectives. 

Companies can learn what customers think about their offer, pricing, and marketing content and which completes the deal the fastest.

Marketing can use behavioral data to determine the kind of information the audience consume and how they choose to engage. 

Both teams must collaborate to develop authentic personalities. As a result, marketing can generate more leads that are more likely to convert into sales.

Better Customer Experience 

Sales and marketing teams that work together to close deals can increase their efficiency by up to 67% and see a 36% increase in client retention. 

One of the main forces behind success is maintaining the satisfaction of prospects and clients. In about 57% of B2B purchasing transactions, buyers and vendors never communicate.

Buyers might not make decisions based on your organization's marketing content. Instead, peer-to-peer recommendations and independent review websites influence purchases more than ever.

Today's consumers will read reviews on independent websites, look for mentions of your business on social media, and consult their networks for recommendations. 

Hence it is crucial to coordinate the efforts of your sales and marketing teams to give customers a smooth experience as they move through the funnel.

By coordinating your sales, service, and marketing efforts, you can give your customers the greatest possible experience. 

Customers who have a positive experience will advocate for your brand. Greater churn rates may be brought on by ineffective communication, a lack of internal processes, and misalignment:

Should you let potential customers communicate with you wherever, whenever, and however they like, or must they adhere to a rigid process? 

Is your purchasing procedure unclear or cluttered? Are marketing and sales sending redundant and annoying emails to prospective clients about the same topics?

By improving the shopping experience and reducing friction, you can encourage customers to recommend your company to others.

Simplify Your Workflows

Your marketing department probably uses a different piece of software than your sales team. And let's not even begin to discuss reporting!

Although sales report on revenue, marketing probably reports on leads. The right marketing tool can help you to share reports while working on the same technology. 

The truth is that while your sales staff depends on marketing to help generate leads, marketing depends on sales to gain helpful customer intelligence.

A More Unified and Agile Approach to the Customer Journey 

Specific product purchase cycles are quicker than others, depending on the product. 

Complicated B2B solutions may require 6 to 10 decision-makers, each bringing 4 or 5 pieces of information they have independently obtained to the discussion.

Personalizing prospects' information is crucial along the buyer's journey. Marketing can see the touchpoints, such as the website and social media, where the potential customer is connected with the brand. 

The sales staff converses with prospects in the interim to better understand their problems and needs and to find any potential friction points in the sales process.

As a result, you may determine what content is required based on the stage of the customer journey that prospects are in.

Why Is Aligning the Marketing and Sales Teams Hard?

Aligning marketing and sales teams can be challenging due to communication, objectives, and incentives differences. As these teams grow, maintaining alignment becomes increasingly tricky. 

Often, sales teams focus on pursuing leads that result in sales due to their commission-based incentives, while marketers concentrate on generating leads.

These differing priorities can make it hard for sales teams to appreciate marketers' efforts and for marketers to understand the importance of lead quality. 

Addressing these discrepancies and fostering effective communication can help bridge the gap, making alignment between marketing and sales more achievable.

Key Sales and Marketing Alignment Statistics

These are some important figures to remember if you are unsure whether sales and marketing alignment is right for you:

  • Strong sales and marketing congruence results in 20% yearly business growth rates.
  • Of marketing leads, 79% never result in sales. It frequently results from inadequate lead nurturing.

Professionals in marketing and sales were polled. Ruler Analytics' report shows that 93% of organizations employ sales and marketing alignment regularly.

Also, Ruler Analytics discovered that 98% of companies believe that aligning sales and marketing increases corporate performance.

What is essential for achieving marketing and sales alignment? 

85% of firms think achieving sales and marketing alignment is possible when goals and KPIs are the same.

Components of Sales and Marketing Alignment 

Your goals, procedures, and processes must align for the sales and marketing to be aligned.

Aligning Goals

Although sales and marketing are members of the same organization, their objectives are frequently very different. 

Although sales representatives are trying to close as many deals as possible, marketers may adopt a long-term plan, such as developing the core branding content, increasing brand recognition, implementing an SEO strategy, etc.

Yet, generating income and boosting the company's bottom line should be the overarching goals of both marketing and sales.

Set the general corporate objectives for the upcoming quarter, year, and five years. Make sure that rather than vanity measures, they are based on income.

Examples of revenue objectives might be to: 

  • Increase gross revenue by 15% by year's end.
  • Increase brand recognition to 30% of the intended market.
  • Enter a new market, and your top-line sales will rise by 10%.

To more effectively achieve these objectives, both parties should cooperate.

Marketing teams should adopt a more sales-oriented strategy to attract prospects into the funnel by including urgency, scarcity, and other direct response marketing techniques. 

Marketing teams can also assist sales teams in scoring leads, segmenting them, and delivering tailored drip campaigns following their requirements. 

For instance, sending advertisements personalized to a particular industry could help increase the conversion rate of leads into consumers.

As sales teams build connections with prospects, they can give the marketing team comments on improving the customer profile or marketing materials. 

The sales team will know the prospects' needs because they frequently contact them. The marketing team can use this information to better serve their needs by utilizing the comments.

Aligning Roles 

Understanding their roles is vital to ensuring that employees are effective in their daily activities. 

You use the following steps to summarize the buyer's journey:

  1. Lead generation using an online platform.
  2. Create leads by converting traffic visitors.
  3. Take care of new leads.
  4. Use a sales team to complete the sale.

The sales team should know the steps prospects must take before approaching them. 

It enables the team to ascertain the knowledge they already possess and lack regarding their brand. 

They can fulfill their job of closing deals more successfully as a result.

Marketing needs to learn more about the methods salespeople use to close prospects. 

They might better cater to prospects with these strategies. 

To address potential customers' concerns and objections about scheduling the demo, a marketer may, for instance, mention some of the advantages of booking a demo.

Aligning Technology and Systems

Gone are the days of using multiple incompatible tools. Today's systems and software should seamlessly collect and distribute data. 

To provide a complete customer view, it's essential to coordinate technologies like marketing automation and CRM software.

Integration is vital; for example, a scheduling solution should connect with CRM and marketing automation systems, enabling sales representatives to follow up on scheduled demos. 

As much as possible, all technologies should be synchronized.

Consider a prospect who attends a demo but is undecided. 

A sales representative logs the opportunity as closed in the CRM, which then shares the data with the marketing automation platform.

This enables retargeting campaigns to nurture interested leads but still need to be ready to purchase.

Sales and Marketing Alignment: 15 Best Tips

The sales and marketing teams may often have a long-standing misalignment. 

To believe that you can eliminate this overnight is naive.

Instead, correcting the mismatch will need a significant amount of persistent effort from several team members.

Here are 15 steps you may start taking to begin your journey toward a future of complete alignment.

Develop and Track Shared KPIs

Traditionally, sales and marketing teams track separate KPIs, focusing on new clients, revenue generation, organic traffic, and lead development. 

However, both teams need to be aware of each other's progress toward quarterly objectives and have access to updated data.

When sales performance is below expectations, marketing can provide sales enablement materials, like buyer's guides, to shorten the sales cycle and close more deals. 

Conversely, sales representatives can use their customer insights to help marketing generate targeted content and traffic.

Ultimately, both teams benefit from increased traffic, shorter sales cycles, and higher revenue. Understanding each other's contributions is crucial for shared success.

Invest in Strong Leadership

Your leadership team should ideally be well-aligned so that you can swiftly accept new members and drive it from the top. 

Have new sales or marketing employees integrated into sales and marketing processes as soon as you can if you are hiring them.

While some of the current staff may be more challenging to convert, having an excellent onboarding process for new hires means you will have more human resources to help you make it work.

Sales and marketing are aligned through leadership. No tool or KPI can save the team without it.

Share Wins and Updates

It might be challenging for the rest of the company to keep up with what content has been developed and published for teams involved in inbound marketing.

To address this, marketing should inform the entire organization, at least once a quarter, of the content that has been produced, who contributed to its creation, and how it has boosted traffic and sales. 

It promotes transparency and provides credit to sales and service personnel participating in content production.

Be sure also to celebrate sales at the same time. Shout out in a business update or Slack if a significant deal closes. 

Find out how that customer arrived at your website using your CRM. Did they come there as a result of some content? If so, inform everyone in the business.

Expand Professional Development Opportunities

Send your sales staff to a marketing convention if you want them to be enthusiastic about your marketers' work. Alternatively, make them read a significant marketing book.

Have your sales marketers use the same procedure. Take a look at what is hot, engaging, and doable.

Your teams will develop a future shared vision and a shared vocabulary to discuss due to a shared learning experience.

Not only that, though. Such interactions foster camaraderie, which will undoubtedly benefit the entire company.

Check-in Regularly 

Of course, your marketing team will have an excellent understanding of sales if you adopt marketing attribution. 

You should nevertheless attend regular sales meetings and stay in touch with one another.

You can find potential marketing team solutions if you understand your sales team and their present challenges. 

They may spend a lot of time manually sending emails you could automate. Or they may want to contact a long list of previous leads but are unsure where to begin. 

Your marketing department could develop a personalized email cadence to generate warmer leads and boost sales.

Tracking your sales and marketing metrics should become a weekly and monthly routine. 

In this manner, check to see if it is aligned or out of alignment and make corrections.

Run a Regular Content Brainstorm Together

Although everyone hesitates to schedule new meetings, this one is significant. 

Have a content writer meet with your sales team once a month to develop a list of content ideas that directly address the demands of your customers.

These sessions ensure that sales reps are involved in and aware of the content generation process.

Also, marketers feel more connected to their customers when they hear directly from sales representatives. As a result, their content has a higher chance of connecting with website visitors who are potential clients.

Set Shared Goals

To harmonize sales and marketing, both teams should work towards the same overarching objectives, such as acquiring new clients and leads. 

While they may have individual or team-specific goals, aligning their KPIs and targets is crucial for effective collaboration and strategy development.

Shared goals foster consensus on buyer personas and journeys, ensuring seamless transitions throughout the sales funnel and preventing confusing messaging. 

By jointly tracking KPIs using the same technologies, both teams can ensure accurate and efficient data processing and analytics.

Historically, sales and marketing have had distinct objectives, like monthly revenue or website visitors. 

However, in a comprehensive marketing plan, both teams should focus on mutual KPIs, such as conversion rates and lead value, to work together effectively.

Work Together to Drive Quality Leads

Sales teams must fill their pipelines with quality prospects; even if you have 100 leads, they mean nothing if you do not have the money or are not the proper fit. 

Ensure the marketing team implements campaigns to satisfy these requirements and that the sales and marketing teams agree on the perfect client.

Periodically evaluate the close rates of your marketing and sales team, identify what is impeding a greater close rate, and put initiatives in place across the marketing and sales teams to address this.

Perform a Buyer's Journey Audit

To audit your buyer's journey, from content to conversion offers to email sequences to sales calls, have a salesman and a marketer collaborate.

Perform a Buyer’s Journey Audit

Make a list of follow-up steps that you may take to eliminate discrepancies and match your messaging to customers throughout their entire interaction with your business.

From now on, conduct this kind of audit once per year.

Open Your Feedback Loop

The exchange and discussion of customer feedback amongst divisions are also essential. It is how a typical customer feedback loop would seem.

  1. Synchronize lead qualification standards. Not every comment is fair. To prioritize feedback, departments must understand what the organization considers a marketing and sales-qualified lead.
  2. See the way customers engage. Record significant sales discussions, observations made during demo calls, support tickets, etc.
  3. Gather and talk about the reactions and exchanges. Set up cross-departmental meetings to discuss lead encounters and consumer feedback.
  4. Enhance the complete sales and marketing procedure.

Plan Internal Teach-Ins

Sales and marketing can benefit greatly from one another:

Marketing can help from sales by sharing:

  • Direct experience with consumer demands
  • Issues that are raised during the sales process
  • Selling can be aided by marketing if
  • Utilizing the CRM properly
  • Best practices for email
  • Plans for the next content

Have a casual lunch and learn or another type of meeting once a month so that one person can impart advice or ideas to a different team. 

An invitation to a lunch and learn might read: "Joe, our representative, will demonstrate how to create a reporting dashboard in HubSpot on Thursday at 12:30."

These lunch-and-learns should be unstructured and open to anyone. People will come and learn if they recognize the value.

Use Insights From Closed Customers

Your company hires your sales crew for a reason. You want them to get to know your clients so they can sell them your goods. Utilize that insight.

Nobody knows your potential customer's problems better than sales, even though your marketing team will be able to identify many of them.

Analyzing customer feedback is one of the finest ways to synchronize your sales and marketing teams. 

Collecting this information through customer service calls is highly encouraged to ensure customers need your products and services.

Your sales will immediately rise when you meet your client's needs. Customer input not only helps you produce better products and enhances your marketing.

With good feedback, you can create promotional strategies to increase sales effectiveness and income. 

Finally, you may apply these results to choose particular words for the next marketing communications.

Spend Time Learning About Each Other's Work

Team alignment will only occur if you invest the necessary time. 

Tell everyone that these are the expectations moving forward if you are the team leader:

  1. Everyone in the marketing division will spend an hour per week listening to sales call recordings.
  2. Everyone in the sales department will set aside an hour each week to read fresh blog posts, watch fresh videos, and peruse email templates and website content.

This comparatively tiny investment will result in enormous benefits.

Motivate Your Team 

Motivate your teams. You must first inspire everyone on your team, from the CEO to the entry-level sales rep, to better grasp the financial worth of their work if you want to achieve sales and marketing alignment.

The next step is to specify how each function helps a company achieve its financial objectives. 

The key to alignment is to predict the broad trends in your market and how your business plan may take advantage of them rather than thinking about tactical projects.

Report on Revenue

How can marketers report revenue? Marketing attribution. The most crucial method for implementing successful sales and marketing alignment is this.

One of the most useful things I can convey to customers, associates, friends, and employers is that setting up your marketing team to focus on sales KPIs is the surest approach to establishing true sales and marketing alignment.

Ranking for excellent keywords and receiving thousands of visitors organically to your website is great, but they are meaningless if you are not generating any revenue. 

Work with your sales staff to improve the performance of these pages so they can inform you which pages produce the most leads.

FAQs: Align Sales Team

What does sales alignment mean?

Sales and marketing alignment means having unified objectives, strategies, and communication channels. 

It can entail combining the two teams into a single department or consolidating workflows and goals.

How do you align sales and marketing teams?

To align sales and marketing, consider small initiatives like regular meetings, centralized communication channels, and team email aliases. For long-term success, focus on establishing shared objectives, KPIs and coordinated reporting and marketing efforts.

Why is it so important to align sales and marketing strategies?

By reducing overlap and conflict between the sales and marketing teams, aligning your sales and marketing can improve internal operations. Additionally, it offers a more consistent consumer experience throughout the entire sales funnel.

Conclusion: Align Sales Team

Enhancing sales and marketing alignment involves collaboration to help customers find their desired solutions. 

Creating seamless customer experiences requires strategic planning, open communication, and ongoing adjustments.

Utilizing the same tools, processes, and aligned objectives is key to success. 

Bridging the data gap with marketing attribution ensures relevant information is accessible to both teams. 

Consumers now self-educate extensively before purchasing, so marketing content has become crucial for customer acquisition.

By aligning sales and marketing teams and their goals, you can create a seamless customer journey from awareness to purchase, ultimately improving overall business performance.

Written By
Kim Pañares

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