Marketing & Sales Alignment: 5 steps to achieve total alignment and maximum growth.
The goal for marketing and sales alignment should be for your marketing and sales teams to support one another, rather than work against each other. If you can get both teams to support one another, you will create a frictionless buying experience for your customers, execute your growth strategies with utmost agility, and eventually generate revenue quicker!
The most important thing in marketing and sales alignment is making sure both teams are speaking the same language. If you look at your buyer’s journey, it is essential to make sure that marketing and sales teams are working towards the same goal. It sounds obvious but the way traditional processes and metrics are set up it is almost always that you will find out that there is often a misalignment between both these functions.
A very effective way to align both your teams is by making sure their efforts are being measured and remunerated based on shared KPIs which are closely connected to revenue generation. Measuring marketing success based on revenue contribution forces marketers to think past Internet Qualified Leads (IQLs) and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), and ensures your marketing team is visualizing the buying process in a more holistic way.
Here are 5 ways you can start your alignment journey:
- Develop a long term Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy.
Marketing and sales teams who start with evaluating their Total Addressable Market (TAM) and identifying the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) align easily on the market opportunity. Attributes for identifying the top tier accounts which are to be prioritized should be discovered jointly by both Marketing and Sales teams. Insights shared between both teams in these discussions, will help your marketing team’s lead and account qualification process, and in-turn the sales team will receive more qualified accounts that close faster! Not only that, this will help your marketing team develop better and more targeted content!
The analysis serves as a foundation for a mutually beneficial lead and account qualification model, which assures that accounts that fit ICP are prioritized and accelerated with more agility through the funnel enabling the sales team to engage and target more efficiently to close deals faster.
- Involve your marketing team in sales calls.
Another great way to create marketing and sales alignment is to get your marketing team more involved in the sales process. One way you can do this is by having your marketing team hop in on sales calls. This practice is both beneficial for the marketer, who gets to contribute to closing a customer, and for the sales team, as it allows them to leverage someone who is more knowledgeable on a particular topic.
- One shared KPI: Revenue Generation
If you aren’t already tracking your marketing efforts based on contribution to revenue, it’s time to start. Marketers need to understand the full scope of the funnel and hence their efforts need to be measured correctly. The major problem why marketing and sales teams are misaligned in most companies is because both their efforts are not measured in an appropriate manner. Ultimately, the marketing team’s goal is to help sales close deals and eventually generate revenue for the company, then why should their efforts be measured solely based on the number of leads they generate?
If marketers are hyper-focused on lead generation efforts, the quality will be sacrificed for quantity, creating a greater disconnect between your marketing and sales teams.
- Focus on the entirety of the sales funnel
An optimized sales funnel is not only useful for generating sales, but also for developing lead generation tactics, as well. When the sales funnel is operating optimally, marketing teams can analyze available data to see where prospects are dropping out, and what content keeps them moving down the funnel.
When the sales funnel is understood and accessible to both the sales and marketing teams, individuals can create better content for lead generation while also placing at strategic touchpoints throughout the funnel itself.
- Create aligned processes and terminologies.
Sales and marketing teams should work together to identify their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). A well-rounded ICP will help you uncover which prospects your demand generation team should be targeting. Once both sales and marketing teams understand who the ICP is for the business, they can work together to develop marketing campaigns and sales strategies that align with this targeted audience.
Another strategy for aligning terminology and processes is to create a sales level agreement, otherwise known as an SLA. An SLA can be used between sales and marketing teams to clear up confusion and solidify the roles of each department in the entire lead generation process. Ideally, the SLA for a business will include where teams can find relevant materials, the optimal cadence between sales and marketing teams, and a definition of what qualifies a lead as a high-potential prospect.
As we move away from outdated marketing and sales tactics, forward-thinking businesses will focus on cultivating an environment that promotes alignment to increase revenue, build a cohesive team, and focus on long-term high-value growth for the business. However, sales and marketing alignment is no easy feat. It requires an investment in both time and resources from all involved parties and coming together on a regular basis to discuss goals, communicate concerns, and most importantly, celebrate successes.
By utilizing the five tips for marketing and sales alignment as stated above, these two teams can formulate a strong sales and marketing strategy that incorporates the strengths of both teams which can enable your business to enjoy a frictionless growth phase.