Sales and marketing are two key activities that drive business revenues. In marketing, businesses identify the target market and decide how to offer products and services to customers.
Meanwhile, salespeople interact with prospects acquired through the efforts of the marketing team. The sales team aims to keep prospects interested enough to make purchases. Because of this connection, your sales and marketing strategies must complement each other.
If your business can’t get these two teams together, your business will suffer. This article would discuss some actionable tips in aligning your marketing and sales strategy to achieve revenue growth.
Aligning Marketing And Sales
More commonly known as ‘smarketing,’ sales and marketing alignment occur when these core teams share their resources and work seamlessly to drive higher earnings. In a survey, a marketing research firm discovered that sales and marketing alignment could lead to a 32% increase in revenues.
Instead of working in separate stages of the business—with marketing folks drawing in prospects and with sales reps closing the deal—this alignment aims to optimize these efforts through shared resources, principles, and objectives.
Here are some ways to align your sales and marketing strategy:
1. Establish Coherent Workflows
The first step in aligning these teams is to set transparent business workflows. Without proper procedures in place, these teams will continue to work in separate silos to drive revenues. As a result, these teams will target random prospects, which could lead to missed opportunities and costly mistakes.
Both teams must have clearly defined tasks based on the integrated marketing and sales funnel. These responsibilities should be clear to the marketing organization and sales team.
Harmonizing the teams’ efforts will require your business to establish clear guidelines, where the customers’ first point of contact must be the marketing department. As such, make it clear that the marketing is targeting potential clients and generating leads. Sales team steps in when the prospect is about to make a purchase. Coming up with transparent work processes encourages collaboration instead of disconnect between these two units.
2. Have A Clear Definition Of Leads
One of the most contentious topics for both departments is the issue of defining what a lead is. Generally, leads describe individuals or another business entity as potential consumers of your product or service.
Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) are prospects who’ve been informed of your offerings and have shown interest in availing of your product or service. Sales qualified leads (SQLs), on the other hand, are leads who’ve gone through the funnel and are likely to be converted into actual customers. Once your teams have a common understanding of what leads are, start discussing how to handle each type of lead.
3. Ensure Frequent And Open Communication
Organize regular meetings between the marketing and sales teams to thresh out issues and share feedback. The sales team often has more prolonged interactions with customers who may have shared issues with you or the competitor’s products. Being in charge of relaying information about the products and services, the marketing department must convey the right messages to prospects to move them successfully through the sales or conversion funnel.
4. Make Your Content Accessible To Both Teams
It’s true that content is king. Your marketing and sales team members will have challenges communicating the right concepts to business prospects without appropriate knowledge of the critical messages.
Remember that your product or service aims to provide solutions to consumers’ pain points. If your sales and marketing units can’t convey product benefits to your lead, they may not be able to make the sale. So, practice good content management and ensure all your resources are accessible to your marketing and sales representatives.
5. Use Customer Relations Management (CRM)
CRM software is a comprehensive platform that stores all information about leads and customers in one place. With it, you can access a minefield of valuable data such as:
- Customer’s profile and contact information
- Purchase history
- Complaints and issues
- Site usage
- Contact history with marketing or sales team
- Notes and comments, including follow-ups
As such, CRM software proves to be a precious tool for your business, most especially the marketing and sales team. With all data available in one application, team members know exactly what to say and do without the need for back-and-forth communication. Having this system increases efficiency and improves the execution of marketing and sales strategies.
6. Set Integrated Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
As marketing and sales embark on a journey for alignment, the only thing left to do is establish common objectives for both teams. Set a baseline and look for gaps identified by a data analytics report culled from the CRM software. Identify weaknesses and opportunities to improve overall processes. Don’t forget to assign KPIs to track both teams’ progress and each member’s accomplishments.
Bringing your sales and marketing teams together involves all stakeholders to have a common understanding of what needs to be done and how to perform the strategies coherently. Sales and marketing staff must have access to all the resources and communicate openly to achieve shared goals.