When your sales and marketing people work in their separate silos, independently plowing their own way towards a sale, you learn about it soon enough! With no sales and marketing alignment, your sales fail to reach the level you forecast. And with no communication between the silos, or between those involved in marketing and sales, whether insourced or outsourced, you can almost hear from your office the war of accusations – each blaming the others for any failure to close deals.
But in an age of buyer’s moving through a circular buying process – between content, web, chatbots, form-filling, and sales material – silos allow for drop-out. Sometimes due to the resulting poor customer experience.
What can you do about it? In this article, we’ll discuss how to get your sales and marketing alignment on track – preferably with a whole-business growth strategy organized around RevOps. But let’s start with a definition.
What is Sales and Marketing Alignment?
Alignment in this arena refers to a strategy within which both your marketers and your sales reps will share systems and processes that enable them to work together successfully as a united enterprise.
For example, according to Review42, companies that align marketing and sales are 67% more efficient at closing sales and bring about 36% higher customer retention.
A successful alignment will therefore show up in mastery of communication, sales strategy, shared goals, and successful closes. And as a result, your organization can enjoy transparency, collaboration, efficient marketing activities, quality leads that grow revenue, and ultimately sales effectiveness.
What Goes Wrong Traditionally?
For a long time, sales and marketing in larger businesses have worked in silos. In smaller businesses, marketers and reps have also often worked on their own, with different systems, communication styles, and goals. The result is very little trust between them to implement efficient activities that convert a lead to a paying customer.
Because of this longstanding poor relationship, organizations have often suffered the following consequences:
1 Both sales and marketing are not on the same page about their lead generation process and the customer buying journey.
Marketing may, for example, invent wonderful materials to generate ideal customer leads but fail to agree with sales reps about relevant events in the current marketplace, and best wording for each sales stage in the customer’s experience of your firm.
2 There’s misalignment on the overall goal and no clarity on the value proposition.
Many activities start in marketing, with the aim of making the product or service known to many. But sales teams are on a specific funnel journey, using your value proposition, one to one, customized. Because of this lack of alignment the sales funnel’s needs are often not met.
3 Sales and marketing operate at greater cost and effort when there’s lack of collaboration.
Duplications, omissions, and irrelevance add to your business’s budget. In today’s economic and challenging sales climate, this can spell disaster.
4 There are no clear strategies that guide the business to achieve/close a sale.
There is a clear path to a sale, and it involves marketing too. But if sales and marketing alignment is missing, you’ll likely find – upstream – that there’s no united strategy written into your business’s playbook. Without this guide, your marketing and sales people are floating haphazardly without a rudder.
5 Sales and marketing managers (in larger companies, at least) tend to have loaded plates because they can’t rely on their teams.
Without a clearly defined and reliable relationship between the two teams, you’ll find your managers take on roles they normally would delegate. It’s a result of their desperate, but misguided, attempts to steady the route to a close.
Setting Up a Good Sales and Marketing Team Structure: Get it Right
How you approach sales and marketing alignment will determine how well the relevant people work together. Having an overall strategy, as we mentioned, helps you to get the marketing and sales structures working towards a known common goal, with some consistency.
Remind everyone that all marketing and sales activities should be aligned towards the agreed single goal. So, share your goals and objectives to help them be accountable to each other.
This is important because otherwise everyone has their own perspective and focuses on their own preferences.
For example, marketing is used to longer-term projects and more general objectives like generating qualified leads, increasing brand/product recognition, etc. Meanwhile, sales people are used to specific weekly or monthly objectives – such as contacting a smaller group of clients, solving problems for prospects, or personalizing a customer’s buying journey.
A shared goal will help unite these perspectives, so everyone understands how they can help each other win on an organizational level.
Strategies and roles
Marketing focuses on developing strategies to help the lead generation process. Sales reps expect marketers to provide leads to help them close and meet quarterly goals. However, to accomplish your company’s revenue goal, marketing and sales need to complement each other in every aspect.
This means you must require reps and marketers to strategize together to understand the status of the market today and what can be done to address the situation.
Working together leads to a common understanding of strategies and roles in an overall enterprise and will define individual responsibilities and accountability as if the people involved were one team.
Systems and technology
Establish ever more centralized IT systems to promote collaboration and open communication between both activities. Even though sales and marketing have their own ways of working, centralized systems ensure that all key stakeholders are in the same loop and have access to the same information. This improves transparency and ensures no client or prospect falls into any cracks.
Build Your Successful Sales Organization Around RevOps
Building a successful organization is no longer dependent on marketing and sales alone. Today’s customers have access to a lot of information to guide them to a decision without the help of a marketer or sales person. Frightening but true!
This means your business has to integrate sales, marketing, and operations to stand a chance of meeting your revenue goal.
So, introducing some RevOps into your business is a good way to focus on
- removing the silos between the roles and
- working together on the core activities that drive sales-related goals in today’s customer-centric world.
Winning in Sales and Marketing Alignment
Your sales growth depends on alignment of sales and marketing with your overall operations. The key to winning the war of the silos is, therefore, not to be afraid to innovate. If it’s not working, change it!
Our sales expertise is geared towards helping your business grow via bold change and realignment in sales, marketing, and operations. Let’s talk today!