8 Ways To Increase Sales and Marketing Alignment

As the head of a marketing team or sales team, do you ever wonder why deals are not closing? I mean marketing is spreading thousands if not millions of dollars spreading your company’s message. Sales has created a strategic sales plan to get in front of companies both large and small. But for some reason, things are not clicking. The deals are not landing. Revenue has stalled.

Well, the good news is that most likely, your business has an alignment issue. Like your car, if there is no alignment with your sales team and marketing team, it will be hard to stay on the right path. So, how does your business go from an unaligned organization, to a well oiled machine? Here are 8 ways to increase sales and marketing alignment.

1 – Develop A Clear Customer Persona

Does your marketing team know who the sales team is pitching? Does your sales team know who your marketing team is targeting? The answer is no. Did you know that 50% of salesmen and saleswomen ignore leads from marketing. Why is this? Marketing should be lining up sales qualified leads, right? Wrong, most of the time the marketing department is targeting a customer segment that sales has no idea how to talk to.

Develop a customer persona that works for both sales and marketing. Now, your marketing team will help massage the right person and your sales team will be able to have conversations with these targeted customer. Get to know your ideal customer and start closing more deals.

2 – Focus On The Customer

Now you have a solid foundation. Your sales and marketing teams know what customers are being targeted. Now, start to focus both your marketing message and your sales message on your ideal customer. The problem with focusing on the customer, is ensuring that you have the right message. As you start to engage in sales and marketing alignment, make sure that your customer is at the heart of the conversation, not internal politics. Determine what is best for your customer, not your business.

3 – Develop Sales and Marketing KPI’s Together

One of, if not the biggest challenge with sales and marketing alignment is developing key performance indicators (KPI) that work for both the sales and marketing departments. I know that sales and revenue are important for the business, we are talking about beyond the obvious. Establish a cost per lead, cost per customer, lifetime customer value, conversion percentage, etc. Having your sales and marketing team work to the same metrics, will help ensure alignment and increase the likelihood that you close that next deal.

4 – Develop Lead Nurturing Campaigns

Studies show that 65% of marketing teams have not set up lead nurturing campaigns. Think of it this way, not every lead is ready to buy from you. Your sales team needs to be efficient and focused on prospecting and closing, not nurturing these leads that may never convert. The goal of a lead nurturing campaign is to move the lead down the sales funnel and keep them engaged with your company. Lead nurturing campaigns will help your sales team spend less time on nurturing the lead and more time on closing the deal.

5 – Establish Lead Scoring Criteria

Lead scoring is a method used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. The resulting score shows the probability of conversion. 79% of business do not have a lead scoring method in place, costing sales time and efficiency. Establishing these scores will help the sales team focus on closing the right deals. The leads that are ready to buy now, not in 6 months.

6 – Develop A Clear Hand off

Does your sales team know when to contact a hot prospect via phone or email? Develop a system of when your prospect needs to contacted by sales. HINT: lead score. The hand off from marketing to sales can be very tricky. The conversation changes from the company to an individual and the messaging become more direct. Establish not only when, but also how the lead is going to move from marketing to sales. Ensure to smooth transition from marketing to sales and ensure that you close the deal.

7 – Develop A Clear Communication

Most companies work in silos. There is no denying the fact that most companies do not talk internally. Your sales and marketing teams need to be one in the same. I know that most sales professionals are in the field and marketing is typically located in corporate. A monthly sales and marketing meeting can go a long way to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Furthermore, when your sales team communicates with the marketing team about customer issues, obstacles, and problems, the marketing team can create marketing messages that address the needs of the customer. Not the higher level agenda of the board. Get on the same page and ensure that there is clear communication between your department.

8 – Sales Is Your Inbound Marketing Ninja

Inbound marketing is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. Google now processes over 40,000 queries every second or 1.2 trillion queries per year. It is safe to say that your ideal customer is out there, searching for a way you can solve their problem. Now, your sales team is out in the field talking about these problems, face to face with your customer. These problems and conversations need to be part of your inbound marketing content, both on your blog and social media.

Conclusion

Sales and marketing alignment is critical for the success of your company. The closer your marketing team and sales team work together, the more revenue your business will see. Sales and marketing alignment starts by aligning on your ideal customer and continue to build a positive relationship. A relationships built on common key performance indicators and efficient execution. Give your sales department the tools they need to close the deal by aligning your marketing to their needs.

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