When sales and marketing teams work towards the same goals, marketing ROI, productivity and revenue all increase. This is why sales and marketing alignment should be a priority for organisations. In this post we are going to give you an in depth overview of sales and marketing alignment and the benefits of smarketing for organisations.
What is sales and marketing alignment
Sales and marketing alignment is basically aligning the goals for an organisations sales and marketing teams. Traditionally marketing and sales teams would work autonomously, with the marketing team focused on the metrics, such as leads, impressions, website visits etc, while sales teams had to meet sales targets.
Sales and marketing alignment requires the sales and marketing teams to work together, support each other and follow processes to achieve common organisational goals.
The concept of B2B sales and marketing alignment will generate more sales through better conversion rates resulting from communication between the sales and marketing teams regarding leads.
In practice sales and marketing alignment leads to more structure between the marketing and sales teams as the marketing team will:
- understand which marketing strategies are generating most leads
- know which leads need nurturing
- know how to segment leads
- know which leads can be passed on to the sales team to close
While sales teams will:
- know which leads need to be followed up
- know which leads require further nurturing
With goals aligned and teams working together, both sales and marketing can greatly benefit each other.
How can sales help marketing
Reasons for sales not closing
One of the main benefits of the two teams working together is the fact that the sales team can give feedback to the marketing team regarding the reasons why prospects are not ready to buy. This allows for a strategy to be put in place to further nurture the prospect until they are ready to buy.
Testimonials for marketing campaigns
Social proof is essential for selling a product or service. Having your sales team obtain testimonials from clients and to pass on to the marketing team to use for future campaigns with help to increase leads and improve the trustworthiness of your brand.
Detailed CRM Data
With sales and marketing teams working with the same CRM system, both teams can build the profile for each prospect. This information will help to provide a better indication of the messaging to use for marketing campaigns and will help to close deals.
How does marketing help sales
While sales information can help a marketing team, marketing can certainly help a sales team during a tough month.
Ramp up marketing spend to generate leads
Leads are essential for sales teams, by increasing spend on marketing, an increase of leads will give the sales team a better chance of conversions for the month. By increasing spend on the campaigns that are generating the most leads and sales, you will have a better chance of increasing revenue for the month.
Should there be a tough question that a sales rep cannot answer, by working closely with the marketing team, information will be easily obtainable through close communication.
What is the relationship between sales and marketing
Sales and marketing are tied together through the buyers funnel. Without marketing, sales would be impossible as cold calling is dead. Without sales, marketing efforts are wasted as there are no method to effectively close sales.
The diagram below shows the shift in the sales funnel from traditional sales to modern sales.
How to align sales and marketing
Sales and marketing can be aligned through the interlinking of the relationship between the two teams.
The goals for sales and marketing should be ROI. A strong smarketing team will work towards achieving revenue goals based on KPIs. By employing a common goal, the departments are on a level playing field with less resentment between teams concerned about workload.
Department team meetings should be attended by both sales and marketing teams. This allows better communication between the teams. Each team needs to know how the other is performing and what each need to do to achieve the overall goal.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
A sales and marketing team must create a service level agreement (SLA) of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).
Teams must agree on what is deemed a qualified lead and from there, targets can be created.
A typical sales and marketing SLA will include definitions of a marketing qualified lead and sales qualified lead and outline follow up processes, time frames, alerts and prospect communication processes.
B2B sales and marketing alignment best practices
Communication is key to successfully align sales and marketing teams. Everything from updates on processes, challenges, progress and results should be communicated between teams.
Using software programs such as Slack is a great way to communicate and all communications and updates can be found in one place.
Sales teams can provide their input into marketing content while marketing teams can provide vital information required for a sales team to close a deal. Having both teams working together to achieve a common goal will boost relationships, increase productivity and fuel business growth.
By implementing the same processes both teams can work towards achieving revenue goals. By using a collaborative software system, processes can be implemented on a cross team basis.
Another useful tip is to implement a list of definitions from the outset to improve communication and eliminate misunderstandings.
As mentioned above, common goals are essential for sales and marketing alignment. Instead of working on individualistic goals, aligning sales and marketing goals with ROI will improve productivity and essentially boost revenue goals for an organisation.
Does Smarketing work for all industries?
Smarketing will work for most B2B companies and from our experience, it works well for:
Aligning sales and marketing is a proven strategy to improve your profit margins.