10. April 2020 Blog

How to align marketing and sales teams

It might be tough to pinpoint the exact reason, but the misalignment between sales and marketing is more common than you think. In fact, these both teams tend to work separately, and both of them suffer because of that in the long run. Why is it important to align sales and marketing, and how can you achieve that?

Marketing and sales have pretty much the same goal: to boost revenue. Even though they use different methods to actually achieve it, it’s crucial to keep them in sync. As a matter of fact, sales and marketing alignment can bring your business multiple benefits - and increasing productivity of both teams is just one of them.

Why should you align marketing and sales?

Since consumers have become increasingly more demanding and the majority of the purchase process happens online - the collaboration between marketing and sales matters more than ever. Many buyers decide to do their research before deciding to purchase anything - and plenty of them claim that going online and researching is far better than interacting with a salesperson.

That’s precisely when a marketing team can come in and truly influence sales - provided that it’s equipped with relevant insights. In fact, rumour has it that plenty of B2B content is never used, simply  because the subject topics are not searched for by the target audience.

When both teams work together, though, they can easily figure out what topics are important for the potential buyers, and what questions should be answered to facilitate the purchasing process. 

Actually, the collaboration can truly facilitate lead generation - especially when you care about the quality of leads. Sales specialists are the right people to judge what type of leads are most likely to turn into customers, and what types are not really worth the effort - at least not at the moment.

If they share this type of knowledge with marketers, your business is more likely to generate highly qualified leads in the long run.

At the end of the day, marketers are only successful if salespeople are - and vice versa. The efforts of both teams intertwine, which is why they both should be on the same page. This, however, won’t happen if they don’t have the right attitude and dedicated tools at their disposal. Once they are able (and willing) to work together, the results can be mind-blowing.

How to align marketing and sales, then?

Even though the objectives of both teams are similar, they focus on different aspects and metrics of bringing in new clients. That’s why you need to make it easier for both teams to understand each other, and work together towards the same goal. Here’s how:

  • Outline a common marketing & sales funnel. Once you have a “plan” with clearly defined targets, roles and responsibilities - it’s easier for both teams to follow it and take ownership for certain actions and their results. Don’t forget to involve both teams in the process of its creation, as they can definitely bring different ideas (and concerns) to the table. It’s also important to review the funnel every once in a while, and see what, if anything, can be done better.
  • Hold regular meetings. There’s no better way to facilitate collaboration than to make actual room for it. Hold regular meetings to keep track of everyone’s performance and exchange insights along the way – but remember to give both teams a voice.
  • Enable online communication. There’s no successful collaboration if both parties can’t communicate effectively. Make sure that’s not the case! Equip your teams with cloud-based software that facilitates communication and knowledge sharing - it will be easier for everyone involved if all conversations, resources, and assets are kept in one place.           
  • Speaking of software - you should definitely equip your sales & marketing teams with powerful tools. Communication & project management apps are not the only ones that both teams can find useful - a virtual call center, bulk email software or marketing automation tools can also make a difference to their efforts.

To give you an example: a cloud-based phone system like CloudTalk makes it possible to record all sales-related calls so that marketers can listen to them and draw conclusions for themselves. Why does it matter?

Simply because it can be a great learning experience that will help your marketing teams get more content ideas and insights. This, in turn, will make it easier for them to craft better blog posts, FAQ entries, and follow-up emails, just to name a few. It's also important to choose an inbound marketing automation tool. For example HubSpot. Or if it doesn't work for you consider an alternative to HubSpot.

Ready to align your marketing and sales teams?

In order to have both teams aligned, you have to ensure that they work towards the same objective and know exactly what their input should be along the way. Everything should be synchronised - roles, responsibilities, as well as available systems and tools. In a nutshell, then, marketing and sales alignment comes down to aligning goals and technology.  

It might not seem easy at first, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

As a matter of fact, once sales and marketing teams align, they both can achieve better results and have a greater impact on the sales cycle duration, conversion rates, and revenue. What’s not to like about it?