Sales and marketing have very different functions within a company. Although they both work towards the common goal of driving growth, they do so in very different ways.
Sales teams work directly with potential customers steering them towards making a purchase. They create relationships, discuss the prospect’s problem, and explain how their product will solve the prospect’s problem.
Marketing teams are responsible for increasing the awareness of their brand and product directed at a large audience. The best marketing efforts tend to be a longer process causing an increase in sentiment over time, and ultimately driving prospects into the sales funnel.
The Conflict Between Sales and Marketing
According to research by Demand Gen, the three biggest obstacles sales and marketing alignment faces include communication, broken and/or flawed processes, and working towards different metrics. However, if they would avoid operating as separate entities, and work together, they become far more powerful.
The following five tips for aligning sales and marketing teams will set you up for success by helping drive productivity and increased revenue for your company, as I presented at the “Aligning Sales & Marketing for Quality Leads” meetup led by Resa Gooding from Cacao Media at Google for Startup, which you can see in this video.
Top Tips for Aligning Sales and Marketing
Perfect Your Funnel
Do you not have enough MQLs? Widen your net! There are many ways to generate more leads through improving SEO, PPC campaigns, running webinars, social media, e-books, etc. Some of these options are inexpensive like creating your own webinar and driving downloads from organic social posts. Do you not have enough SQLs or too many unqualified SQLs? Define your lead criteria better!
Defining Lead Criteria is Crucial
There is a gap between the marketing funnel and the sales funnel where the MQLs should be converting into SQLs. Sales and marketing need to work together to define which leads should be considered MQLs. You can use BANT or CHAMP for some of the criterias and then add fields you need answered by the prospects that are more specific (company size, revenue, # of servers, # of customers, etc.). Be on the same page and have strictly defined guidelines. Sales will be motivated to call all of the MQLs that come into the funnel, there will be higher conversions and increased productivity.
Define Marketing Personas WITH Sales
Communication Communication Communication
- Collaborate better – Use one unified collaboration tool like Slack/Teams for instant messaging in groups and one-on-one. You can utilize the MENT bot on top of either Slack or Teams to structure the more in-depth discussions/debates.
- Have fun together! Schedule happy hours, lunches, beers, or days out with both sales and marketing teams. Don’t just talk when there’s a problem, unify the teams on a personal level too.
- Store your content better. There are specific knowledge management tools or you can use your Dropbox/Google Drive/Box to give everyone access to the content you’re creating. Make sure that everything is labeled, organized, and easy to access. Put ebooks/case studies/infographics/checklists/white papers in folders with labels based on what stage in the funnel they are at, what type of company (industry/company size) they are from, etc.
Align KPIs and Metrics
Assign KPIs to marketing and sales that help drive increased revenue and keep everyone focused on the success of the team as a whole. Marketing should have KPIs based on the quantity of SQLs and not based on MQLs — this will bring in more qualified leads. SDRs should have KPIs based on quantities of meetings set and not conversions from MQLs to SQLs — this will help drive SDRs to push hard and call every single lead and not just the low hanging fruit. Sales should have KPIs based on total revenue or quantity of deals closed.
Ensure Ongoing Alignment
Alignment between sales and marketing teams can easily be made ongoing by using the best tools for internal collaboration, such as MENT, as well as updating collaboration processes by incorporating the following:
- Weekly or monthly departmental head meetings
- Collaboration between both teams in brainstorming sessions
- Input from sales team in marketing content creation process
- Collaboration in regards to industry events
- Regular sharing of content and resources between both teams
Follow these 5 steps and you will be able to work together and drive more success and higher revenue for the company.