The benefits and opportunities for sales and marketing collaboration are undeniable. A Hubspot study revealed that 22% of sales teams claimed an alignment helped them close more deals. An overwhelming 87% of sales and marketing leaders also believe that sales and marketing alignment enables critical business growth.
Creating harmony between sales and marketing teams is so fundamental there’s even a word for it—smarketing.
Working towards smarketing success is achieved through regular communication and shared goals. This joint effort helps foster more efficiencies around lead generation and qualification and maintains consistency for the brand. When these align, it’s a sign that your company is truly focused on the customer.
This article covers how to sync your sales and marketing departments so you can set budgets that make sense, gain more customers and retain the ones you have, and achieve your goals.
While sales and marketing alignment is ideal, it’s sometimes a reality. Sometimes, the sales side does its own thing while marketing does another. Everyone is working hard but doing it in their bubbles, which translates to lost revenue. One study said sales and marketing misalignment is the number reason why a company’s annual revenue doesn’t grow or even declines.
Also, if teams aren’t working jointly, customers and prospects may get different answers if they ask questions about your products and services. It gives your potential and existing customers a less-than-ideal impression of your organization, prompting them to look to competitors.
Sales and marketing silos can be typical in the business world and might be due to several factors, including discrepancies around goals and objectives. Here are a few others:
Slow information sharing between teams: If the nature of your industry changes quickly or a new regulation has caused a big pain point for the buyer, the marketing team needs to know immediately. Otherwise, campaigns and marketing collateral may become obsolete.
Using different project management software programs: Sometimes, various teams use legacy software programs, which means finding alignment through manual processes like spreadsheets can quickly get overwhelming and disorganized.
When marketing and sales teams work in silos, there is often a lack of feedback and communication. This can result in missed opportunities to learn from customer interactions and improve marketing campaigns.
A feedback loop can be established by positioning marketing and sales to work together, allowing sales teams to provide insights from customer conversations and sales experiences to marketing. This helps marketing refine strategies, optimize campaigns, and improve lead-generation efforts based on real-world customer interactions.
Remember relay races? You eagerly wait for your team member to pass the baton; in the best-case scenario, it’s a smooth and seamless transition from one hand to another.
Marketing draws in qualified leads and hands the imaginary baton off to sales. This is why teams need to talk to each other—sales will deeply understand what’s happening in the market and why.
Suppose sales is talking to leads about an upcoming industry-wide change that will cause disruption. They need to convey that to the marketing team.
The company website may be experiencing a spike in a particular blog post or landing page that answers a specific question. The sales team should be alerted so they know to mention this on calls with potential customers.
When marketing and sales teams collaborate, they gain a more comprehensive understanding of the customers. Through market research, data analysis, and customer feedback, marketing can provide valuable customer insights.
Sales teams can contribute their frontline experiences and insights. This deeper understanding allows businesses to tailor their marketing and sales efforts to meet customer needs and preferences better.
It helps establish a consistent brand messaging and position. Then, marketing is in charge of creating a concise and engaging way to put that message out there to establish trust and credibility and to be a thought leader.
Aligning marketing and sales strategies also allows for better measurement of performance and accountability. Both teams need to define shared goals and metrics so that they can track and evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing and sales efforts.
This data-driven approach helps identify areas for improvement, optimize strategies, and hold teams accountable for their contributions to overall business success.
Today, the system of how the two departments collaborate is evolving due to how consumers engage with brands before and after purchasing.
Therefore, building a strategic approach between the teams is more important than ever to ensure the best customer experience.
How to align both teams boils down to effective communication, culture-building, and camaraderie between teams. It means coming up with a method of sharing different ways to communicate and coming up with a strategy and goals so that both teams can work in tandem rather than in silos.
Here are five ideas to get you started:
1. Regular meetings: Sales and marketing teams can schedule regular huddles to discuss ongoing activities, provide updates, and exchange feedback. These meetings can focus on sharing campaign results, discussing lead quality, or addressing any emerging challenges or opportunities.
Regular interaction helps build rapport between the teams, promotes transparency, and allows for real-time adjustments and refinements to marketing strategies based on the insights from sales interactions.
2. Joint strategy sessions: Sales and marketing teams can hold regular sessions to discuss upcoming campaigns, target audience insights, and overall business goals. These sessions allow both groups to share their perspectives, align their strategies, and identify areas of collaboration.
For example, marketing can share upcoming campaigns and gather feedback from the sales team regarding the specific needs and pain points of customers they interact with, which can influence the messaging and targeting of marketing efforts.
3. Create a shared content calendar: It ensures that both sales and marketing teams know the content being produced and can coordinate their efforts.
The calendar can include details such as content topics, distribution channels, and targeted audience segments. This allows the sales team to align their sales activities with the marketing content, such as sharing relevant blog posts or social media updates with potential customers during sales conversations.
4. Get more personal with customers: Sales and marketing teams can engage in cross-functional activities by shadowing each other’s roles. For instance, marketers can accompany sales reps on customer visits or listen in on sales calls to better understand customer needs and challenges.
On that same note, sales professionals can participate in marketing brainstorming sessions or provide feedback on marketing materials.
5. Technology and data sharing: Implementing shared technology platforms and tools can enhance collaboration between sales and marketing teams. For example, using a customer relationship management (CRM) system that integrates marketing automation can provide visibility into lead generation efforts, lead nurturing activities, and the progress of leads through the sales funnel.
It all starts with communicating between teams and rallying the right leadership first. Once the teams align their goals with the overall organization’s goals, it’s time to figure out which communication methods to test out for a regular communication cadence.
Through regular communication, sales and marketing teams can get faster in exchanging information, create pathways to problem solve, and improve the bottom line. Increased efficiencies can improve the customer experience, increase conversion rates, and produce better business results.
The increased synergy between marketing and sales teams enables them to work together towards shared goals, leverage each other’s strengths, and create a more streamlined sales and marketing process.
Regularly discussing updates, bottlenecks, and goals can better position your marketing and sales sides to truly own the term, “smarketing.”
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