Five Tactics for Sales and Marketing Alignment

5 Tactics for Sales and Marketing Alignment

Every sale is different because each buyer differs in interests, needs, and purchasing ability. You must communicate with leads in ways that matter to them in order to secure their support.

Selling becomes particularly complicated when you deal with companies that have multiple decision-makers with varying priorities. No matter how broad your support may seem, your success may not be assured because a single “no” can sink an entire deal.

With widespread buy-in needed, you must focus narrowly, customizing your approach for each decision-maker to suit their interests, needs, and purchasing ability. But you must also be consistent in your approach to the target company as a whole so that decision-makers will sign-off collectively based on the organization-wide value that your goods or services will bring.

Maintaining such consistency in contact and messaging requires cooperation between your sales and marketing teams. Sales and marketing alignment is essential for converting leads to MQLs, MQLs to SQLs, and SQLs to opportunities.

Aligning sales and marketing improves the buying experience where marketing and sales can create campaigns that are designed for maximum impact to engage prospects and truly wow potential buyers. Of 7,000 sales and marketing professionals surveyed by LinkedIn, 70 percent said that “sales and marketing collaboration delivers a better buying experience for the customer,” according to a LinkedIn blog post on ways we all benefit from sales and marketing alignment.

Reap the benefits of sales and marketing alignment with these five tactics: 

1. Align Goals

Forget departments. Your company is a single team united in pursuit of growth.

Cultivate cooperation between sales and marketing by soliciting suggestions from both teams. For example, collaborate on key messaging by using insight that salespeople bring from customer interactions with the marketing team. As Corporate Visions recommends in a blog post on strategies and tactics for better marketing and sales alignment, ultimately marketing must be aligned to achieve one goal – to get customers to choose you.

2. Connect Teams

Share information constantly. Meet regularly and connect through calls, emails, texts, and instant messages.

Marketing can update sales on the status of leads by sharing their website visits, download histories, and social media profiles so reps can have informed discussions, according to a guide to unifying your sales and marketing efforts from HubSpot. Sales could provide marketing with updates like contact touches (i.e., calls made and emails sent) and revenue from closed deals so that marketing can assess its effectiveness and adjust accordingly.

3. Form the Funnel

HubSpot also recommends that your sales and marketing teams use the same funnel stages. Common stages include visits, leads, marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads, opportunities, and customers.

HubSpot Funnel
Image Source: HubSpot “The Complete Guide to Unifying Your Sales and Marketing Efforts”

Agree upon lead qualification criteria so that marketing doesn’t waste time generating leads that sales can’t close. Specify criteria like job titles, purchasing power, and needs that must be met for leads to move between funnel stages.

4. Choose Measurements

Connect your CRM and marketing software so that they feed actionable data to each other. Configure your reporting so that it shows “the close rate and new customers from the leads generated by marketing,” HubSpot suggests. Identify winning marketing channels by attributing each new customer to the source that generated the lead, like social media or email marketing.

Set goals for key performance indicators. Then, hold team members accountable through weekly and monthly reporting.

5. Involve SDRs

Get your sales development representatives involved in marketing strategy because they know your prospects and their needs. SDRs can also provide benefits that help bridge the gap between marketing leads and qualified sales opportunities. For example, SDR’s can be more consistent to lead follow up increasing conversion rate of leads to opportunities. SDR’s take the time to help each lead and provide value, acting as a trusted adviser.  

In a blog post on tactics to align sales and marketing, Sales for Life suggests you involve sales in creating content because doing so increases the visibility of your reps and provides useful information to your leads. “Sales teams are in touch with buyers on a day-to-day basis, they have valuable insights and perspectives that can be sliced and diced into various content assets — daily blogs, ebooks, infographics or white papers.”

Leaving the selling to sales and the lead generation to marketing diminishes the effectiveness of each. Align their goals and coordinate their efforts instead. This will help you create, advance, and close more opportunities by ensuring that you communicate with leads consistently and effectively.

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