12 Strategies for Marketing and Sales Alignment

Marketing and Sales Should be Aligned Around the Same Goal.

Clearly, Sales and Marketing were not aligned. My sales person was frustrated which he shared with me. This undermined my trust in the company even more because I felt like they didn’t care about existing customers.

If Marketing and Sales are not well orchestrated, it can cause serious damage in the marketplace. But when they work together to create a positive customer journey, then both departments become powerful forces for business growth.

One company that I work with overhauled their Sales and Marketing departments, making them accountable to the same goals. This led team members to start working together on strategies.

Marketing took on work to help inform the sales team about buyer personas, lead quality, and how to position themselves in their market.

Sales were now using the information that Marketing provided. As a result, they had thirty-six percent more closed won sales in one year.

The moral of the story is clear. The path to growth and profitability requires Marketing working closely with Sales teams.

I recently read an eBook about how to make your business more efficient. It was helpful for me, because I’m always looking for ways to improve my company’s sales alignment. 


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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
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12 Aligning Sales and Marketing Strategies

1. Ask For Input 

Aligned marketing is responsible for creating compelling content that will help salespeople sell products. The problem is, over 90% of the marketing-created content never gets used by a salesperson. Make sure to get your Sales team on board with what you’re doing before starting any work.

2. Step Into Their World 

If you want Sales to respect your role, begin by respecting theirs. There is nothing more powerful for understanding what exactly salespeople do and experience than going on or at least listening to their calls. As a Marketer, if you go out into the field with them instead of just researching customer pain points from afar, they will understand how much knowledge skill it takes to market successfully.

Another article I wrote is about how marketing executives can become better sales partners by using call recordings.

3. Get Personal for an Even Better Sales Alignment

You don’t want your content to go to waste, so you need to allow salespeople the freedom of making it their own. If they are going use your copy, then you have give them room for creativity and personalization.

4. Build A Good Mousetrap

Marketing is the department that does heavy lifting when it comes to lead quality. When Marketing has done their job well, they should be able to provide Sales with qualified leads. The best way for this work flow to happen is if Marketing gets input from what people in Sales are looking for-they know who will buy and who won’t.

5. Put them Under the Spotlight

Salespeople usually just sell, not selling themselves. Marketing can help by highlighting their value and what they bring to the sale.

 When you’re interviewing a potential new salesperson, try and find out about their skills and talents. You can use that information to create content for blogs or personalized videos that they’ll be able to share with customers via social media channels like LinkedIn posts, sales letters, etc.

6. Invite Them

The last thing you should do is invite them to come and see the Sales world through your eyes. Show them how Marketing helps with sales, by giving them a tour of your department.

Marketing is one of the most powerful departments for Sales. When Marketing attends events, they are able to get insight into what their customers are celebrating and where they’re heading in the future.

After the event, I spent some time talking with a Senior Vice President of Marketing. They said they were able to increase their success by inviting sales team members into marketing meetings once a week and showing them what they are working on.

The three T’s of marketing and sales alignment are timing, targeting, and tracking. This is the key to success in these fields.

7. Start talking about MQAs

We have a lot of acronyms to measure this delivery: MQL, SAL, SQL. These metrics put the priority on casting as wide net as possible and reeling in individual leads through different methods like inbound.

However, even the most optimized lead hand-offs still happen between Marketing and Account Executives. Sales is responsible for closing deals not leads.

Create a new metric called the Marketing Qualified Account (MQA) to move conversations about diversity in marketing forward.

So, what is a Marketing Qualified Account?

Our definition for an MQA is:

A target account (or discrete buying center) that has reached a sufficient level of engagement to indicate possible sales readiness.

MQL is when you’re fishing with a net and MQA is when you’re spearfishing.

8.Encourage communication by holding combined office hours and holding regular meetings.

Its so common for marketing and sales to be separated in an office. Management can often decide this, or it just happens because of the way each department operates.

SLA is only a small part of what makes for a healthy relationship. If thats not there, it can’t be fixed.

You need to have a continuing conversation with your buyers because as the market changes, what they want and how much they’re willing to pay also change.

If the wide receiver on your football team never talks to your running back, youll have a hard time being successful. The same goes for salespeople with different skillsets.

9. Marketers should be held liable for a portion of the revenue obligation.

Heinz agrees that

As he says, marketers need to take responsibility for revenue. What really matters is the closed deal.

To change marketers objectives, change their compensation. If the sales team is grinding it out to hit their end of month numbers, but the marketing team is already at the bar celebrating because they hit their re-tweet goal, then somethings misaligned.

10. Document every team’s responsibility in the sales process

If sales doesnt understand what marketing does all day, and marketing feels the same about sales, the problem is a severe lack of empathy.

When there is a lack of trust, it causes broken processes.

The sales process is a shared framework that Sales and Marketing can use to work together within the company.

You need to make it clear for everyone what the steps in the sales process are and how they should be following them. This will help you see if there is any problem areas that we can fix.

11. Set clear definitions

In order to be successful, you need a clear understanding of what qualities your target accounts possess.

The alignment of Sales and Marketing is the key to success in this area because it dictates whether they are on the same page or not.

In order to map out a list of target accounts, you first need to define your Ideal Customer Profile. Get this wrong and everything else doesn’t matter.

This definition is the basis for our whole program. Its important to have a different perspective from each team because you could miss out on major opportunities or waste time and headcount on accounts that don’t make sense.

It’s important to remember that you should also be looking for in-market accounts and highly engaged prospects when analyzing your data.

12. Use the same technology

To increase sales alignment, companies need to implement account-centric data infrastructure. This is typically done by matching leads with accounts which are more likely owned by sales teams.

Without the capability to connect employees with their right company, there will be many individuals within a database who work at target accounts and customer accounts that can’t find out which company they’re in.

It is important to keep data clean, which can be difficult when there are many tools and technologies available.

In order to reach a certain pipeline goal, what percentage of it needs to come from Marketing?

When you are hiring for sales and marketing, your goal should be to know what is expected of them before they can start work.

Bonus Tip: Share account-level ideas

An account-based strategy relies on you doing the research and learning as much about each target company before contacting them. You can’t be successful if they don’t know who you are when they answer your call.

Marketing and sales alignment teams have always been good at gathering competitive intelligence. It’s the reason why we’re so successful.

They can help Sales by following key prospects on social media and engaging influential people at the right time.

They are also skilled at noticing when a potential customer is ready to buy and quickly strike.

Conclusion

If you want to grow your business, make sure that the Sales and Marketing teams are aligned. There may be areas for improvement or ways to increase productivity.

If you want to transform your relationship with sales, then take the lead and follow these steps. If Sales respect what Marketing does and welcome insight from it, not only will sales alignment increase between them but so will the bottom line!


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? Iā€™d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.