How aligned are your sales and marketing functions? According to research by LinkedIn, 60% of sales and marketing professionals believe that a lack of alignment can negatively financial performance.

In previous corporate roles I remember how the sales department was often regarded as the organisational 'powerhouse', generating revenue from new and existing customers. Marketing (where I sat) was more often viewed as the poor relative, spending valuable budget on more 'fluffy' tasks like printing brochures. Leads resulting from lead generation campaigns would be passed over to sales but would often receive a lukewarm reception as they weren't qualified enough. There was a distinct lack of alignment as the two functions operated more in silos.

The change in the buyer journey due to our digital economy means that this has to change. Buyers are savvy, educated and well-informed due to the vast amount of information available online. Content marketing is the key to driving awareness and engagement before a potential customer even contacts a company. But the emphasis has to be on effective content marketing which provides relevant and authentic information about your solutions.

The traditional role of the sales team has changed drastically too; an overtly 'sales' approach is incredibly off-putting and customers will simply go elsewhere if we don't interact with them in a genuine way.

If sales and marketing work more closely together, they can benefit from each other's input to identify the types of content which will really work. For example, the customer facing sales teams can relay customer feedback to marketing and vice versa...who in turn can ensure that the content is available on the distribution channels favoured by the customers. 

This is an excellent post by LinkedIn which highlights 6 ways highly aligned companies differed from low aligned companies when it came to content. It also offers 4 practical ways marketing and sales teams can achieve increased alignment and ultimately improve business performance and revenue!