Sales and marketing alignment is something we all hear about often, but the reality of achieving and even maintaining it is a tough nut to crack.
Traditional Siloed Approach
I remember when I worked in a previous marketing role in an organisation which had very separate sales and marketing functions. The marketing teams were measured on the numbers of leads they generated and the sales worked towards revenue targets.
Our activity in the marketing department felt totally removed from the real world as we had no regular customer contact and little input from sales (apart from rejecting our leads, I don't blame them, it's pretty hard to know what language the customers talk when we were operating as separate entities!)
Embracing the Digital Buyer Journey
The world we operate in today means that the buyer journey is almost 100% digital, so the content we share and every digital touchpoint with customers and prospects has to be fine tuned in order to have any impact or engagement.
When the sales teams can feed back the customer insights and typical challenges they glean from their conversations, marketing can take this valuable information and use it to craft meaningful content. This content will help guide the buyer along their journey and also provides the sales teams with a ready pool of resources they can use to nurture their prospects and customers.
Sales & Marketing Alignment - Evidence to show it works!
Recent LinkedIn research found that businesses with strong sales and marketing alignment can achieve significant business growth:
- 67% more effective at closing deals
- Drive 208% more revenue as a result of their marketing efforts
- 58% more effective at retaining customers
Alignment in Action
Here's a useful infographic which shows how sales and marketing alignment can work together - like a game of ping-pong!
Given the compelling statistics demonstrating the benefits of sales and marketing alignment, maybe the discussion should be whether the two functions can afford not to work collaboratively?
Here are a few reasons why I feel we’ve reached the next level of sales and marketing alignment. Aside from mutual respect and empathy (which happens to be a core value at Zenput), here’s how our teams have done it so far: 1. Shared goals and KPIs. Our teams largely share the same goals and have shared target KPIs (e.g., scheduled meetings, completed meetings, pipeline creation by business segment, new biz bookings, upsell bookings). In fact, each quarter we work together to refine a model incorporating the latest data so our assumptions are as accurate as possible to peg pipeline and meeting goals for the joint team. Since we’re not only aligned on goals but also the assumptions and inputs that went into them, we can more easily partner to diagnose problems. 2. Invest in staying connected. We have 4 operational touchpoints each week to keep our focus and respective team efforts tightly integrated: A joint weekly meeting between sales management and marketing to coordinate on in-process or pending programs, and to get feedback on programs under consideration. A team-wide joint ...