3 Tips To Improve Your Sales And Marketing Alignment

Published on Apr 10, 2017

Winning a national championship is one of the hardest feats to achieve in sports. Countless things have to go right, and the margins for error are small.

The North Carolina Tar Heels won the 2017 title, but it wasn’t because of their talent alone. Sure, you need talent to win, but teamwork is a critical piece to the puzzle.

Sales and marketing traditionally operate in silos, but data shows this is counterproductive to increasing the bottom line. According to Hubspot, companies that aligned their sales and marketing efforts generated 208% higher revenue.

Here are 3 tips to improve the relationship between your sales and marketing teams to accelerate revenue growth.

Clear Communication

Everyone has a role on the team, but it’s imperative that everyone knows how they work together.

In basketball, the point guard’s role is to facilitate the offense, the shooting guard actively looks for opportunities to score, and the forwards do everything in between.

When it comes to establishing a relationship between sales and marketing, it’s critical that everyone understands where they fit in the overall process. 

When there is uncertainty about what everyone is responsible for, it opens the door for finger pointing. Marketing will blame sales for not working the leads they provide, and sales counters by blaming marketing for not giving them better quality leads. By having a shared goal, it allows you to work backward and define the metrics that each side is accountable for.

Marketing should provide the intelligence to sales so they can be effective at engaging leads and closing deals. Each side should make the other more effective. 

Leverage Analysis And Apply It To Your Game Plan

The difference between mediocre coaches and those that consistently win championships lies in their ability to adjust.

Tools and technology such as CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) have empowered sales and marketing professionals to be more efficient. When used correctly, your CRM is a central repository where all your marketing and sales data lives. 

Marketing needs data to know what their target audience cares about so that they can create content that is valuable and relatable. Sales need data like customer behavior, content your prospects download, level of engagement, market research, etc. to contextualize your leads. Those insights enable sales reps to be more strategic in their approach.

Continuous feedback between both departments needs to happen regularly to ensure the data collected is being applied to your overall strategy. If the criteria Marketing is using to qualify leads (MQL) is weak, Sales needs to relay this information so both teams can make the proper adjustments.

Implementing your sales process into your CRM will enable you to monitor how and when leads are contacted. If you notice there is a trend where your sales team is having difficulty converting leads, you can use real insights from your analysis instead of hearsay to refine your strategy.

Timing is everything

The way a coach approaches a game at the start of the season will be dramatically different than in March once the NCAA Tournament begins.

The same is true in sales. If someone in sales calls a lead that requested information with a closing pitch, the risk of losing that lead is high because both parties are at different places in the sales/buying process. 

Sales and marketing must have a consensus on the specifics of the buyer’s journey. Many organizations struggle with leads slipping through the cracks during the marketing to sales hand-off process. Close the loop by defining lead assignments, lead routing, qualification criteria, and response times. 

Your approach for how you guide your prospects through your buyer journey is vital to shortening the sales cycle and closing more deals. 

In today’s buyer-driven environment, successful companies figure out how to best align and integrate sales and marketing, creating a cohesive team to drive profits.  

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