Blog/Sales And Marketing Alignment – What To Focus On To Succeed

Do you feel like your sales and marketing departments aren’t getting along? Do you sense a lack of cohesion? If so, it’s time to work on getting your team members on the same page. Sales and marketing alignment is absolutely necessary if you aim to close more sales.

The departments are most effective when working in harmony and staying customer centric. We decided to take an in-depth look at the issue in hopes of extracting valuable insights from within our organization. See how it went and if you can notice any patterns.

If you have your eyes set on improving your business operations long-term, you have to start with human relations. Sales and marketing alignment is about walking hand in hand towards the common goal of closing a sale. Understanding where you come in and what’s expected of you. It may not be easy but it can and should be done.

Both our teams have worked hard to align. Read the insights below to see what they’ve learned in the process and where you can improve too. Is it worth the trouble? Of course it is, and here’s some sales and marketing alignment statistics backing up the point:

Are you ready to take the challenge?

How to best align sales and marketing departments at your company?

We asked our CMO and CSO the same question, while keeping them in the dark regarding what the other party said. They both offered lots of actionable insights, concerning what’s usually wrong and where improvements would be welcome. We’ll try to keep it brief, though. Let’s get started.

Monika Chmielewska, Chief Marketing Officer at RightHello

  • Marketing dept thinks it’s working for the sales’ bonuses, while sales claims it’s not getting quality leads. Make sure to explain to everyone involved the nuts and bolts of each other’s work.
  • Marketing people should listen to some sales calls to get a better understanding of who the leads are, and sales should be kept in the loop as to what’s going on in terms of marketing.
  • Team leaders on both ends have to get on the same page. How about setting a joint KPI, say, sales results? Being able to deliver becomes a priority for both departments.
  • Creating the right vibe and respecting each other is crucial. Challenging one another brings out the best in everyone. People actually start playing for the same team.
  • If you’re a CEO, stop glorifying sales reps as the money makers. On the other hand, don’t let marketing become a spoiled princess either. Both are crucial to your revenue stream and require a steady feedback loop.

Bartosz Majewski, Chief Sales Officer at RightHello

  • Sales director and marketing director have to be equals. None of them can be preferred by the higher management.
  • The management has to realize that their CSO is better at convincing and selling, so that may include selling his personal ideas as well.
  • Holding each other responsible for delivering reasonable results you both agreed to.
  • Listening to sales calls will provide marketing reps with plenty of valuable insights. This may include ideas for copy and other content types, as well as learning more about the target group.
  • The bonus system has to be adjusted. Lead quantity doesn’t always mean quality, so you have to take that into account.
  • There’s also a number of other minor, yet impactful things that need to be determined:
    • Handoff – at what point exactly do you draw the line between marketing and sales?
    • Feedback loops – it’s crucial to have a CRM implemented to collect data and learn about what’s working and what’s not. Keeping each other updated on what’s currently needed.
    • Same goals – both departments have to be aligned towards the same goal. Say, if marketing is running a popular blog, and sales is expected to close a $10 million sale, then that’s not alignement at all.

Conclusions

The underlying message stemming from our staffers’ comments is that yet again, open communication is the key to overall business success.

It may sound cliche to say that, but the point is that most people simply aren’t as good at conveying a wide range of thoughts as they think they are. What needs practice and improvement is the ability to express your concerns, ideas, and expectations in a clear and competent manner.

That said, sales and marketing alignment best practices can be summed up as follows:

  • open communication between the departments – a steady, feedback-based dialogue
  • defining and working towards the same goal
  • getting on equal terms – mutual respect and accountability

Sales and marketing alignment is a fine-tuning practice that will translate into higher quality leads for sales and credit for ROI for marketing, This in turn will keep both parties satisfied and in a healthy relation.