Aligning your sales and marketing teams is a challenge, but it's a challenge worth pursuing. The three best tools at your disposal are meetings, open communication, and aligned objectives.
Everything's better when people work well together, but it can be difficult to make that happen if you don’t know where to start. There are great rewards for businesses who align sales and marketing teams, as companies see 36% higher customer retention and a 38% higher sales rate when their teams are working toward the same goals.
Alignment creates a steady flow of leads, prospects, and customers down the marketing and sales funnel. Aligning sales and marketing also leads to a more enjoyable work environment.
Businesses who are struggling to get their sales and marketing teams to work in tandem have to start somewhere. Technology is useful in this respect, but it's just a tool. Usually, a business should start by working with people directly. Here are the 3 best ways to align sales and marketing teams:
Meetings may seem like a routine part of the business day. Not all meetings have to be the same, however.
To start the alignment process, both teams need to be present. The purpose of the first meeting is to discuss major changes to the way the sales and marketing department work together. When everyone is onboard, both teams can hash out the problems that are arising from the current system and a new system can be discussed and established.
After the initial alignment meeting, have regular meetings scheduled so the teams can continue working on their alignment. This allows them to take a moment out of the workday to assess their progress. Furthermore, they'll identify problems and discover ways to maximize their results. Once sales and marketing teams are better aligned, these meetings could become a place to celebrate accomplishments and work on new strategies.
In addition to business meetings, sales and marketing teams could also benefit from getting to know each other. In other words, let them have some fun! Team building exercises, outings, and events allow sales and marketing teams to get to know the human side of the other department. This is great for building trust and cooperation between them, which can lead to positive results in the future.
2. Enable (and Encourage) Communication
Meetings are important because they allow sales and marketing teams to take a step back. However, the teams should also be communicating regularly throughout the workday. This can be accomplished in different ways. It might be a matter of moving desks around, including new team members in digital communications, or giving sales and marketing teams access to one another's project tools.
There should be a clear procedure in place for communicating about the hand-off process: when a marketing qualified lead becomes a sales qualified lead. One of the biggest issues concerning the sales and marketing funnel is this exact process.
3. Align Projects and Efforts
For sales teams to be truly effective, the marketing team must contribute directly to sales efforts. When there is a disconnect between the two departments, a salesperson who is attempting to nurture a lead may not be aware of the content that that lead has already been exposed to. In fact, 65% of sales people say they can’t find the right content to send to their prospects.
This is also true of messaging. If the marketing department’s messaging is vastly different than that of sales, it can make a lead feel as if they are working with two separate businesses.
To resolve this, sales teams need to be aware of what projects the marketing team is working on. This enables them to pick up right where marketing left off once a marketing qualified lead becomes sales qualified.
Align Sales and Marketing Teams for Success
It may take some time to align sales and marketing teams, especially if both departments are used to working exclusively. Such is the challenge of bad systems. Once they become institutionalized, they can be difficult to overcome. But with the right steps in place and the right frame of mind, sales and marketing teams can accomplish incredible goals together.