Historically, the collaboration between marketing and sales teams has faced its fair share of challenges. The disconnect between these teams is often deeply ingrained in the corporate culture, manifesting in the form of departmental silos and a lack of communication.
A Forrester study found that only 8% of B2B companies have tight marketing and sales alignment. Even so, organizations are increasingly recognizing the need to bridge the gap and are actively seeking solutions.
The real challenge lies in identifying and implementing a strategy that not only enhances sales and marketing collaboration but also brings about lasting, transformative change within the company.
In this article, we'll explore effective ways in which marketing and sales can work together harmoniously and the strategies that promote better alignment.
Mastering Sales and Marketing Alignment: 5 Tips for Success
A recent study determined that sales and marketing alignment can generate 209% more valuefrom content, make an organization 67% better at closing deals, and reduce friction by 108%.
On the flip side, poor alignment can cost B2B companies 10% or more in annual revenue. A lack of communication results in two big problems that have a major impact on bottom-line results: broken processes and inconsistent metrics.
Further, the fast-paced nature of the buying space and the increasing complexity of the buyer journey demands better communication between sales and marketing in order to leverage resources and drive revenue.
Almost every B2B deal is influenced by content, making it imperative that sales reps know what content to share, what to say, and when to communicate these messages with their customers.
Many times customers feel that sales reps are unprepared for initial meetings and unable to engage in meaningful conversation. This can be attributed to a lack of knowledge of the relevant content and resources that they are presenting. These resources should be used to prepare for meetings in order to add value to the conversation.
This shortcoming is frequently attributed to a gap in sales communication, highlighting the necessity of aligning marketing and sales strategies.
A CMO study found that up to 40% of a rep’s time is spent looking for or creating content to share with prospects. By fostering clear communication and alignment with organizational goals, marketing can provide the sales team with valuable content, research, and industry data to help them engage prospects inmeaningful conversations and boost deal progression.
As a result, companies can expect to see up to a 40% increase in closed deals and about 50% fewer accounts churning.
One sales tool that can help salespeople enhance their productivity is Badger Maps. Badger Maps is a route optimization tool that allows reps to automatically plan, route, and maximize their time in the field by cutting down driving time by 20%.
"After getting Badger Maps, weekly meetings per rep jumped from 12 to 20. This led to a 22% increase in annual revenue."
Business Development Manager, Cutter & Buck
With features like route optimization, check-ins, and lead generation on-the-go, Badger Maps streamlines outside sales operations, enabling sales reps to save time and prioritize meaningful interactions which will inevitably lead to an increase in sales productivity.
Being able to create a route with multiple stops will allow reps to effortlessly plan for the week ahead. With their routes planned out in advance, sales reps can spend more time with their customers.
Badger Maps can also help sales reps mobilize their CRM, giving them access to important customer info directly from the field. This enables them to sync and leverage data in their CRM, all from their phone. Badger Maps can integrate with leading CRMs such as HubSpot,Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho, Salesforce, NetSuite, Insightly, and many more.
With a tool like Badger Maps, sales teams can increase their productivity in the field, which will lead to greater satisfaction rates between sales and marketing departments.
Sign up for a free trial today to see how you can benefit and start to watch your productivity levels soar!
B2B marketing teams spend a significant amount of time creating content, but most of it goes unused by sales. Sales reps acknowledge the importance of content but often struggle to access the right materials and use them effectively to advance their deals.
The result? Missed opportunities, lost revenue, and increased discord and finger-pointing between marketing and sales teams. This presents a lose-lose situation for the organization. Better communication would allow for marketing’s content to be used, helping sales more effectively advance their deals.
Improving Customer Experience
Customers can tell when a salesperson lacks in-depth knowledge about the product or service they're offering, which can signal a problem and a lack of effective communication. As the buyer journey continues to evolve, it’s increasingly important for marketing and sales teams to be on the same page and work together in presenting a united front to achieve sales success.
This united front will be evident when the sales teams pitch their product to customers as they will be confident and assured in the materials they are presenting.
These 17 actionable tips will help you prepare, present, and nail your sales pitch to help you captivate your prospects!
Sales primarily centers on personalized interactions with potential customers, emphasizing relationship-building and closing deals. To enhance alignment, sales teams can adapt their communication strategy by regularly sharing their on-the-ground insights with the marketing team.
By providing feedback on customer needs, objections, and market trends, sales teams empower marketing to refine their messaging, ensuring it resonates more effectively with the target audience.
Ready to go beyond surface-level sales techniques and create a mutual understanding with your customers? Then check out this guide to learn how to master sales communication!
Conversely, marketing operates on a broader scale, aiming to reach a wider audience through content marketing, advertising, and branding. To better support sales, marketing can adapt its communication strategy by establishing clear channels for gathering feedback from sales teams.
This feedback loop helps marketing understand what types of leads are converting most effectively and where improvements can be made in lead quality. By collaboratively analyzing the data generated from sales efforts, marketing can fine-tune its campaigns, ensuring they generate high-quality leads that are more likely to convert and improve the entire sales process.
Sales isn't just about closing deals; it also has a significant role in fostering marketing success. Feedback provided by sales teams helps marketing refine its messaging and strategies, which will ultimately help sales resonate more effectively with the target audience.
By maintaining an open line of communication and sharing their experiences, sales teams empower marketing to adapt and evolve, ensuring that marketing efforts are aligned with market demands and customer expectations.
How Marketing Can Help Sales Success
Marketing plays a pivotal role in helping sales succeed by generating a steady stream of quality leads and equipping sales teams with essential insights and materials. Through targeted campaigns and compelling content, marketing attracts potential customers and nurtures their interest, ensuring that sales professionals have a pool of engaged prospects to work with.
Marketing provides data and market intelligence, enabling sales teams to understand customer behavior and preferences, thereby supporting their ability to close deals effectively.
5 Tips to Enhance Marketing and Sales Communication
Frequent communication lies at the heart of successful sales and marketing collaboration. It can ensure that both teams work towards their goals of driving revenue. Regular and open dialogue between marketing and sales teams creates an environment where they can exchange valuable insights, align their priorities, and measure progress more effectively.
This constant flow of information helps in shaping a culture of knowledge sharing, enabling marketing to better understand what content to create, and sales to determine what content will resonate most with their customers. In sales and marketing collaboration, frequent communication drives them toward success.
Senior Management Support
The level of support and participation from executive leadership can play a significant role in the success of your communication initiatives. To succeed requires consistent implementation across the organization, setting precedence for information sharing, and instituting cultural change.
Executive leadership and management can support sales and marketing communication initiatives by leading with transparency, providing training, establishing a feedback loop, and demonstrating desired behaviors. They should create open channels which will promote a culture of open communication across the organization.
To effectively support sales and marketing communication, technology must be accessible, consistent, and easily incorporated into each department's workflow.
A sales enablement tool, for example, promotes improved communication by using real-time data to determine what content most effectively advances deals at the highest ROI.
Marketing uses this data to gain insight into what content works and where there are gaps in the content library, helping them focus their time and optimize their efforts. Together, these pieces of information enable sales and marketing to make informed decisions about strategy and process.
Traditionally, marketing is measured on top-of-funnel metrics (i.e. brand awareness, lead generation, and campaign performance), and sales is measured on bottom-of-funnel metrics (i.e. closed deals, revenue, and renewal rate). But it makes sense for sales and marketing to share performance metrics, as both departments should be working toward the same goal - driving revenue.
When both sales and marketing are evaluated based on pipeline development, it becomes easier to align goals and priorities, measure progress, and collaborate effectively.
And on the topic of metrics, data needs to be shared in order to use it strategically in decision-making. Data is how marketing teams know what content to create and how sales teams know what content to share. It’s how both teams know what is working, areas to improve, and opportunities for new and improved strategies.
The best way for companies to increase their bottom line is to work smarter and more efficiently. Thus feedback (and with it, change) is very important. After all, if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll continue to get the same results.
So what types of information should be shared? Consider the following examples:
Salespeople are on the front line, talking to prospects and customers on a daily basis and gaining insights into their needs, challenges, and pain points. This information should be shared with marketing so that they can create relevant content.
Marketing creates content specific to different stages in the buying process or for particular sales scenarios. Marketing should ensure sales teams are aware of this information and know how to use the right content at the right time for engaging in value-add conversations with prospects.
These types of information offer a more in-depth view of the customer experience, which is beneficial to both sales and marketing teams.
Success Starts by Taking Action
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Marketing and sales communication not only work together but also evolve together through open, data-driven communication and adaptable strategies.
This synergy ultimately leads to a more efficient and effective sales and marketing alignment, boosting business growth and customer satisfaction. These tips will help your organization overcome the communication problem and improve departmental alignment, driving bottom-line results.
About the author: Shelley Cernel is the Senior Marketing Manager at KnowledgeTree.