The sales & marketing team of a company may be separate departments in any business altogether, but they both focus on the same task – finding the right leads, making more sales and increasing revenue. Yet, the two don’t see eye to eye on a number of topics, which becomes a bone of contention.
In some organizations, there is a gap in communication between the two, which if bridged can lead to growing your company and a more efficient way of operating, as well as an increase in your sales and revenue.
Why align sales & marketing?
Aligning your sales and marketing teams can improve your business performance, and increase marketing ROI, sales productivity, as well as top-line growth. Both teams have different goals and expectations from each other, so it is necessary that they get on the same page and come to an understanding, which will help in accelerating the work.
A customer doesn’t care about the fact that their purchase journey has been divided into two sections of marketing and sales. All they care about is what is the final service or product they receive, if it was at the best price possible, and whether they got good customer service. Therefore, both teams working together poses as a great idea since they are working towards the same cause.
The reason for aligning both departments is so that you understand who your ideal target audience is and which prospects are best to target. Both teams together can create a customer persona of who is most likely to purchase your product/service and from this your marketing team can reach out to that audience. From this, your marketing team, can gather leads, pass those leads onto sales and finally close a sale based on the characteristics of that prospect.
Coming up with a marketing strategy and setting goals
There is a big communication gap between the sales & marketing teams because they use the same terminology, but mean different things! For them to come together, there needs to be a strategy in place that helps them get on the same page, and begin to understand what the other wants.
Here, two things come into play – lead scoring and lead generation metrics. Lead scoring determines how ready a lead is to make a purchase and depending on that it is either sent to the sales team to close the deal or it needs nurturing. Sales and marketing teams need to finalize on the terms for the scorecard to be able to work on the same level.
Now, when it comes to lead generation metrics, marketing and sales teams often differ on the ‘qualification’ part of the lead scoring. According to the marketing team, a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is ready to go, where as for the sales teams, a Sales Accepted Lead (SAL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is the prospect that they believe is almost ready to buy. This is where there is a difference in opinion and they need to come together to figure out what the other team wants.
Coming up with a marketing strategy and setting goals can help create a target, and then reach that target in a cooperative and efficient way. Each team should set their own goals in tandem with eachothers.
How communication is key
The only way for the two teams to come together and sort things out is communication. Communication here is literally the key, because traditionally there is a lot of difference in the attitudes and workings of the sales team and marketing teams.
They need to come together and hold consistent meetings in order to find a way to create strategies, plan the next move, decide on what qualifies as leads and other such topics that can help get them on the same page. Also, discuss your content strategy and how the previous campaigns have fared for you, as well as how they can do better.
Aligning sales and marketing with a CRM
With the advancement of technology, there are various technological platforms available for sales and marketing teams to make their life easier and focus on more important tasks. Customer Relationship Management software can help in automating certain tasks, as well as providing an analysis of processes and situations, that gives reps from both teams more insight into what their customers want and what will help them purchase from the company faster.
By incorporating a CRM software into your sales strategy, teams will also have a better chance of getting better quality leads and increasing lead intelligence. It also makes work more mobile, as it allows the reps to view and share documents on the go, providing the exact information you need, when you need it.
Sales & marketing are like two sides of a coin, and if the two manage to move beyond their differences and work in tandem, they can increase revenue while also reducing the cost of business. The marketing team handles the generation, nurturing, and scoring leads, while the sales team helps in cultivating customer relationships, closing deals, and also up-selling and cross-selling your products/services.