Tim Stevens
Thursday, December 20, 2018

5 Tested Techniques for Improved Sales and Marketing Alignment

5 Tested Techniques for Improved Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing working together as one is by no means a new concept, but for many businesses this crucial collaboration is somewhat of a novelty. It sounds simple on paper, but in reality is often more difficult to achieve, resulting in the entire transition being put on hold.

But to delay such a pairing can result in a complete lack of alignment, something that can come to cause more torment in the long run, whilst resulting in the loss of key benefits such as intuitively-focused marketing campaigns, and the gaining of more efficient revenue generation.

So, why is it that so many companies choose not to strive for alignment? Well, the confusion as to which - marketing or sales - is most important, is often a contributing factor. So, which would you class to be more important…

· Marketing generating a large number of sales leads or,

· Sales closing a larger number of leads?

The answer… Neither. And ideally these aren’t the types of question you should be asking. After all, for marketing and sales to be truly efficient, they first must be fully aligned. No longer should sales and marketing departments be blaming each other for missed objectives.

Here are 5 techniques you can implement into your operations to help improve your sales and marketing alignment…

1 Use Technology with Purpose

The software you use will have a big impact on your sales and marketing alignment, which is why we advise you strive to get the right tools in place. There are shortcuts that can help with this. For example, should your marketing automation system and CRM originate from the same software provider, such as SharpSpring, Act-on, Marketo or HubSpot, this can help to increase productivity whilst also reducing cost.

i-4business integrates with Salesfoce.com CRM. In addition, we have a customised integration op-tion for any CRM or automation tool, ensuring your data remains as fresh as possible. Our online data platform has been designed for use by both marketing and sales teams, to ensure an aligned approach to business development.

Integrating your marketing automation with your CRM can ensure better organisation, and greater centralisation in your data. Deploying each of the software separately however cannot only convo-lute management but can also lead to data leaks and disruption in customer interaction.

Such integrations allow you instant access to your database from within your systems and the abil-ity to instantly update information, ensuring your database is synchronised effectively. Ideally when it comes to using technology with purpose, less friction is placed on the sales teams, mean-ing the likeliness of them engaging is far higher, providing a better level of interaction between teams.

2 Build a Collaborative Content Creation Process

Try demonstrating the value of collaborative content creation by getting staff from both your mar-keting and sales teams to work together on a content project. It’s the marketing team that recog-nises how influential their website can be in the sales process, and the sales team that recognises and lives in the world of proposals, so having the two teams work together simultaneously just makes sense.

Doing so means salespeople and marketers can learn more about the challenges their prospects face and deliver better quality content for the two teams in the form of landing pages, sales pages, sales pitches, marketing emails, sales emails etc.

By getting sales and marketing together to map out a strategy on how, when and where to use their collaboratively created content, the opportunity for great discussion around a concept that both teams are familiar with takes place. In order to get the best out of your collaborative sales and marketing content, discussions regarding; buying personas, lead scoring, email follow-up, tracking and analytics should naturally take place.

3 Set Up Regular Comprehensive Meetings

You can work to speed up the development of salespeople and marketers forming a connection by arranging a regular meeting (weekly, bi-weekly), even if it’s more of a disorganised get-together to start with.

Any unstructured time together between marketing and sales leadership is a positive, whether it be an hour strategy meeting or shared lunch break, as this time together provides the ideal oppor-tunity for them to ask questions regarding their objectives, initiatives, wants and needs etc.

It also means time together to gain better understanding of one another, build trust, and just gen-erally provide time to feel more at ease with one another.

4 Strive for Transparency and Visibility Around Goals

In HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 report, respondents who were polled on the current state of alignment between marketing and sales teams demonstrated that teams with Service Level Agreement (SLAs) between sales and marketing have better cooperation and performance, yet only 26% of respondents operate under a marketing and sales SLA.

This is astounding considering alignment between salespeople and marketers starts with better transparency and visibility around goals, and the discovering of the role each department plays to reach a shared goal, thus making the setting up of SLAs between Sales and Marketing a great idea.

5 Understanding and Using the Buyer’s Journey

Once your marketing and sales teams begin discussing their common concerns and shared chal-lenges, new opportunities usually crop up. For starters, salespeople can discuss with marketing whether they feel the content tackles the common challenges of the buyer persona/s, helping marketers to understand the buyer’s journey in more depth.

From this, marketers can then gain knowledge on other content opportunities that will help sales-people to speed up the sales process via the likes of shared target persona profiles, ideal customer profiles, and lead definitions. This way both marketing and sales team members understand pre-cisely who they are targeting and how to correctly communicate in order to reach them.

Looking to Gain Better Sales and Marketing Alignment?

It’s time to say goodbye to sales and marketing misalignment. At i-4business, we provide intelligence that helps to deliver your sales and marketing success, so if you’re a tech vendor in need of running a communication campaign to reach each key decision maker in your chosen segment, our aligned strategies and solutions will ensure your sales and marketing are on the same page. For more information on how we can help you gain better sales and marketing alignment, please get in touch.

To book your free trial, please get in touch with one of the i-4business team.