It seems easy, but oftentimes, Sales and Marketing are not on the same page (or the same chapter – or even the same book).
Companies that align Sales and Marketing teams achieve 24% faster growth rates and 27% faster profit growth over a year period. That certainly sounds worth the effort! What’s the key to alignment?
There are seven steps any company can take to align these efforts.
Create a single customer journey.
The customer journey consists of Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent, Evaluation, Purchase, Retention, Advocacy.
Where does Marketing end and Sales start? The line has become so fuzzy, with so much overlap, it makes more sense for companies to take their customers on this journey as one cohesive “cruise director”. After all, it is about the customer, so this trip should be seamless for them.
Describe your ideal customer.
By spending a little time working through identifying your ideal customer, you will also identify the customer profile you are targeting. What sized companies, what industries, what problem are they trying to solve, what matters to them, etc. Going through this exercise will get everyone on the same page and will help define your marketing and sales strategy.
Get them warmed up.
Marketing’s job is to create awareness and interest. In other words, marketing should warm up the field for sales. If everyone has agreed on the target customer, marketing can inform and communicate with that audience. After the target audience has been exposed to the communication, Sales’ job is much easier. They don’t have to start at the beginning by cold calling. Instead, they are there to answer questions, clarify benefits, qualify the customers, and close the sale. Then marketing and sales can nurture the customer relationship, and create a long-term, loyal customer.
Your success is my success. My success is your success.
One of the easiest ways to get your Sales and Marketing aligned is to put in place uniform metrics for success. Oftentimes Sales and Marketing are not measured on the same KPIs and are even measured with results that are clashing.
If your Marketing team is rewarded for the number of leads they bring in, does it coincide with your Sales team closing those leads? A huge number of unqualified leads doesn’t help your revenue numbers, but the Marketing team will have hit their numbers. Just be aware of how your teams need each other and set up you goals that are drivers for the whole company.
What is the customer saying?
Customer service and Sales are the gateway to insight about what the customer is saying. Marketing should be looped in on all this feedback and data regularly. Not only will this information help your Marketing team understand more clearly what matters to the customer, it will help you refine your service or product offering.
Keep your messaging consistent.
The most extreme case of this we’ve seen is a Sales team didn’t like the NAME of the product, so they called it a completely different name in their sales presentations than the Marketing team was promoting. (Seriously!) While that is way out there, the point is do not confuse the customer about who you are, what the product or service is, and how it can help them solve their problem.
When Marketing and Sales are communicating well and in alignment the messaging is consistent, the branding is consistent, and there aren’t any renegades out there making up their own stuff. It may seem like a no-brainer, but words matter, so be sure everyone is using the same language.
Do a project retrospective.
After all is said and done, wrap up the campaign with a project retrospective. What went well? What wasn’t quite right? How can both teams improve next time? Simply formalizing the communication around wrapping a project up might ignite the next great idea.
Lawton can help your work to align your Sales and Marketing teams. Connect with us!