The goal is the same: increase sales for the business. Yet, many times marketing and sales departments have a big disconnect when it comes to the goals and strategy of getting there. Both groups focus on what they think is best for the business but sometimes it’s revealed that they’ve been at cross purposes. This disjointed arrangement can’t really continue because it’s critical to the life of the business that sales and marketing enjoy a smooth alignment.
As one might imagine, all parties (sales and marketing) intend to help their company grow, but inadequate communication and lack of shared goals get in the way of success.
To address these gaps, be sure sales and marketing teams take these steps to create alignment and ensure the joint partnership continues:
Inbound marketing software developer, Hubspot, reports that companies that build strong sales and marketing alignment will realize 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth. They also enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates, and 38% higher sales win rates. They’re 67% better at closing deals. Overall, tightly synced marketing and sales organizations will see 208% more revenue than those businesses with less cooperation between sales and marketing.
Prospects rule two-thirds of the buying cycle so companies have to have an inbound marketing initiative in place in order to engage them early on. Conversion and nurturing that lead to sales are worked in tandem with the marketing and sales teams for a win for everyone involved. Developing an inbound marketing program with a solid content strategy that aligns with the sales process will help align both teams for the ultimate benefit of the business.
Part of the disconnect between sales and marketing is that much of the content created is never used. Marketing works hard to develop appropriate materials for each stage of the customer journey—data sheets for awareness, white papers for consideration and presentations for the decision stage. Unfortunately, many of the content pieces created never get used. Optimizing the pre-determined content strategy will minimize irrelevant content and focus resources on the pieces that have better usefulness in advancing the sales cycle.
According to a recent study, more than 75% of sales reps claim that they only occasionally or never use the material they get from marketing. However, when sales and marketing are in sync, content lines up with the customer journey and the content materials are used appropriately to advance sales activities.
Today’s customers expect personalization at every step of their interactions with a business so it just makes sense that sales capitalize on the help that marketing can provide in this area. But when customer communications are personalized and delivered with a unified message on a consistent basis, customers will be delighted and more inclined to maintain healthy relationships for the long-term. Personalization is important because so many companies do it and have gotten away from impersonal email blasts. A business that does not personalize their engagement through sales outreach, email, website, content and social media will be left behind and perceived as inferior.
Aside from the logistics challenges of having messages delivered by both sales and marketing, there is a significant risk that the messaging they communicate may not be consistent. Prospects and customers hear competing information between what sales tell them and what the marketing content communicates. Consistent messaging will present a unified front for the brand. Prospects and customers will appreciate the authenticity of what they learn from the business. Consistent messaging will go a long way toward building and maintain authentic and long-standing customer relationships.
As sales team members and marketers become clearer on their roles in the sales process, trust will grow. Part of this partnership is working together to develop a relevant strategy for how leads are handled in the organization. Sales know what it needs to qualify prospects and the quantity of leads they need to hit their sales goals. When marketing is aware of the challenges faced by the sales team, they will be better equipped to deliver the content and tools necessary to work the defined strategy. Everyone wins in this situation, and the company will be better positioned for solid growth.
Marketers have their fingers on the pulse of the competitive landscape due to ongoing monitoring activity. When they share this critical information with the sales team, they will be better prepared to engage with prospects and customers with messaging and offers that will put them ahead of any competitive activity.
For many years, sales and marketing didn’t always enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. Today, however, savvy companies realize the power that exists when these two groups complement and reinforce each other. The dynamic can be unstoppable when objectives are clear and shared, and both teams are working toward one goal. But, even more, the business will benefit with increased revenue and customer loyalty which is a win for all involved parties.
Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering a complete complement of Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo