If you're like most managers, you want to boost revenues and profitability at your company. One way to do that is to generate better leads and then convert them to sales. That’s a strategy best executed by aligning sales and marketing.
When done correctly, aligning sales and marketing can provide a competitive edge that can take your company to the next level.
Companies that align sales and marketing have the potential to see significant benefits such as:
- A 36% higher customer retention rate
- A 38% higher sales win rate
- Annual growth rates of 19%
- 209% higher revenue from marketing
- 24% faster three-year revenue growth
But aligning sales and marketing is easier said than done. The two departments often have their own set of goals and their own departmental agendas, which can sometimes put them at odds with each other.
You can take steps, however, to speed up alignment. But first we need to look at how the Internet has impacted sales and marketing and each’s role in customer acquisition.
Controlling the Flow of Information
Once businesses controlled the flow of information to consumers. Now its consumers that control the flow—thanks in large part to the Internet. Its advent altered the roles of sales and marketing in customer acquisition. Now they contribute equally in acquiring new customers.
When sales and marketing are aligned, it’s sales’ job to help marketing improve the quality and quantity of leads by showing it which leads are better. It's marketing's job to help sales better understand the qualified leads it gets and the information most valuable to consumers.
When sales and marketing work together, they can take your marketing effort to the next level by producing more and better leads— leads that are easier to convert and more profitable in the long run.
Aligning Marketing and Sales
Below are three steps you can take right now to speed up the alignment process:
1. Improve Communication Between Departments
Improving communication between sales and marketing empowers sales reps to have value-added conversations with consumers, leverage and maximize critical resources, increase productivity, and enhance the customer experience.
Improving communication also generates deeper insights into what’s working and what’s not working and produces a better understanding of where the best leads are, and more accurate buyer personas.
Holding regular meetings between the departments, systemizing lead scoring, collaborating on sales content creation, analyzing and measuring results as a team, and defining clear targets for both teams are few ways to boost communication between the departments.
2. Establishing KPIs in Common
Another step you can take to aligning marketing and sales is establishing and measuring KPIs significant to both departments. Doing so forces the two departments to work together to achieve a common goal. Examples of KPIs significant to both departments include:
- Lead generation
- Email sign-ups
- Social media engagement
- Cost per lead
- Landing page conversion rate
Establishing these KPIs doesn’t mean sales and marketing can’t have their own agendas. They can, but they need to support the company's overarching marketing goals.
3. Encourage a Culture of Collaboration
A third key to aligning sales and marketing is encouraging a culture of collaboration and teamwork between the departments. It encourages employees to see each other as teammates and not rivals for marketing resources.
Working on volunteer projects together, agreeing on mutually beneficial goals, identifying and eliminating sources of friction between the departments, and creating standard processes are all things you can do to foster collaboration between departments.
Aligning marketing and sales is worth the time and effort. It generates better leads, boosts profitability, and carves out a competitive advantage that can take your company to the next level.
Thanks for reading,