Every business wants to have greater revenue and growth, but they feel spring under their feet when they hear words like “sales and marketing teams” AND “together”. It’s fairly common in the business world to try and work it out without having the two teams aligned. According to Forbes, Mary Shea, Ph.D., principal analyst at Forrester Research, said “If marketing and sales aren’t aligned and if they don’t collaborate, they will be disintermediated. By buyers themselves who find other ways to get what they need or by more agile competitors."
Let’s understand how or rather, why your sales and marketing teams should work together.
A business is started with an objective to achieve something great and for that, your teams need to understand that both of them work in collaboration to get there. Knowing how hard it is for the sales team to convince leads and close them into customers is important for the marketing team. Similarly, knowing how much creativity and input go into developing engaging content when other businesses are giving you a neck-to-neck competition is crucial for the sales reps as well.
Understanding each other doesn’t have to mean interfering with each other’s work. Rather, it is more like being on the same page. This will not only let them clearly see each other’s work and opinions but also allow them to empathise with each other for they both are working towards the same goal.
When it comes to aligning the two teams, it’s more than just summing up their individual talents. Usually, everything goes smooth when the revenue is growing, conversion rates are higher, and so on. But when the business gets under the eye of the storm, it is easy for both teams to blame each other. However, when they are aligned, they work as the backbone of your business. Since they work together as a single team, they tackle hardships together, sit together to find loopholes and solutions to help the business get back on track.
According to a LinkedIn report, 54% sales and marketing teams have noted a positive change in revenue generation contributed by their alignment. It has also been reported that 58% of the organisations with aligned teams have seen a 2% increase in efficiency and 52% saw increased productivity. Another research showed that those organisation which had aligned sales and marketing teams have 32% more revenue generation as well.
When the teams align on the shared goal, they understand how their collaboration would work towards a bigger and better company that brings in customer loyalty and trust as rewards.
One of the most important things for your business is to know the personas of your buyers. The marketing team generates leads and the sales team closes them. Then isn’t it good to have them together to discuss and understand buyer’s personas? Most sales teams have complaints that the marketing team generates poor quality leads and the marketing team doesn’t like their work not being appreciated. According to a recent study, the cost of lost pursuit for a sales rep is $218,000. When the two teams sit together, the sales persons can explain which leads will be the quickest to attract and convert and the marketing team can bring information gathered from surveys, landing pages, newsletters, and so on and the whole process becomes easy.
Why we call aligners A-liners is because they share a common goal and both the teams support each other in achieving it. A CRM tool brings in transparency. It brings everything from documents, database, interactions, progress and customer service all at a single platform. The teams work collectively on the status of launched campaigns - the marketing team hands over qualified leads to the sales team and the sales team works towards converting them. This also helps in the effective management of each campaign.
To fetch you some facts, 81% of the brands with aligned teams have collaborations with sales reps to develop content. As salespeople work in the front line, they get to know the customer behavior and these insights could be shared with the marketing team. Sales teams know the details of customer pain points. They help the marketing team to publish relevant content in such a way that the customers feel your brand reads their minds! Wouldn’t it be amazing to interact with your leads that way?
71 % of organisations vouch for CRM as their best digital technology for having aligned sales and marketing teams. Although marketing is an ever-changing discipline with more tools and ways being developed to attract visitors and engage leads, prospecting in sales has also come a long way. Salespersons are not only interacting with prospects over the phone but also by using other platforms, such as LinkedIn or by emails for scheduling demos. So, the marketing team can help them create engaging content to speed up their conversions. Thus, they will be fueling the sales prospecting funnel and contributing to attracting a wider audience through content.
So, when a falling apple hit Newton’s head, he figured out it was because of the forces from the earth. Similarly, when there is tension between the two teams, your strategy will suffer and so will your revenue (your apple will fall). Also, this tension can be easily felt by your customers because the approach of the marketing teams for one customer would be different from that of the sales team. And that’s where you get dissatisfied customers. Not good, right? Facts tell us that businesses with aligned sales and marketing teams can easily generate 208% more revenue from marketing.
Most of the times, both the teams complain that the Marketing Qualified Leads are different than the Sales Qualified Leads. That’s the result of not working together and having an unclear picture of the leads that qualify as their prospect. But we can fix this. If both the teams sit together and develop a detailed and thorough definition of each type of lead they will be sharing, the sales cycle will get shorter for each lead. Take a look at the numbers below for how sales and marketing alignment influences lead quality and quantity.
The salespersons can list out the traits of the best leads sent to them and the marketing team can share common traits or behavior patterns to narrow down the list of their target audience. Thus, conversion rates will increase because you will be receiving and hitting the right target at the right time. The revenue will also show why it was a good idea to get the two teams working together.
A customer journey map is basically the general trends seen in a buyer’s journey. It includes both micro-events and the bigger picture. You can view the bigger picture by mapping how a lead will travel through the sales funnel and zoom in to specific events, such as sign-ups, eBook downloads, and so on. When both the teams understand how they segment their customers, the sales reps will trust that they will get qualified leads and the marketing team will trust the sales feedback.
Looking at the sales and marketing teams as exclusive entities is more of a missed opportunity in utilising their full potential. They’re like the two legs of the human body that help equally in running with efficiency making a great balance without letting the body trip on the way and win the race. They complement your business like nothing else. For starters, look at the buyer’s journey, take help from real-time data, and shoot in the same direction together.