Getting your sales and marketing teams to work together is critical for small to medium-sized businesses. When they are in synergy, your business can grow and make more money.
In this blog, we'll talk about the problems if they don't work together, the effort needed to make it happen, and how it can help your business make more money. Before we get to the steps…
Sales and marketing alignment occurs when the marketing and sales teams collaborate on shared priorities, strategies, and goals. The goal is to enhance the customer experience and improve overall performance.
When alignment is executed successfully, it enables teams to put together highly effective, results-oriented marketing campaigns. This type of cooperative teamwork results in better-qualified leads, increased sales, and greater revenue. Let's run through the 10 important steps to make sales and marketing work together for your small business.
To achieve alignment, start by defining shared objectives that both your sales and marketing teams can rally behind. These goals should be specific, measurable, and achievable. Common objectives provide a clear direction for the teams and improve collaboration. Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign is a prime example of aligning sales and marketing. The goal was to increase consumer engagement. Both teams worked together, resulting in a highly successful campaign that boosted sales and brand awareness.
Foster open and transparent communication between your sales and marketing teams. This includes regular meetings, shared calendars, and a clear system for feedback. By promoting collaboration and dialogue, you can minimize miscommunications and misunderstandings. Hubspot coined its own terminology for this, Smarketing, and has been using this method of open communication to remain one of the leaders in the sales and marketing industry.
Develop comprehensive buyer personas to better understand your target audience. Sales and marketing must collaborate to create these profiles, as they provide valuable insights into customer preferences, pain points, and behaviors.
Ensure your marketing materials, content, and messaging align with the sales team's needs. By creating content that aids the sales process and supports your buyer personas, you can increase lead conversion rates.
Invest in marketing automation tools to streamline your lead nurturing and qualification processes. Automation saves time and reduces manual effort, allowing your teams to focus on high-priority tasks.
A lead scoring system should take into account several factors, such as company size, industry, job title, geography, and any other relevant criteria. By assigning points to each attribute, you can quickly identify the most promising leads. Sales and marketing must both agree on criteria and point values in order for the system to be effective. It’s also important to define a lead threshold—a score at which a lead is identified as qualified. This threshold ensures that sales and marketing are on the same page about which leads are worth pursuing. Once a lead reaches this threshold score, they enter into the nurturing or qualification stages of the funnel.
Leverage data when making decisions about leads. It can reveal trends in customer behavior and the paths customers take to become your customer. Stay aligned on the best prospects so that resources aren’t wasted pursuing unqualified leads and with an effective system in place, your teams will have clear direction about which prospects are most likely to convert into customers.
Establish KPIs or Key Performance Indicators that both teams can track and evaluate their performance. These indicators should reflect your common goals and provide a clear overview of progress. Imagine what your business can accomplish through a shared focus on key performance indicators. It would be like, both teams working together to close a lead, or both teams developing the next marketing campaign. If everyone’s working toward identical objectives and stays informed on progress how can you not succeed?
Closed loop reporting (CLR) is a system by which data, feedback, and information collected by marketing and sales teams are made available to both teams. This step ensures that sales and marketing are on the same page regarding lead progress and outcomes while allowing for continuous improvement and optimization. This feedback loop enables both teams to refine strategies and enhance customer engagement
To solidify the effectiveness of your alignment strategy, it is crucial to maintain flexibility and regularly review and adjust your processes. As the market evolves, new data emerges, and technology advances, being adaptable and open to change becomes vital. Embracing the adaptability mindset will push you to stay competitive, relevant, and in sync with the dynamic business environment. Facebook is great at this! Social media has always been a developing category in the digital space, with new platforms emerging left and right on an annual basis. To combat this Facebook continuously adjusts its ad algorithms and targeting based on user feedback and market trends. This adaptability keeps the company at the forefront of the digital advertising industry.
Finally, calculate your return on investment by comparing the energy, time, and resources spent on sales and marketing alignment to the benefits you've received. A successful alignment strategy results in improved revenue, lead generation, and customer satisfaction, all contributing to a significant ROI while continuing to exceed customer needs and expectations.
Failure to align sales and marketing can lead to miscommunication, wasted resources, and missed opportunities. Misalignment may result in leads falling through the cracks, decreased customer satisfaction, and a drop in revenue.
Blockbuster's failure to adapt to changing market conditions and align its sales and marketing strategies resulted in its downfall. The company's inability to embrace digital transformation and understand shifting customer preferences led to bankruptcy.
Achieving sales and marketing alignment does require effort and dedication. However, the energy invested in planning, communication, and refining processes is essential for long-term success and growth.
Apple invests substantial time and energy in aligning its sales and marketing teams. Compiling data from both teams to inform each other on what customers want out of the next phone. The company's commitment to product launches, marketing campaigns, and customer experience demonstrates the dedication required to maintain leadership in the tech industry. Every year, they can change something as simple as moving the fingerprint scanner or enhancing app features that are exclusive to their updated operating system, and their campaign behind these simple changes results in massive sales for the new product drop (Which is, the same phone on an updated system, and the scanner on the back).
When your sales and marketing teams work together, you can make more money. You'll get more customers, spend less on finding them, and keep them for longer, which means more money for your business.
Amazon's unwavering focus on sales and marketing alignment has contributed to its status as one of the world's most profitable companies. Amazon's teams joined and with their combined data they formed a deep understanding of its diverse customer base. This new understanding enabled the creation of truly personalized recommendations and experiences for their customers. The approach not only attracts new customers but also keeps them coming back for more.
In the end, it's important for small businesses to make sure that their sales and marketing teams work together. Small businesses that invest in aligning their sales and marketing teams stand to benefit greatly from improved efficiency, better customer experiences, and increased revenue. Learning from the success stories of companies like Apple, HubSpot, and Amazon, and understanding the risks and efforts involved, can help your business achieve a substantial return on investment. Embrace the lessons shared in these case studies to foster alignment within your organization and drive growth and profitability. By following these 10 steps, you can mitigate the risks, manage the required energy, and look forward to a promising ROI. Remember, successful alignment is an ongoing process that can adapt to the ever-changing business landscape, so stay committed to your strategy.