5 Tips to Align Sales and Marketing

Do your marketing and sales teams get along? I bet the answer is no. Even if they are professional to one another, in most organizations, there is friction between them. This is a long-standing problem that many organizations have had to address. The sales and marketing team battle for resources, jockey for position with leadership, and compete for the attention of your prospects and customers. This friction is manifested when leads are handed off from marketing to sales. Marketers tell you that they exceeded their monthly MQL goal, to which the sales team will respond that those leads were no good.

Split between Sales/Marketing

In high-growth companies your goal is to achieve sustainable revenue growth. To do this you need to attract new customer and grow the relationship with your existing customers. Everything that the sales and marketing teams do must align to achieve this goal. I am in no way suggesting that they should be doing each other’s jobs. I am simply suggesting they should make each other’s job easier by striving to achieve a common goal. Here are five tips to help bridge the divide between your sales and marketing teams.

  1. Strong Leadership – To change a long standing divide between two teams it needs to start from the top. The CEO, with the senior marketing and sales executives, must be the catalyst for change. The first step is to align each team’s strategy around achieving revenue growth. Then your executive leadership needs to get their teams on board to execute on that strategy. This process will take some time, so it is important to continuously measure and revisit the execution step.
  2. Shared Metrics – The marketing and sales teams should share a common set of metrics. Not two sets of metrics, one. Together their goal should be to grow revenue by attracting new customers and growing the relationship with existing customers. Any metric that does not directly support this should be eliminated. Marketing should not settle for saying, “we exceeded our MQL goal this month.” Sales should not say marketing leads are garbage without providing feedback on how to improve them. One metric we suggest measuring is the conversion rate from MQLs to SQLs. This metric shines a light on the hand off from marketing to sales and can be improved by both teams.
  3. Single Source of Truth – Once you have determined which metrics to measure, you need to determine where you will measure them. These metrics should be tracked in one place. That way there is no confusion about how your business is progressing towards its goals.
  4. Integrated Tools – Sales teams work in their customer relationship management system (CRM) and marketing teams work in their marketing automation platform (MAP). These two systems should be integrated. Marketing spends a lot of time tracking what each lead does on their journey towards making a purchase. By the time the sales rep gets the lead, marketing already has a clear picture of who that lead is. The sales rep should take advantage of this and should not start from zero by simply calling the lead. If the MAP and CRM system are not connected it is very difficult for a sales rep to get all the information that the marketing team has on a lead.
  5. Open Communication – It should be no surprise that communication is important to closing the divide between the marketing and sales teams. As part of having strong leadership, the CEO should set the tone by communicating a concise vision that aligns sales and marketing. In addition, there should be a formal communication channel for the teams to get feedback from one another. We propose bi-weekly meetings with key participants from both teams – to include the marketing and sales executives. Additionally, there should be an informal communication channel that creates a fast feedback loop. Ad-hoc conversations can be very informative for both sides; this type of discussion should be encouraged.

Marketing and sales teams are critical to sustainable revenue growth. Both teams bring a unique skill to your organization. To properly leverage their skills you need to make sure they are aligned towards a common goal. These five tips are a good place to start. If you would like more information, or would like to know how ORM Technologies can help align your marketing and sales teams’ goals, please let us know at info@orm-tech.com.