Most companies feel the friction between sales and marketing. If your sales and marketing have an established gap, it’s time to close it. According to a report by Aberdeen Research, companies that are best-in-class at aligning marketing and sales experienced an average of 20% growth in annual revenue, compared to a 4% decline in laggard organizations. Harvard Business Review reported when sales and marketing work together it’s been shown that “companies see substantial improvement on important performance metrics: sales cycles are shorter, market-entry costs go down and the cost of sales is lower.”
So where to begin:
- Profile your customer. Utilizing marketing data and focus groups find out their demographics, psychographics and lifestyle habits. What do they look like? Where do they live? What are their interests? What communication channels do they respond to?
- Swap roles. As a marketer, go on a sales call, intercept a customer researching or buying the brand, and ask them questions. Get on the same page with who the customer is and what their motivations are. You need this for the marketing and the sales pitch. As a sales person, brainstorm messaging or offer suggestions based on your first-hand experience in the local marketplace in front of customers.
- Make sure the sales team has a voice. What are they hearing during the sale? Wouldn’t it be great for marketers to know what the main customer objectives are that have to be overcome to make the sale? Ask the sales team.
- Instate shared goals and a shared definition of success. 100 appointments, 25 sales and a ROI of 435%.
- Communication. It is important to bring the sales and marketing team together to discuss challenges and put plans in place. During a busy sales season, it may be beneficial for marketing to go after only high-quality leads as the salespersons’ time is limited and sales may be lost on less responsive leads, but during a slow period any lead may be a good lead, and with time to spare, those longer sales cycle prospects are fine. The main point is to be on the same page, communicate and operate as a team.
- Technology can help. Integrate CRM systems into marketing dashboards and track the use of marketing materials in the field and at events along with advertising campaigns.
Ending the war between sales and marketing is a proven way to grow revenue. So start the process of alignment: it will make your job easier and your efforts more effective and profitable.