Oil and water. Chalk and cheese. Cats and dogs. Slugs and salt. Laxatives and sleeping pills. Lindsay Lohan and a clean record. And sales and marketing. It wouldn’t take a Sherlock to guess that these are the things that don’t go together. Especially when it comes to business world, sales and marketing are often in a tussle to prove their dominance over each other. Sales team complain that whatever leads marketing team delivers aren’t worth and marketers say that sales are too lazy to pursue good leads. Of course, both the sales and marketing teams have the same goal as to grow the bottom line, bring the revenue and make the business a success but even with shared goals, more often than not, there is no shared focus which leads to a disconnect. Cut off from each other, both the teams can become silos, which can be disastrous for a business. According to a research, companies where the sales and marketing teams are better in sync, there is a 67% higher chances of closing a deal (Marketo Research).
We have all been taught from the childhood about the importance of working as a team and we all know there is much to be gained from sales and marketing working together for an increased lead flow and improved revenues. But how can it happen? The answer lies in smarketing (sales +marketing) which is the alignment of sales and marketing. Check out some of the tips which can help you align your sales and marketing team better to drive better results.
Same Terminology and Definitions
For marketers and sales, definition of a ‘lead’ may be completely different. Both the teams need to sit together and finalize on a universal definition which could be applied office wide. Consider defining terms like ‘prospects’, ‘leads’, ‘qualified leads’, ‘lead nurturing’.
Although the final goal for both the teams would be to bring in leads and increase revenue, it is always better to set common goals for the teams which can help them see eye-to-eye. Having a structured similar compensation for both sales and marketing would help you bring the teams together.
Redefine your Sales Funnel
To have a better alignment, both the sales and marketing teams need to have a better view of the sales funnel. The old definition of the Sales Funnel where marketers handled the top of the funnel while the sales were responsible for the bottom of the funnel would not cut it here. Let them have an equal share at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel. Instead of having two separate database for Sales and Marketing, consider using a single source database for a better alignment.
Analyze Metrics Across the Entire Funnel
After both the teams have a better clarity of the funnel, you need to capture the data from the moment the prospect enters the funnel all the way through to the closed deal. By tracking visitors on each step, you would have a better clarity on which marketing campaigns are working and which aren’t and how many of those prospects are turning to customers.
Bring your marketing and sales team together by creating mutual accountability. Make your company act as client and let both the teams deliver you the reports as they would to a client. This would help create unity and would help them work together.
Not all sales which fall through go out of funnel completely. You need to create a lead nurturing program. Lead nurturing helps nurture a relationship with prospects by creating consistent and relevant communication with prospects based on their interests.
Use Lead Scoring
Marketing can bring in lots of leads but how do you separate the quality leads to a lead which is still a prospect? It can be done with lead scoring. Lead scoring can help you provide values to each lead based on their displayed behavior on your website and the amount of information you have for them.
The campaigns driven by marketing need to closely sales aligned. The campaigns could be separated into Lost Deal Campaign to keep the sales ambers burning, cold-lead drip where the campaigns could be woven around prospects which feel because of non-interest of the prospects and may get revived in future and more such dripping tap strategies based on leads behaviour.
Have Regular Meetings
One of the most important element in building smarketing alignment is communication. The better and more open the communication is between the two groups, the better alignment there would be.
A better alignment between sales and marketing is a proven way to grow revenue and win! A companies who do it right simply have a much bigger hand over the ones who don’t. So, which side of the boat you should be? Align your sales and marketing team to see your business fly high!