How to Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams

How to Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams

Sales and marketing are the two most important driving forces of your revenue machine. When they work closely together to deliver unifying messages to the customers, they bring even greater profits. These six essential steps here will help you align your sales and marketing, and coordinate multiple efforts to achieve the ultimate goal: revenue.

Quick definition before we start:

Marketing: everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects by cultivating their psychological needs.
Sales: everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract by facilitating actions.

1. Define Buyer Personas and Buyer’s Journey

Your have to understand your target customers in order to deliver effective marketing and sales messages. What are the needs and desires of your buyers? What media do they consume? How many steps does it take for them to go from cold leads to warm leads? Who influence your customers, friends, family, or experts? Answering these questions will help you gain a rough idea of your buyers. To gain a deeper idea, you need the input of both your sales and marketing teams. Why? Your sales team gains customer intelligence from their daily interaction with buyers while your marketing team conducts market research to understand the target segment. Combining their expertise, you lay the foundation for an effective marketing and sales strategy.

2. Set Revenue Goals

Common goals unite people. Set a common revenue goal for both of your sales and marketing teams, so that they are more willing to cooperate. Both sides also need to agree upon the punishments if the goal is not reached.

3. Align Messaging and Content Strategies

In the world of inbound marketing, content is king. However, before your marketing department rolls out their amazing content strategies, you need to involve your sales team in the review process. Can your sales people deliver a sales pitch that matches your overall messaging and content strategies? Do they understand the reasons behind those strategies? If your own sales people don’t believe in those strategies, neither do your customers.

4. Define The Lead Handoff Process

Defining the lead handoff process is crucial in the alignment process. You need to make sure that no leads are being left out of your sales funnel, and no leads are being “overworked.” Think about: what is a qualified lead, or sales ready lead? When and how will the handoff process take place? Who will be in charge of the handoff process? Make sure everyone in the sales and marketing departments are aware of the process.

5. Create Revenue Service Level Agreements

The leaders from both departments should come together and create revenue service level agreements. The agreements need to cover how many leads per week or month the marketing team will pass long to the sales team, and how quickly the sales team will follow up those leads, and with how much effort.

6. Optimize Feedback Loops

Misunderstandings often arise from miscommunication. Your sales and marketing teams needs to constantly communicate with each other regarding the lead generating and lead following process. When problems occur or goals are unreached, your team leaders should talk to each other first before going to the CEO. Set up weekly revenue meeting, demand generation closed loop meeting, and sales enablement meeting to facilitate communication between the two teams.

For more about sales and marketing alignment, please read here. 


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