Sales and marketing have long been the focal points of leading organizations. As they generate revenue and profit directly or indirectly for the organization, they must work in tandem to give better results. This is often considered difficult, as both have different goals to achieve, giving rise to conflicting scenarios.
One has to acknowledge that sales and marketing are interdependent; without marketing, the sales team cannot get qualified leads, and without sales, a marketing team’s real accomplishment cannot be measured. With increasing competition, organizations are improvising their strategies to increase sales and revenue, which puts focus back on the sales and marketing team. A growing business can never afford the misalignment of sales and marketing. A report even says that misalignment of these teams is the main reason for business fallout and is costing companies a massive trillion dollars annually. Organizations that successfully resolved the differences between these teams witnessed a sharp growth story, as they understood the fact that marketing and sales alignment has to be a long-term strategy.
As per a statement by Jill Rowley, Chief Evangelist for Social Selling-
“The new reality is that marketing needs to know more about sales, sales need to know more about marketing, and we all need to know more about our customers.”
Sales and marketing team have to be on the same page by conveying the three key areas for good results, which are:
- Lead generation metrics– SQL(sales qualified lead), MQL( Marketing qualified lead)
- Lead scoring
- Service Level Agreement
Find some of the tactics, through which you can align the sales and marketing:
- Developing a single journey: Creating a single journey of the customer is one of the useful processes for aligning sales and marketing. You have to ensure that the customer enjoys every single experience with the brand. The process starts with the awareness stage to strong brand loyalty, tied together as a powerful collective experience. Every connectivity helps the marketing team in tracking the prospect and sales team in closing the deal.
A company has to see how customers interact with the brand across five major touchpoints:
- The customer support team
- The sales team
- Outbound marketing
- Brand presence on different channels
All these touchpoints help to understand the entire journey and to develop a unified journey from the marketing and sales point of view. An organization has to take the help of CRM technology in this case, along with analytics, email marketing, and marketing automation.
- Agreeing to SLAs (Service Level Agreement): A Service Level Agreement between the two teams can make the best sense of both marketing and salespeople objectives. When both the teams are accountable for the same result, then they start working together, not necessarily as a team but towards achieving the same goal.
When developing the SLA for marketing and sales, the focus should be on:
- Identifying the right protocols for managing the leads
- Assigning clear goals for the marketing and sales teams
- Defining the KPIs of both sales and marketing team
- Clearly defining buyer personas and profiles of the client
After the implementation of SLA, one can see the consistency in leads flow and worked into the CRM.
- Nurturing your leads for sale: Closing a sale in the B2B industry is not that easy as B2C, as it involves high-value purchases. In the current scenario, most of the B2B buyers do their own research before going for the final deal. They actively check online content. As per a report, the content has a 90% influence rate, with almost nine out of the ten buyers saying that it has a significant effect on their purchase decision.
An organization has to keep nurturing these leads so that in the later stage, they get converted as customers. CRM (customer relationship management) has an important role in this as it provides useful insights about which of the content might attract the prospect, to be executed by the marketing team and in organizing specific data of each customer for a meaningful conversation, to be executed by the sales team.
- Increasing personalized outreach: Personalization works in every marketing strategy. Some CRMs allow the team to see the complete view of the customer’s history, helping in smart communication. Mapping specific fields into the CRM enables the sales team in getting personal during their follow up approach.
Many C-level executives have even stated that if they find an email having a personal touch, then they are motivated to reply. This feedback is enough to develop personalized emails with the help of the CRM, which the marketing team can easily craft.
- Customer Feedback: Customer feedback is one of the powerful and relevant data through which one can align these teams. During sales calls, you can gather VOC (voice of customer) feedback, which can help the team in understanding the pain point of the customer and modifying the sales pitch accordingly to motivate the customer for purchasing a product or service.
The CRM data also helps in identifying the trends and patterns and can integrate with different tools for gathering feedback in one place. VOC is the real-time customer data where your customers are telling what they want, so you should listen to their needs and make improvements in the service as per their requirements. Monitoring your customer’s feedback and using it for improvising the service can make them happy and loyal to your service.
As companies move from the already established marketing practices to new ones, most of them are looking forward to having an environment that promotes the sales and marketing alliance for better growth.
Sales and marketing are two different sides of the same coin, and they need to coexist for providing astounding outcomes to the organization. You can implement some of the tactics explained in the blog to align sales and marketing for a futuristic Smarketing.
Robert Jordan, a seasoned marketing professional with over 10 years of experience, currently working as Media Relations Manager at InfoClutch Inc, one of the leading B2B marketing data solutions across the globe. Have expertise in setting up the lead flow for budding startups and takes it to the next level. Have a deep interest in SEO, SEM, Social Media, AI & Bigdata related discussions. Always open for new ideas & discussions.
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