“It takes two flints to make a fire.” – Louisa May Alcott
Want to increase conversion rates and generate higher-quality leads? Improved sales and marketing alignment could be the key to unlocking a better lead generation program to fill your company’s pipeline.
If your sales team’s goal is to increase the average deal-size, but the marketing team’s goal is to increase the incoming lead volume, you’re not in alignment. Why? Because the marketing tactics used to help sales increase the average deal-size are different from those used to increase the volume of new leads.
Cooperation between sales and marketing becomes more challenging as your organization grows. It’s likely you sit in different silos within your company separated by goals, physical location, reporting structure, and leadership teams. Not to get political, but the need for bipartisan agreement is an apt analogy.
While you may attend monthly meetings during which each team shares project updates, you’re probably not rolling up your sleeves and working together.
To reap the rewards of sales and marketing alignment, you have to do the work.
Sales and marketing alignment best practices for success
Here are our five tips for realizing the benefits of sales and marketing alignment:
- Agree on your company’s ideal customer profile (ICP). Marketing should be reaching those buyers most likely to convert into customers. Conversely, sales should be prioritizing the leads most likely to convert into customers. If you disagree with the ICP, marketing is generating leads and wondering why there aren’t more sales, while the sales team is unhappy with the quality of the leads marketing is sending them.
- Share your KPIs. Like the example in the introduction, it’s not uncommon for the sales and marketing teams to have conflicting performance goals. Without discussing your individual and team goals and what success looks like, you’re unwittingly setting your colleagues up for failure and hindering company growth.
- Follow playbooks that define an agreed-upon process for marketing to sales handoff. One of the most common complaints from marketing is that the sales team doesn’t follow up on their leads. However, the sales team may lack insight into the best time to step into the buyer’s journey. Without a documented process that indicates the ideal time for a salesperson to get involved, and with what message, leads fall through the cracks.
- Develop content plans with input from both sides of the aisle. While the marketing team is tasked with developing great content, don’t forget your sales team has daily interaction with your buyers and the rest of the buying committee. Getting to know the day-to-day questions your buyers are asking will help marketers develop better content that is more likely to resonate with your audience and increase the quality of leads.
- Invest in win/loss reports. Knowing why you win new accounts, and understanding the reasons you lose them is critical. Marketing can use this information to develop better messaging while sales can walk into a meeting with the added confidence that they understand what their buyers are seeking.
ABM + sales and marketing alignment
Lucrative account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns depend on sales and marketing alignment. Coordination between teams is necessary to develop the high-touch outreach that will increase sales velocity and deal-size.
To fill your pipeline and grow your organization, sales and marketing teams must come together to ignite the fire of success.