Three ways to fix bad alignment
Encourage teams to listen to each other.
If you want to align your sales and marketing efforts, your teams need to listen to each other and – as corny as this sounds – really hear each other. Both departments must have a comprehensive understanding of the sales process.
If they don’t, neither can make the kind of thoughtful, actionable recommendations needed to improve each department’s role in it. Sales and marketing must both consider the other’s perspective – listen and learn until they can thoroughly explain both sides of your sales process.
When your teams really want and can hear each other, they can develop the empathy, knowledge, collaboration skills and strategic vision needed to bring the departments together.
- Strive for consistency in expectations, data and technology.
One of the bigger parts of successfully aligning marketing and sales is promoting and maintaining consistency. You must ensure that your teams work with an understanding of the same ultimate goals, from the same information.
That point begs the question, “How do you keep things cohesive?” You can start by keeping the lines of constant contact open – supplemented by regular meetings and briefings between departments.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to have routine sales and marketing syncs to keep both teams aligned in terms of overall goals and daily activities.
It is also important that both sales and marketing have access to the same systems and data as a reference point for their mutual and individual efforts. It helps a marketing department to see how its work affects sales and vice versa.
That kind of visibility can come from mutually accessible technology, such as a CRM that includes both sales and marketing.
Use the input of your sales team in content marketing.
Chances are, your content marketing efforts are greater than necessary. You may be using and promoting content that doesn’t really help your sales.
You want to produce content that enriches the professional life of your customers. Give them insights that educates and intrigues them, and often require a thorough understanding of your potential customers’ interests and desires – sales can provide that information.
Their job is to understand what drives your potential customers, so if you want your marketing department to produce solid content that your sales team can ultimately benefit from, it’s important to involve a number of sales colleagues in your content creation process.
By doing this, you let your sales steer your topic in the right direction, you can give them leads they know have an interest in your offering, promote collaboration between the departments, and give both departments a share in the activities of the other.
Why coordination between marketing and sales is a must for companies?
You may ask, “Is alignment between marketing and sales really that important? Should my company really go to the trouble of making sure those departments are in sync?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
Marketing and sales alignment is just as important as this blog suggests. It hurts your business if you can’t control it, and it doesn’t just affect one of your departments.
It undermines the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts as a whole. A Forrester survey found that 43% of CEOs believed that a misalignment had cost them sales.
If you want to get the best out of one of your teams, make sure they are aligned and in constant contact. There are certain tips and tricks you can use to get there – all of which are supported by one fundamental strategy: creating an environment that encourages openness and collaboration.
You have to let your sales and marketing departments constantly communicate with each other and learn from each other. If you can facilitate this environment in the office, you will put yourself in the best possible position to have a consistent, fluid exchange of ideas and strategies between departments to get the most out of both teams.
Want to know more? Read our book Marketing Sucks and Sales Too.