Marketing and sales pivot around a shared centric point: Customers.
Marketing teams generally focus on developing leads through brand awareness while sales teams focus on lead conversion into sales. In short, marketing brings leads and diverts it to sales for closure. Fundamentally, marketing and sales teams work around almost the same set of people – converting suspects to prospects, prospects to sales funnel and sales funnel to sales pipeline (opportunity).
Traditionally marketing and sales team have always worked in cut off silos. The way both teams work has been always so poles apart. While marketers focus on long-term brand building, sales teams often choose to chase short-term revenue targets.
Leads – the most essential element of revenue can get abandoned just because of these two distorted perspectives.
So, coming back to the point, why marketing should align with sales?
Aligning marketing with sales decreases the revenue cycle length and cuts the cost of doing business. Tying marketing strongly with sales connects the ROI with marketing spend and helps better evaluate the performance of marketing teams. Companies these days spend a third of their annual revenue on marketing and sales.
As per a study by The TAS Group:
- Misalignment between sales and marketing technologies and processes can costs B2B companies 10% or more revenue every year.
- Companies with superior sales and marketing practices can generate 208% more revenue.
- When sales and marketing teams work collectively, companies see 36% increased customer retention and 38% more sales conversion rates.
How to do it? Communication
Communication is the foundation of marketing and sales alignment. It helps both teams internalize that they are focused on the same goal – to increase revenue.
Shared Goals and Assigned Responsibilities
Alignment gets sales and marketing teams talking about their common goal and assigned responsibilities. Sales should clearly define ‘a good lead’ in terms of all major traits such as demographics and behavioral. Lead definition helps marketers get more focused in generating “x” number of superior quality sales-ready leads rather than just creating awareness. Aligned teams work jointly on sales-ready leads.
Leads passed by marketing to sales should be carefully evaluated as sales-ready or needing extra workup, in which case sales should pass back the leads to marketing with detailed feedback on what elements are missing.
To align marketing with sales is to look narrowly at both functions through the monocle of revenue generation, the primary purpose of any business.