In the past, sales and marketing used to operate as two completely separate entities, with two completely separate goals, and two completely separate KPIs. Not anymore. These days, the alignment of sales and marketing teams in any B2B organization around shared goals, KPIs, and strategies is critical to the success of both departments.
At this point, if you haven’t heard the hype about sales and marketing alignment – it might be time to get out from under that rock.
We’ve written a lot about why you need sales and marketing alignment in the past, and you can check out those articles here, so this time, let’s assume you’re already working on making sure your teams are aligned. Now what can you do to make it work even better, and grow your business.
The 5 Tips You Need to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment
Aligning your sales and marketing departments so they are able to share common goals is a great start, and you’ll likely see some great results internally right away. You’ll probably even start to see some results in your actual business. But, you can do more.
By using a few simple sales and marketing alignment strategies and a great automation software/CRM (obviously, we’re using HubSpot) you can actually help your business grow faster and improve your revenue. Here’s how:
Hold regular alignment meetings
This might seem obvious, but you can’t just create a sales and marketing alignment strategy, send it to both teams, have them agree on it, and never look back.
Both the world of sales and world of marketing (especially in the B2B space) are constantly evolving and changing. Your teams will be updating their strategies and methods all the time, so it’s important that they’re meeting on a regular basis to ensure everyone is still on the same page. If monthly meetings seem too frequent, try quarterly.
It’s also important to make sure that both your sales and marketing team members are able to speak up during the meetings and express their ideas and thoughts. Neither team’s goals or tasks are more important than the other so make sure everyone is being heard equally.
Share goals and KPIs
While your sales and marketing teams should be sharing some common goals (like total new customer in a year) each department will still have their own unique goals and specific KPIs that don’t involve the other. These are not secrets.
In order to achieve proper sales and marketing alignment, both teams should have a full understanding of each other’s KPIs. They should then take these goals into consideration when creating their own plans so you can ensure that the marketing strategy is not negatively impacting the sales strategy and vice versa. In fact, you can ensure that both strategies are working in a way that they positively reinforce each other.
Create two-way reporting
When you’re trying to align two departments in a way that it helps grow your business not only do both of those departments need to be accountable to leadership – they need to be accountable to each other.
Using your marketing and sales automation software (like HubSpot) create reports that both teams can view to understand the progress the other team is making. This will allow both teams to not only keep each other accountable, but also to put more focus on keeping themselves accountable.
You can have reports on how many new leads the website has brought in for sales to look at to ensure they’re capturing them all, and then reports on how many of those leads turned into customers, for marketing to look at to ensure the website is attracting the right leads.
Send task and reminder emails
Both teams are busy doing their own thing, so sometimes the tasks they need to do to help out each other, or contribute to the shared alignment goals can get lost or forgotten. That’s why it’s important to use your CRM, automation software, or productivity program to create tasks and/or regular reminder emails to let both teams know they might be forgetting something.
You can set up the emails to send regularly no matter what, or you can look for certain conditions and only send the tasks or reminders when those conditions aren’t being met – whichever works better for your team.
Include the other teams as well
Your business doesn’t end at just sales and marketing. You likely have team members in the customer service, operation, delivery, or even technology departments. It’s important that you include the heads of these other departments in some of your alignment strategy and activities. In particular, if you want to complete the full flywheel model, you should consider having the customer service team included in your regular alignment meetings and your two-way reporting.
Better Alignment = Better Business
Right now (March 2020) we are in the middle of challenging times for many businesses because of the CoVid-19 virus. The need for social distancing has caused many organizations make the choice to work from home exclusively. This means a lot of change for employees that normally spend their time working directly together.
This, along with the economic impacts means that it’s more important than ever to align your sales and marketing departments around shared goals and efforts. The more aligned your teams are, the more clients you’ll be able to nurture through the entire inbound journey without too much friction.
If you’re interested in more information about how sales and marketing automation software can help you achieve not just better alignment, but also better results in general, get in touch with Flawless today.