Six steps to Marketing and Sales alignment

 In Sales & Marketing Alignment

Sales and Marketing don’t always make the best bedfellows.

Different metrics, dissimilar personalities, and disparate systems create tensions: Marketing criticizes Sales for not generating revenue from the leads its brilliant marketing efforts produced; and Sales complains that Marketing doesn’t deliver good content or quality leads, despite burning through the budget.

But there’s good news!

Marketing and Sales can live happily ever after.

Highly aligned Marketing and Sales teams see substantial improvements in key performance metrics, including a 67% improvement in closing deals, and according to Aberdeen, an average of 32% annual revenue growth. Predictably, less well-aligned companies report a seven percent decline in revenue growth on average.

Sales & Marketing Alignment: Happily Ever After

So how do you get your teams to work collaboratively?

Marketing and Sales alignment requires a strong understanding and appreciation of the role that each team plays throughout the buyer journey. It requires alignment among the teams along six key areas, including:

  1. A common, shared lead taxonomy – aligning on the definitions of the stages of the buyer journey (MQL, SAL, SQL…) and the criteria for pushing a lead to the next stage is a foundation.
  2. A systematic coordination between Marketing, Sales, and Telequalification of when – and how — to pass leads from marketing to sales to drive pipeline. These teams need to work together in a “3 in a box” model.
  3. Ensuring the teams have the same objectives and metrics. We are big fans of Marketing being measured not only on their contribution to pipeline, but also the required pipeline coverage target (3X, 4X etc.). This latter metric ensures they are in the same boat as sales, rowing in the same direction.
  4. A planning and ongoing communication process that incorporate Sales, Field Marketing, Telequalification, and Corporate Marketing. Field Marketing should be key participants in weekly sales calls and QBRs.
  5. The transformational use of Marketing Automation (and other MarTech apps), synced with CRM, for lead management, hyper-targeted nurturing throughout the buyer journey, and deep analytics.
  6. Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) that govern the joint commitment between sales and marketing, and hold both sides accountable.
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