Who has NOT heard about this topic lately? That is of course, Sales and Marketing Alignment.
In the past year, at two different organizations polar opposite in size and objectives, the idea of building the bridge between Sales and Marketing has never been louder and more in your face.
The question that we could ask ourselves is why? What led us here? Or, was it always this way?
The true answer to the historical origins goes far beyond my years.
However, what we can do now is tackle the current dilemma that we have in front of us.
How do we align?
“We are in the age of modern B2B, where marketing and sales need to partner together to serve the customer.”
-Matt Heinz, President at Heinz Marketing
Now, we all know that each approach will be different at every organization. As much as we can sit here and say we are different due to account size, industry, target audience, etc., there are actually hundreds of variables that come into play. We need to be objective and really look at what methods or strategies we can streamline that will fundamentally help any organization.
Let’s bring it together.
1. Work, and Lots of It
There is no question about that. I would be lying if I told you it was easy, and if you just try a little bit, it will all be better. Let’s face the facts, it’s hard to solve any problem without consistent effort from both parties involved.
When we accept the fact that the work we put in will help us achieve what we want as a unit, we are more likely to actually affect the bottom line together.
Get your teams together. Bring all those different personalities and priorities in a room together and let the work begin. You will absolutely NOT achieve your goal the first time, or the second. However, it will get better in time.
Set your differences aside and put the work in.
2. Understand Realities
Does Sales really know all the different organizational structures and roles that exist in a Marketing department?
- What does a demand generation person really do?
- What is the main priority of a content marketer?
- What KPIs are they measured on?
The roles and priorities are endless, but does sales know that?
Does Marketing really know all the responsibilities of Sales?
- How does an Account Executive team function?
- What is happening in the world of SDRs/BDRs?
- What are Sales most relevant KPIs?
When we learn and prove to one another that we want to invest, we will naturally start to bridge the gap.
UNDERSTAND and focus on INVESTING in each other and then watch the level of collaboration increase.
3. Share Your Targets
Intertwine your targets. Understand that one KPI for one team is 100% connected to another team. Focus on sharing the whole funnel and agree to the most attainable metrics as a group. Make sure to focus on the KPI that everyone is tied to… company GROWTH. It’s a company objective, not only a department objective.
Well, we can’t actually share our targets, can we?
You’re right, it’s a lot harder than it looks.
However, we can start with accountability. Accountability around the fact that we will be responsible for achieving our number. When we each hit a number that matters to both Sales and Marketing, then ultimately everyone benefits.
Marketing Qualified Lead → Sales Accepted Leads
Sales Qualified Leads → Sales Qualified Opportunities
4. Strengthen the Relationship
Marketing needs to talk to Sales often, and Sales needs to talk to Marketing often.
But, is that enough?
We need to break that down further. Sales and Marketing departments have so many influential people that need to be better at communicating. It’s not only up to leadership to come to the conclusions.
Sales Development Representatives and Account Executives have their ear to the ground and they need to share their learnings with Marketing so that together we can create content that aligns with what the market and what our customers are asking for.
Marketing needs to talk about leads with the Sales team to find out how to improve quality based on outreach efforts.
Customer Success and Marketing need to talk about what customers are saying today in order to align messaging across the whole buyer journey.
This cycle needs to continue with anyone who is involved in the process. Keep the message aligned internally and externally.
Cater to the pre and post sale!
We need to put in the work to understand what everyone’s roles and responsibilities are.
Invest in each other.
Talk about accountability. No one team can do it on their own.
Realize that the communication needs to be constant and consistent across all levels, not only leadership.
If the market and customers change all the time, then we need to change.
Cory Yefet is a Sr. Business Development Manager at Uberflip. He is sales leader, public speaker, and martial arts expert who is obsessed with building and scaling sales teams. His 8+ year sales career has led him to be in a constant state of learning. He is charged with growing and managing a business development team composed of top sales professionals.