According to old business fables, sales and marketing teams weren’t always best friends. Like Sherlock and Moriarty, these two teams often disagree, with a feud brewing and forever bubbling up just below the surface. So, armed with our fix and fix attitude as we move forward into 2021, it’s time to tackle the impossible (… stick it on the invoice) – aligning our sales strategies and marketing.
But it’s not just us who think these old school rivals should put their differences aside. According to World class As sales and marketing professionals, aligning your sales and marketing will be a critical part of staying competitive.
So why exactly do your sales and marketing teams need to work together, and how does ending this rivalry benefit your business growth goals? Let’s find out.
Sales vs Marketing
The first thing we need to check is how your sales and marketing teams are different. After all, aren’t both departments working to put what you do into the hands of happy customers?
Well, yes … and no.
Both departments have the same end goal: converting leads into paying customers in order to generate glorious income for your business.
So, you would think that with this common goal in mind, your sales and marketing department would be a little less Sherlock and Moriarty, and a lot more Sherlock and Watson. Less like two competing visionaries, and more like a partnership that is stronger for the presence of the other. These two departments are, after all, fundamentally different.
Your sales team is responsible not only for converting leads into customers, but also for managing customer relationships, customer retention, answering questions, making sales calls, resolving issues and doing whatever is right. its power to help the customer find the solution they need to their problem. They focus on the entire customer journey. They are the anchor of your team because, without them and without customer loyalty, how would you generate income?
Your marketing team, however, is here to help you generate those leads and make your customers aware that the things you do exist, that they are great, and that they will make their customers’ lives easier. These are the people who create buyer personas to understand what your customers want to hear, craft thoughtful messages and marketing campaigns, and execute them to perfection. If you didn’t have a marketing strategy, your salespeople wouldn’t have so many people to sell things to.
That’s why your sales and marketing teams are like Sherlock and Watson. Both work to bring the dough, but the whole operation wouldn’t work without one or the other.
Steps to Developing a Killer « Marketing » Strategy
Yeah, yeah, we know. Everything must have a bit of a fancy name these days, right?
Nonetheless, smarketing – the alignment of sales and marketing – is the highlight moment you’ve been waiting for!
According to a recent case study, When your marketing and sales teams and strategies aren’t aligned, nearly 75% of all marketing leads never match a sales conversion. So, you not only wasted a ton of opportunities to get money into the company’s bank account, but you also wasted the resources and budget that you already gave to these two teams. Ineffective processes can only lead to misaligned sales and wasted marketing efforts.
But, on the other hand, when there is alignment between sales and marketing, you can expect at least a 34% increase in new business revenue.
So while the two teams have the same goal, they don’t really have… the same goal, because they think they’re both playing on different grounds. Your marketing team is trying to generate as many leads as possible, and your sales team wants to convert as many leads as possible, but neither team is working together to achieve their common goal. How then do you align your sales process and your marketing strategies for optimal success?
Create a unique customer journey
The first big disconnect that creeps between marketing and sales is how they understand the customer. More often than not, you will find that your marketing and sales team have different ideas about how a customer goes from awareness to buying decision making, and this is a major reason why prospects fail. often not become customers. Customers are not stupid; they can feel this disconnect from a mile away when they start to engage with your brand.
So you need to bring your teams together and encourage them to restructure their goals around a unique and mutually understood customer journey that spans from the second the customer hears about your brand to the very last communication you have with them on a certain product.
Agree on a Customer Persona
Again, marketing and sales teams often have different ideas about who they’re actually talking to. It’s not surprising. The two teams will typically aim for different qualities in the same character, but over time the idea of who the client is becomes distorted.
The most important thing in this regard is that both teams should always put the customer first, which involves agreeing on a customer persona (or several) and how to market their qualities at each stage of the process. customer journey. Who is the ideal client for both teams?
This means that your marketing team needs to understand who is interested in your product, while your sales team is working out who is ready to make a buying decision.
And yes, these should both be two sides of the same customer personality coin. Just by realizing that what interests a character will not be the same as what makes them ready to buy.
That said, it’s also important that your teams are flexible with their personas. Over the past year in particular, we’ve seen how easily the market can change and evolve, and your marketing and sales teams need to be able to adapt to that. Inevitably, your customers’ weak spots will change and pretending they won’t will inevitably bring you and your teams back to square one in this whole process.
Use a « marketing first » approach
Yes, we know we’ve said so far that both teams are equal in value, but there is a huge benefit to taking a marketing-focused approach.
Sure, your sales team could survive without their marketing peers, but nobody likes cold calls these days. Or a cold emailer. Or, really any type of unsolicited marketing.
So your marketing team needs to figure out where your customers hang out and meet them on their playing field. Once they’ve identified where your customers are, it’s time for your sales team to reinforce the marketing message and get started. to work on those conversions.
Track common KPIs
Love them or hate them, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) show you what’s working and what you need to fix, immediately.
Usually your sales and marketing teams will follow different KPIs. Your sales team wants to know the number of accounts they renewed, the new accounts they generated, and the overall conversion rate. Your marketing team, on the other hand, is probably more interested in the quantity and quality of leads, ROI, and email open rates.
So how do you align their KPIs? Well, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You just need to get your two teams to get together on a regular basis every week to discuss what’s important to them and how they can align those things together. If you want them to work together on a common goal, then you need to have weekly meetings to determine what their other common goals are.
Use customer feedback
Let’s face it – unless you’re really passionate about surveys and reviews, you’re not asking your customers to fill them out for the fun of it. No, you send them because you want to see what your customers think about what you are selling and what they think you can improve.
However, reading the submissions isn’t just about finding the weirdest laughing complaints around the coffee maker. However, we won’t deny that it’s fun. You can use the information you get to understand your customers’ weak spots, what they’re looking for, and even what you need to do to turn those missed conversions into sales.
From there, the two teams can work together to refine your brand message and your products or services, and then market them accordingly.
Whether you’re selling pencils to kids or industrial-grade rocket fuel at NASA, the last thing you want is for your marketing and sales team to use different terminology. It’s absolutely unprofessional, and when you force your customers to work harder to understand what you’re saying, there’s a whole bunch of friction that can keep them from deciding to make a purchase.
Ultimately, if you confuse your audience via mixed posts, they won’t trust you. And why should they? If your teams can’t agree on which terminology to use, how can a customer trust that you’ve gathered your resources to help them?
That’s why your sales and marketing teams should work from the same brand guidelines. Textbooks explaining terminology, wording, tone of voice, and even how to act on a certain campaign or sales campaign are great for keeping everyone on the same page.
Building a more prosperous future with smarketing
The truth is it’s a lot more expensive to get new customers than to retain them. That’s why the two teams should work together to help keep your loyal customers by your side, while also making it as easy as possible to convert qualified leads.
Aligning your teams will not be easy. We’re friends now, we’re not gonna lie to you like that. But, we can promise you that the effort to align your teams will be worth it. This will not only increase the lifetime value of your current and potential customers, but it will have massive ripple effects on your continued growth, your bottom line, and your business goals. If you want to build a more profitable future for your business income – and honestly, who doesn’t? – then it’s time to let smarketing come into your life.