Sales and marketing alignment has become the talk of the town these days. It is a crucial factor for any business as both the teams are completely accountable for the revenue generation of an organization directly or indirectly. Let’s see a few statistics on sales and marketing alignment to define the effectiveness of alignment between sales and marketing.
As per Forrester Research, organizations that have marketing and sales aligned, achieved an average of 32% revenue growth whereas organizations have on average of 7% decline in revenue growth with less marketing and sales alignment.
According to MarketingProfs, organizations have 36% higher customer retention rates and achieved 38% higher win rates with tight sales and marketing alignment.
As per Sirius Decisions, B2B organizations achieved 24% faster growth and 27% faster profit growth adopting the good nexus between sales and marketing.
By seeing the above statistics, we can make out the importance of sales and marketing alignment for a business. When it comes to the B2B industry, the third top marketing priority is sales and marketing alignment.
“We’re living in the Age of the Customer where nobody wants to be marketed or sold to. Yes, marketing needs to know more about sales, and yes, sales needs to know more about marketing, but most importantly, we all need to know more about our customers. We need to know more, care more, and do more for our customers.” — Jill Rowley, Chief Growth Advisor, Marketo
Why is Sales and Marketing alignment important?
We all know about the tips and strategies to align sales and marketing as it is available in different online sources. But it is equally important to know why it is important for a business and how does it enhance revenue growth.
- Works as a sales enablement tool
The perception of sales and marketing toward buyers has been changed these days. Because buyers are digitally driven and socially connected. A salesperson can obtain necessary information about a buyer. Hence, social connections help the sales and marketing team to research on an account before targeting. The research and an understanding of an account require a joint effort of sales and marketing.
Also, the integration of sales and marketing helps the content team to create suitable content to target the prospect. Ultimately, sales and marketing alignment helps to enhance the sales rate.
- Helps to qualify more leads
As salespeople are on the frontline to communicate with the customers, it is always good to ask salespeople about types of customers and their behavior toward purchase. The good alignment of sales and marketing or the joint hands of these two teams can have a better understanding of an account. Also, it helps to decide whether s/he will be your potential customer or not.
If you don’t have tight alignment between these two teams, you will end up wasting time and effort chasing behind unqualified leads.
- Defines the quality of leads
When a prospect enters into a sales funnel, s/he has to go through different stages. when the marketing team hands over an MQL to the sales team and if the sales team doesn’t join hands, the quality of lead can’t be defined. In order to define the quality leads, both sales understanding and marketing understanding on an account are required.
As this is the age of the customer, more than selling a product, providing a solution is important. Customers don’t understand your roller coaster trial of the selling process, at the end of the day they need a solution to their pain point. In order to understand a prospect’s pain point and required solution, both sales and marketing understanding and effort are required.
- Several Problems can be solved
There are always a few challenges in every organization that can be solved by the tight alignment between sales and marketing. Here are examples of common problems:
As per research, the sales team ignores 80% of leads passed by the marketing team. Instead of looking at the same leads, sales teams waste time to dig new leads. Those new leads may or may not be qualified leads. In this scenario, sales and marketing alignment helps to find qualified leads. The sales team will coordinate with the marketing team regarding leads and try to find out the pain point and solution based on the nurturing steps taken by the marketing team.
Sometimes both the teams feel the workflow is complex. The sales and marketing alignment solves this problem. It helps both teams to work toward the same goal and targeted persona which simplifies the workflow. Working in the shared tool and one view dashboard, most of the communications are understandable without downloading the information from one team to another team.
Sales and marketing teams blame each other for a lengthy sales cycle. Generally, buyers take time either to decide or to avoid. In order to nurture these types of buyers, sales, and marketing alignment is required to retain them. The understanding of both the teams about a particular buyer will help to foster them based on the requirement of a buyer.
Important Factors of Sales and Marketing Alignment
Sales and marketing alignment doesn’t happen just like that. A few factors are there that help to align both the teams.
- Alignment in goals
Though the goals of sales and marketing teams should be the same in an organization, in reality, their goals are not aligned with each other. The marketing team takes a long time to find and nurture a lead through the lead scoring process. Simultaneously, the marketing team starts its strategy to build branding which is a lengthy process. But the sales team completely focuses on the given targets: day, weekly, monthly, and quarterly target.
If both the teams sync into one goal and can focus on their strategy, it will be more effective for the business.
- Alignment in understanding
The goal and understanding of steps toward the goal are two legs of a business. Like goal alignment, understanding between both the teams are equally important to stay tuned with one goal.
For example, the marketing team researched an account and shared their opinion with the sales team. The sales team should equally understand the same account and align with the suggested steps by the marketing team instead of finding other leads separately. The sales team should understand the quality of an MQL instead of rejecting it.
- Alignment in system
Of course, the common system is required to maintain customers’ data. When it comes to alignment, account-based marketing and marketing automation tools enable marketing and sales team to communicate with the prospects one on one instead of bulk. The same information should be updated in the tool so that the sales team can communicate with the same prospect further.
- Sales and marketing SLA
Sometimes sales and marketing misalignment goes to an extreme level. In order to avoid this, every business should have sales and marketing SLA. This agreement not only helps both the teams to realize their accountability but also align them towards the same objective to drive the revenue.
Sales and marketing SLA includes goals, timeframe for both the teams, individual accountability, etc. When all those come into the picture sales and marketing alignment happens automatically to achieve the goal.
Also, the sales team should follow up within the proper time frame which most of the sales team miss. The SLA helps both the teams to monitor the progress and take action accordingly.
Smarketing – the ideal sales & marketing
When we talk about sales and marketing alignment, the term “Smarketing” strikes our mind first. Smarketing is the process of integrating the sales and marketing team to have a common goal and plan to enhance the sales rate. It helps both the teams to make the decision on a lead and eliminate handoff.
It is not just a blend of two terms, it’s complete alignment between the two teams to close more business seamlessly. Aberdeen Group found that the sales and marketing alignment provides:
- 38% faster win rate
- 36% more customer retention
- Generate 32% more revenue
These days, businesses focus on good customer experience. The sales and marketing alignment benefits organizations internally in building a rapport between the two teams, but it also cares more about the customers. The content curation, nurturing process and other activities to foster a customer can be in healthy shape if the sales and marketing alignment is in a good position.
More closures and seamless customer experiences can be provided only when the sales and marketing team speak the same language and curate the same content. These are possible only with tight sales and marketing alignment in an organization. We have covered possible benefits of sales and marketing alignment. Share your opinion and let us know if we have missed any point.