Importance of Sales and Marketing Alignment for Success

sales and marketing alignment

Sales and marketing alignment has become the talk of the town these days. It is a crucial factor for any business as both teams are entirely accountable for the revenue generation of an organization directly or indirectly.

Let’s see a few sales and marketing alignment statistics to define the effectiveness of alignment between sales and marketing.

What Does Research say for Sales and Marketing Alignment?

As per Forrester Research, organizations with marketing and sales aligned achieved an average of 32% revenue growth, whereas organizations have an average of 7% decline in revenue growth with less marketing and sales alignment.

According to MarketingProfs, organizations have 36% higher customer retention rates and achieve 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 excellent nexus between sales and marketing.

We can determine the importance of sales and marketing alignment for a business by seeing the above statistics. When it comes to the B2B industry, the third top marketing priority is sales and marketing alignment.

sales and marketing spend

Source: Superoffice.com

“We’re living in the Customer Age where nobody wants to be marketed or sold. Yes, marketing needs to know more about sales, and yes, sales need 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.

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What Do Sales do for Marketing?

Sales are accountable for selling- but this does not mean that they do not support marketing! Since salespeople are closer to customers, they can bring better customer insights that throw real-time information on the marketing gap. Working in close proximity with sales professionals, marketing teams can learn about operational efficiency, customer needs, and product capabilities. 

Why is Sales and Marketing Alignment Crucial for Sucess?

We all know about the tips and strategies to align sales and marketing available in different online sources. But it is equally important to understand why it is essential for a business and how it enhances 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 research an account before targeting it. The research and an understanding of an account require a joint sales and marketing effort.

Also, the integration of sales and marketing helps the content team create suitable content to target the prospect. Ultimately, sales and marketing alignment helps to enhance the sales rate.

Helps 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 purchases. The excellent 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 a tight alignment between these two teams, you will waste time and effort chasing behind unqualified leads.  

Defines the Quality of Leads

When a prospect enters 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 the lead can’t be defined. To define the quality of the leads, both sales understanding and marketing understanding of an account are required.

As this is the age of the customer, more than selling a product, providing a solution is essential. Customers don’t understand your roller coaster trial of the selling process; they need a solution to their pain point at the end of the day. To understand a prospect’s pain point and required solution, both sales and marketing understanding and effort are needed.

Solves Several Problems

Every organization has a few challenges that can be solved by a 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 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. To nurture these types of buyers, sales and marketing alignment must retain them. The understanding of both teams about a particular buyer will help foster them based on the buyer’s requirement.

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4 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 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 targets.

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 teams is 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, a common system is required to maintain customers’ data. When it comes to alignment, account-based marketing and marketing automation tools enable the marketing and sales team to communicate with the prospects one-on-one instead of in 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. Every business should have a sales and marketing SLA to avoid this. This agreement helps both teams realize their accountability and aligns them towards the same objective to drive 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.

sales and marketing alignment

Also, the sales team should follow up within the proper time frame, which most of the sales team miss. The SLA‌ helps both teams to monitor the progress and take action accordingly.

What Problems Does Sales and Marketing Alignment Solve?

There are common problems faced by businesses while working as sales or marketing teams, and a lot of them can be solved with a simple sales and marketing alignment.

Here is the list of problems that the respective alignment can solve:

Poor Customer Data

If you have poor customer data, you can speak to sales professionals and learn about the customer to update the real-time information, their interests, and more. It helps in streamlining the marketing efforts in the right direction for a better conversion rate.

Underutilization of Sales Content

By working in proximity with salespeople, you can learn about the most engaging assets and build similar ones for your customers. If the content produced by the sales team is rightly deployed, it pushes the marketing teams to better customer understanding!

Clunky Lead Handoffs

Both the teams need to be in sync to ensure that each lead is scored based on a strong lead Scoring Model. It ensures that no high potential leads are missed, and they receive a timely response with no opportunity skipped.

Difficulty in Demonstrating ROI

When you are aligned, the team can collaboratively decide where the investment would drive more ROI for the business. Otherwise, it makes either team feel like dragging the weight of leads for conversion.

Stagnancy in Growth

Alignment of Sales and Marketing teams helps in tightening the loops for the buyers’ purchase cycle. It empowers both teams to analyze the market dynamics and comprehend the buyer behavior for quickly switching to strategies that leads to conversion.

Smarketing is the Ideal Sales and Marketing

When we talk about sales and marketing alignment, “Smarketing” strikes our mind first. Smarketing integrates the sales and marketing team to have a common goal and plan to enhance the sales rate. It helps both teams decide on a lead and eliminate handoff.

It is not just a blend of two terms; it’s a 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

Conclusion

These days, businesses focus on a 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 the potential benefits of sales and marketing alignment. Share your opinion and let us know if we have missed any points.