Marketing & Sales alignment: How to achieve it

Whether you’re a start-up or a global company, Marketing and Sales alignment is simply critical for your success. Indeed, aligned teams work more effectively and perform better : When sales and marketing teams work in coordination, businesses see a 27% faster profit growth.. However, achieving and maintaining alignment is a struggle. Regardless of the reason behind this struggle, alignment is key for long-term success as stated in the principles of Sales Enablement.

In this article we will go through aspects in the company that can be improved by aligning Marketing & Sales. In addition to this we will break down a few tricks to achieve and maintain said alignment.

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Where can Marketing & Sales alignment help

Misalignment between both teams can cause disruption inside of the organization, especially when it is growing. If you are experiencing some of these issues, chances are working on your alignment helps solve them.

1. Poor sales content utilisation

A very common scenario in organizations is that content developed by Marketing is unused by Sales. They create, develop and deliver assets without necessarily taking into accounts the needs or inputs given by salespeople. As a result, content is not always on point and causes a loss of time for readjusting or even a loss of deals when used.

With stronger alignment, marketers can create content that fits salespeople’s needs as well as the buyer’s journey.

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2. Stagnant growth

When a new product launches, or it is time for a new feature release, they are often accompanied by marketing campaigns to incentivize growth. But when it seems growth is stalling and potential customers are not biting into what you have to offer, alignment might do the trick.

Well aligned Marketing & Sales provide closed-loop feedback that enable a more precise buyer behavior and market dynamics analysis. It is also easier to spot new opportunities and change the global strategy to tackle them better.

3. Difficulty demonstrating ROI

When working separately, teams have more difficulty proving ROI. How can marketers actually prove that their content significantly helped closing a certain deal ? The gap between both teams makes it hard to identify where adjustment as well as investment is needed.

Alignment helps increase transparency between both teams and therefore enables a clearer view of the process and value creation. The impact of each investment directly into ROI becomes easy to understand and both teams have a better view of their strengths and weaknesses.

How to achieve Sales & Marketing alignment

Now that we have gone through a few of the areas where alignment can help, we will look at three essential tips to get your teams aligned from within.

1. Strategize together

To tackle a misalignment, both teams must have their hand on deck. This starts with facing the issue, and defining a common goal everyone should be working towards. To do this and foster collaboration, both teams need to put themselves in each other's shoes and build a common strategy that fits all.

A common strategy implies understanding how the market works, what the buyers’ need and how your strategy can address both of these points from a Marketing as well as a Sales perspective. The first step is gathering both teams and creating a dynamic discussion to hear everybody’s voice. The second step is building the strategy and ensuring it has cross-team validation. This way, goals and the way to reach them are clearly outlined and commonly understood by everyone involved.

2. Define common processes

Once the problem is identified and the strategy is set up, it is all about enabling and maintaining cross-team collaboration through time. A very effective way to foster positive and constructive collaboration is to define roles, responsibilities and processes beforehand. A few examples of can be defined :

  • How do teams interact ?
  • Who is responsible for each cross-team project ?
  • What is expected of each team and what are the deliverables and deadlines ?
  • What does positive feedback or constructive criticism look like ?

Setting clear expectations and processes upfront will streamline collaboration from the very beginning therefore creating long term alignment.

3. Invest in Sales Enablement

As you know, Marketing & Sales alignment is essential to Sales Enablement. It is at the crossroads of both departments so by definition it contributes to alignment. Whether it is a person or a whole team, many organizations rely on Sales Enablement to get the best of each team.

As it is separate from both, but takes in their individual needs a Sales Enablement team in a neutral ground between Marketing and Sales. A focus particularly on Sales Enablement also takes off the weight put on marketers and salespeople, who can focus on what they do best.

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