How to Align Sales and Marketing in Business
As we all know, sales and marketing are the perfect duo - the ultimate desire-inducing, revenue-generating, relationship-cementing power couple.
These two business functions have so many similarities and differences that one simply can’t exist without the other.
They work hand in hand to attract, inform, engage and retain customers. So it is only crucial to align marketing and sales into a single “smarketing” department for the success of your business.
6 Tips to Improve The Way Your Company Deals With Customers
1. Design a Single, Seamless Customer Journey
To begin with your sales and marketing alignment, it is best to look into one of your greatest assets: the customer.
It just isn’t going to cut anymore to create strategies and processes for sales and marketing before ever taking customers into account.
Restructuring the entire customer journey includes planning out even from the awareness stage down to the brand loyalty stage.
Everything should be tied together as a seamless and wonderful experience. This holistic view of the customer experience will allow you and your team to track a prospect across the entire funnel.
There are numerous technologies that can readily help you with this. CRM software, for instance, provides you with a 360-degree view of a customer.
This enables teams to deliver quick and decisive actions that add more value to prospects at every stage of their journey.
With the right systems and technologies in place, your teams can readily draw the bridge between the marketing data provided about a prospect and their transformation into leads and sales opportunities.
2. Establish a Customer Persona
When it comes to sales and marketing, knowing whom you want to sell your product or service to is crucial.
Having no clear picture of whom you are trying to sell leads to ineffective strategies and a disconnect among your teams.
Therefore, in order to achieve sales and marketing alignment, you need to establish a customer persona and stick to it.
This often takes an enormous effort and a heck of a collaboration between the two departments.
Marketing knows who is attracted to your materials, what they are looking for, and what their biggest challenges are. Sales, on the other hand, knows who is actually converting and buying your solutions.
The ideal customer persona should be an up-to-date document that is shared and talked about by both the sales and marketing teams. To create it, you can utilize Bitrix24 tools that allow real-time collaboration.
This way, you can have a live and updated version that’s readily available for the whole team to access whenever they need it.
3. Utilize a “Marketing First” Approach
When you fail to align marketing and sales, everyone marches to his own beat: marketing will create a campaign targeting one group of customers, whereas the sales team will cold call or email a different group of customers.
And the truth is, modern consumers are highly skeptical. They are less likely to respond positively to cold calls or sales emails from businesses or products they’ve never heard of before.
This is where the marketing-first approach comes to help. The marketing-first approach means that marketers target prospects who have a specific problem by showing or suggesting solutions to their “pains.”
It may start with warming up by sharing information on the product and focusing on the features and benefits. Then, when the lead is fully aware and is ready to take action, the sales team can step in and, reinforcing what the marketing promised, close the deal.
4. Set Shared Goals — Together
One of the reasons why the steps to align marketing and sales become challenging is that both teams are measured differently.
Sales are generally measured by the revenue to bring to the business, while marketing teams are by the quality and quantity of leads they have gathered.
While each team has its own definitions of what a successful day or project looks like, their common goal of growing the company requires tracking joint key performance indicators (KPI).
With joint KPIs, sales and marketing can unite under the same goal, allowing them to measure the success of every stage of the sales funnel, re-evaluate, and optimize when needed.
Make sure you schedule meetings between marketing and sales from time to time so they can actively collaborate and agree on shared metrics to measure their performance.
5. Use Customer Feedback
Analyzing the customer feedback is arguably the best way to evaluate the impact of your sales and marketing alignment. This doesn’t just refer to the typical feedback form you asked customers to fill out after a transaction.
More importantly, it mainly includes the Voice of the Customer (VOC) data that your sales and customer service reps have gathered, as they are likely to pick up on pain points and things that motivated the customer to buy your product or service.
These powerful insights can be used in your next marketing campaigns. They can even help you refine your product or service offering as needed.
Leverage this information too to get a better understanding of what your customers really like about your product.
6. Be Consistent with Marketing Messaging
If you were promised a certain product feature only to find out that it wasn’t actually included in the real offering, how would you feel?
If your answer is far from being angry, you are a saintly customer. And that’s not how most of the customers would feel.
That’s why you need to be consistent with your marketing messages and sales value demonstrations, as you don’t want your customers to be confused about what you are offering.
If they do, they might second guess their decision to buy or feel being lied to. This is why it is needed to align marketing and sales.
As marketers are constantly promoting new offers, it's important that the sales team is kept updated with these promotions so they know what recent offers their leads are receiving.
When both have the same messaging in mind, marketing can effectively relay the benefits of your solution to prospects, and sales reps can then reinforce this messaging to close the deal.