Have you ever noticed that sales and marketing teams always seem to be butting heads? Marketing wishes they could keep sales reps using up-to-date images and messaging, and sales often needs more content from their marketing teams to do their jobs effectively. All business know that in today’s online world, if these two departments don’t find a better way to communicate, they are doomed to fail. Marketing and sales alignment can be tricky, but not impossible!
Why Sales and Marketing Need to Align
It’s puzzling that the two departments seem to always be at odds considering they are both working towards the same goal: to identify, reach and land new clients. The difference between marketing and sales is in their approaches.
Sales is always racing the clock, looking to bring in clients and close deals quickly so they can move on to the next one and hit their numbers. Marketing is looking for those same clients at the top of the funnel too, except their focus is on expanding awareness of the brand and maintaining, or improving, its reputation. So, since both teams are targeting the same audience, it’s pretty obvious that combining those efforts would be the perfect strategy to tackle new business, right? Yes! What a genius plan; why hasn’t anyone ever thought of it before?
Just kidding – obviously companies know about this, it’s just difficult to implement because both sales and marketing don’t want to waste precious “selling time” summarizing their efforts, sharing them with another department, and then worst of all, reading another team’s directives and reports… eek!
How to Achieve Alignment
So what can you do? Well, first of all, whether they like it or not, you need to get them talking! They don’t need to meet everyday, or even every week, but sales and marketing should be meeting face-to-face at least once a month to discuss what’s new and what needs to be changed in order to achieve their common objectives. Maybe a nice happy hour or lunch meeting would grease the wheels a bit?
Also, consider physically moving the two departments within your office so they are in close proximity. Going one step further, have your new hires train in both departments so they understand how each works from the start… and while you’re at it, look for new hires that have both sales and marketing experience!
According to MarketingProfs.com, “Organizations with tightly-aligned sales and marketing had 36% higher customer retention rates and achieved 38% higher sales win rates.” Seriously, who wouldn’t like to see a 38% profit boost?
You should also be using an organizational platform like Ecos to easily access and share content, help keep the message consistent, and most importantly – receive a detailed assessment about what is working, and what isn’t.
“Ecos brings both sales and marketing together on one SaaS platform,” says Ecos’ Director of Business Development, Tracie Martin. “With marketing analytics, marketing teams can see what content sales is using throughout their entire sales process. This gives marketing the ability to prove ROI on their content and see what additional content sales needs. If sales teams are not utilizing particular pieces of information or messaging, it can be addressed and easily changed.”
This works for the reverse scenario as well. “Sales management can utilize sales analytics to see what marketing content is being used when. This insight is vital to streamlining the sales cycle – they can replicate what works. They’ll receive email notifications on when content is viewed by prospects and/or clients, allowing sales teams to identify what has their interest, and in turn, keep them moving through the sales cycle,” Martin says.
So to recap, achieving marketing and sales alignment through improved communication, and utilizing an organization tool like Ecos that has powerful analytic ability, will move prospects through the sales cycle faster. The results are what we are all looking for – Sales closing more deals.
Well what do you know… I think we just solved a major issue. Give us a call to talk it out!