The Key To Sales And Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing departments have a reputation for not playing together. Although they recognize they’re on the same team, each department focuses on its own piece of the business rather than working together to achieve shared goals.

Office dynamics aside, the disconnect between sales and marketing has real consequences for your organization. When sales and marketing don’t communicate, companies struggle to grow revenue and nurture lasting customer relationships. But when there’s alignment between sales and marketing, companies experience a 25% increase in revenue.

The numbers don’t lie – your organization needs sales and marketing to work together. And improved communication is how you make it happen.

Sales and marketing alignment begins with better communication

I’m fortunate to work at agency where sales and marketing operate hand-in-hand. I regularly coordinate our marketing activities with the agency’s business development team, and I’ve seen firsthand how alignment makes my life a lot easier. 

The VP of business development and I have walked in each other’s shoes earlier in our careers, so I understand the challenges sales is up against (and vice versa). But we’ve also learned that there are several ways we can leverage improved communication for better results:

  • Commit to open communication channels. The most effective sales and marketing teams commit to regular and open communication channels. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, set weekly meetings with clear agendas. At these meetings, sales and marketing can share data, discuss pipeline opportunities and prepare 90-day forward/90-day backward reports for leadership.
  • Identify opportunities to work together. Weekly meetings and other communication channels will inevitably produce opportunities for collaboration. For example, conversations about target customers provide an easy on-ramp to account-based marketing projects with specific action items for both teams. But whether it’s ABM or a different project, the key to success is for sales and marketing to constantly communicate their progress and hold each other accountable for completing assigned tasks.
  • Include sales and marketing in strategy conversations. Leadership discussions about growth and strategy often involve stakeholders from sales or marketing — but not both. By including sales and marketing in conversations about where the organization is headed, company leaders set the stage for collaboration and underscore the importance of sales and marketing alignment.
  • Agree on processes. Create a central database that houses shared resources and processes to facilitate communication and simplify scaling. Although it requires an investment of time on the front end, mutually agreed upon processes reduce the potential for misunderstandings and last-minute surprises.

Sales and marketing teams play unique roles in the sales process. They have different responsibilities, but they need each other to succeed. By intentionally improving communication, sales and marketing teams are able to perform their roles more effectively — and generate even better results for your organization.

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