Why sales and marketing alignment is essential to business productivity
Why should companies align their company's sales and marketing departments? The answer is simple, for better communication, more collaborative efforts, greater efficiency and, as a result, enhanced profitability.
The two closely-related and interdependent business units should interoperate closely. However, in many companies, the teams aren't collaborative and there is little sharing of information that could enable better performance.
It’s easy to assume that a marketer’s job is to generate leads, and a salesperson’s job is to convert those leads into customers. At a base level, this is true, but there’s also a common misconception that these two departments should be like oil and water, never mixing. This simply is not the case, and as inbound marketing continues to evolve, sales and marketing departments that are on the same page are becoming essential for your inbound marketing strategy—and your business—to succeed.
The Power of Alignment
In the era of information overload, what matters for the customer is that he gets a standard customer experience across functions. As such, sales and marketing should adopt a market/customer-oriented focus that starts with detailed analysis of customer benefits within end-user segments and then reverse engineer the actions needed. In theory, the information to do the analysis is collected and disseminated by marketing. However, in practice, this information is most likely to be captured by the sales team because of their field presence and link with the customers.
Considering that sales productivity depends upon marketing for qualified prospects we should expect that when marketing and sales teams are not aligned to see a negative effect on overall business performance.
Facing the Challenges Together
Every team has different challenges that have to do with the available resources, the budget, the time restrictions, or any other important priorities. This doesn’t mean that they can’t communicate the challenges with other teams to ensure that they can contribute to their solution.
For example, if the sales team faces the challenge of meeting their revenue target, the marketing team can jump over and suggest an increased marketing activity that can lead to more incoming leads and prospects.
Similarly, if the marketing team has trouble in understanding how their work moves along the funnel, they can ask for the sales team to update them on the prospects that turn into customers. This will help in exploring more details about the marketing attribution points and how they help them meet their targets.
Improved Understanding of Buyer
Sales and Marketing generally interact with buyers in different ways and so they each have a different understanding of their customers. Marketing have a fuller understanding of buyer behaviour within their industry, while sales have a more personal knowledge resulting from the greater level of buyer contact. Aligning Sales and Marketing can improve the level and range of knowledge held by both Sales and Marketing, making them better equipped to obtain customers. It is Sales’ job to close the deal, and possessing greater knowledge of the buyer’s past activities and interests allows for a more meaningful relationship and improves the likelihood of generating sales.
Meeting Targets And Improving Efficiency
Another benefit of having the marketing and sales team come together is the ability to act as a bigger close-knit team that works towards the bigger goals.
By breaking the silos a company manages to make them feel part of a bigger team that wants to meet the key targets. For example, a marketing team that meets the key goals should still be aware of the wider business goals. If the revenue is not going as expected despite a successful marketing strategy, then the outcome would still require an improved efficiency.
And that’s how the different teams can benefit from working together to achieve the wider goals while helping each other.
This can improve a company’s productivity while boosting the team morale that everyone works hard towards a common goal.
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