Six Ways to Boost Sales and Marketing Alignment - Marketing the Supply Chain

When you achieve sales and marketing alignment, your company will perform better. Here’s how to get there.

The State of Inbound 2017 reports that only 22% of respondents say their sales and marketing relationship is tightly aligned. That’s a big problem.

Sales and marketing teams that are tightly aligned perform better, and revenue increases as well. Clear and consistent expectations between the two teams results in positivity across the boardroom.

Here are 6 ways to embrace “smarketing,” the process of integrating sales and marketing.

6 steps to ensure sales and marketing alignment

1. Create an agreement.

Marketing strategies are three times more effective when a Service Level Agreement (SLA) aligning marketing goals with sales team practices is in place. The SLA clearly states how each side will help one another. Some 80% of respondents with an SLA in place who feel tightly aligned report that their marketing strategy is effective. Tightly aligned marketing and sales produces higher-value marketing leads.

2. Hear it from the top.

Demonstrate the value of aligned sales and marketing across all levels of the company. C-level executives know the importance of tight alignment, and when they communicate it to managers and individuals, it will boost key players’ confidence. Shout it from the rooftops so everyone gets the message.

3. Straddle both sectors.

Create a position or positions to supervise the alignment of both fields. That person can put a plan in place with measurable outcomes, as well as mechanisms for tracking client leads and feedback. First on the new position to-do list: devising an “Alignment 101” class to train each group on expectations and processes.

4. Monitor the revenue cycle.

Develop a system to keep track of leads from inception to signing on the dotted line. Make sure both sides of the aisle can (and do) access and update lead information, allowing everyone to take ownership of business successes. Monitoring the revenue cycle keeps everyone accountable.

5. Hold meetings and calls.

No one wants more meetings added to their calendars, but a weekly or bi-weekly check in gets everyone on the same page, imperative for tight alignment. Consider listening in on sales calls and attending each other’s networking events. Have fun learning about each other’s fields and how they overlap. A fresh set of eyes on something can often lead to a positive brainstorming session.

6. Create content.

Generating content for the sales team is a helpful way to partner up. Email templates, white papers, social media content, and Q&As are all tools salespeople can use to attract the attention of potential customers. Ask your sales counterparts how you can better support them.

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