When sales and marketing teams are aligned, sales pipelines are larger, and customer conversion rates are higher, putting companies on the fast-track to growth. After all, both sellers and marketers want to communicate with the same people and achieve the same end-goal: new sales. It seems like a no-brainer, right?
While the concept of working together is simple enough, there are common barriers many companies face in getting these two teams to collaborate effectively to drive maximum revenue. Here are some stumbling blocks to watch out for and a few quick wins to help you avoid them.
Red Flags Your Sales and Marketing Teams Are Misaligned
Sales and marketing teams that are not at peak-performance stunt business growth, so it’s essential to quickly address and resolve issues. If they exhibit any of the following characteristics, there’s likely room for improvement.
- Business growth is not increasing fast enough.
- Neither team is achieving its goals.
- Teams don’t regularly meet to discuss strategies, goals, and progress.
- Sales teams are frustrated at low quality leads marketing provides.
- A large percent of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are not being followed up on by sales.
- Marketing isn’t asking sales how they can make their sales process easier.
- Sales teams aren’t using content resources provided by marketing.
If you see these red flags and would like to brainstorm with one of our experienced consultants about how to begin resolving the issues, we’re here to help.
Common Barriers to High-Performing Teams
Traditionally, sales and marketing departments have operated independently, each team doing their own thing to affect the growth trajectory. It can be a culture shift to get them working as one "revenue team." Here are common barriers many companies face when striving to advance a collaborative approach that drives profitable sales growth. Keep an eye out for them in your organization so you can quickly readjust!
- Isolated Goals: Sales and marketing goals are co-dependent, yet the teams don’t collaborate to meet the organization’s core mission, increasing the chance of missing the target.
- Missing Metrics: Teams are not regularly and transparently reviewing progress, roadblocks, and successes, leading to lackluster results and a high cost of sales.
- Siloed Strategies: Sales and marketing teams have different ways to communicate with prospects and leads. Neither team shares their approach with the other, potentially causing a duplicative, misguided, or confusing user experience.
- Scanty Buyer Personas: There is no clear definition of what an ideal profitable customer looks like. This gap can lead teams to spend time and money going after prospects that don’t make the best customers - if they make it to a customer at all.
- Unclear Sales Process: Stages of the sales journey are not documented, disseminated, or widely understood, and there are no standard processes for using and tracking sales data and prospecting progress.
- Lack of CRM Management: The CRM has bad or missing data, and teams aren’t trained to take full advantage of the technology features and functionality that can ultimately improve sales and marketing effectiveness, productivity, and the ability to make good, data-driven decisions.
- Weak Messaging: The marketing content isn’t driving the qualified contacts to the website or is not converting them into leads at industry standard rates. Or, sales scripts and templates aren’t effectively converting leads into appointments.
Quick Wins to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment
Getting sales and marketing teams to work together as one revenue team takes time, commitment, and a plan. But there are a few quick wins you can implement immediately to help get things moving in the right direction.
- Outline Your Buyer Personas: Clarify who sellers and marketers should target and how to identify which are qualified or unqualified. Specify what product or service to focus on selling to the persona, why they need it, and what obstacles they need to overcome to make a purchase.
- Define CRM Standards and Implement Training: Ensure the CRM is configured to collect the appropriate data, and record screens and processes are streamlined for team members’ regular workflow. And most importantly, document everything and train everyone to know how to do it and what the expectations are!
- Identify Key Metrics and Share Goals: Have regular joint meetings to review plans and progress, so sales and marketing teams are accountable for the results and understand how their individual goals impact the greater mission.
Don’t let misalignment inhibit growth and prevent your company from reaching its full potential! For more detailed steps to create high-functioning teams, check out the Executive’s Guide to Sales and Marketing Alignment. It’s a robust outline, so if you have questions, let us know.