Sales and marketing are traditionally viewed as two separate departments. However, it wasn’t until recently that companies began to understand the benefits of aligning their sales and marketing strategies and making them work together towards the common goal – increased revenue.
Still, sales and marketing alignment can be challenging, and you are likely to come across various difficulties. So, we compiled a list of the obstacles you should expect to come across and how to deal with them.
1. Weak Communication
Poor communication between your sales and marketing departments can be the result of many things – independent development, unclear responsibilities, ineffective tools, etc. And you must address this issue, as it can lead to decreased productivity and increasing costs.
One of the ways to improve communication is to schedule regular feedback meetings. It can be very beneficial to have the two teams together in the same space (virtual or physical), discussing ideas and working on the problems. In these meetings, they can discuss the following:
Ideas for quality content
Social media strategies
Targeting new customers
Defining sales goals that can benefit from marketing assistance
The efficiency of marketing campaigns
Another way to tackle this problem is to create centralized communication using messaging apps such as Slack, ProofHub, Twist, etc. This way, you will have one platform where all parties can get informed on the workflow and stay in sync.
2. Unshared Goals
While marketing concentrates on generating and tracking leads, sales representatives are trying to convert those leads into customers.
It is often the case that the marketing department isn’t providing quality leads to sales and the two worlds end up colliding. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to fix this, as we are going to explain further.
Make a shared plan that determines the road from leads to customers to revenue. Reach the agreement on what the quality leads are and how it’s best to attract them.
Define a marketing-qualified lead (MQL), a sales-qualified lead (SQL), and determine where account-based marketing fits into.
Define which are “cold,” “warm,” and “hot” leads and prioritize the ones worth pursuing. Analyze where the leads are coming from, how many of them turn into customers, and how to improve your marketing plan to generate more conversions.
Another way of unifying goals is to enable these two departments to work together on providing the answers to frequently asked questions on sales calls, via the company website, and on social media.
Visitors often search for a solution for their particular problem and are not interested so much in the website design as they are in quality content that can help them achieve their aim.
Providing your leads with valuable information will ultimately lead to a greater conversion rate, and that is the goal that both departments should aim for.
3. Different Metrics
Marketing metrics focus on evaluating the efficiency of marketing campaigns, while sales metrics evaluate overall business performance. The two teams are commonly working and assessing success separately.
To maximize your results, your marketing and sales teams should have an insight into all relevant key performance indicators (KPI) results. These indicators are important for targeting problems and coming up with fast solutions.
We are going to explore some of the most important marketing and sales KPIs.
Marketing revenue attribution indicates how much revenue came from your marketing campaign
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) indicates how much it costs you to obtain a new customer
Customer lifetime value (LTV) indicates how much revenue can your business expect from a single customer over the average lifespan
The traffic-to-lead ratio gives an insight into your website traffic and where it’s coming from
Sales target shows whether you are reaching your planned sales goals
Customer drop-out rate shows the number of customers who stopped using your products or services
The lead-to-opportunity ratio measures the possibility of your leads becoming customers
The sales teams can provide the marketing department with better insights into customers’ behavior. This will help the marketing department create more personalized marketing campaigns, ultimately leading to better results for both marketing and sales.
It is more than obvious that the two teams can benefit just from knowing each other’s KPIs and results. This will enable them to work together towards a common goal – revenue.
4. Inaccurate Customer Data
From the sales point of view, an incorrect email address or phone number means substantial time wasted on tracking down accurate contact information.
From the marketing point of view, inaccurate data means that their campaign might not reach the right person, which can lead to a high email bounce rate.
Thankfully, a team of good web application developers can create a data platform that can easily solve problems related to inaccurate data. These platforms allow your business to acquire, store, prepare, deliver, and administrate all your customer data.
Setting accurate customer data in one place is beneficial for both marketing and sales.
The Advantages of Sales and Marketing Alignment
There are many advantages you can gain from sales and marketing alignment, and here are five of them, in case you are still not sure whether all this trouble is worth your time and effort (it is).
1. A Better Understanding of Your Customers
Understanding who your customers are is what can make or break your business. This is why it’s crucial for marketing and sales to join forces in creating more quality leads that convert to customers, and in order to do so, both teams will need to have a firm grasp on who your customers are.
2. Winning Your Competitors’ Customers
With sales and marketing alignment, everyone is informed about the tactics your competitors use. This helps your sales team prepare for answering the questions about why your products or services are better than your competitors’.
Without alignment, your sales team would be in the dark on this information, and they wouldn’t be able to benefit from knowing certain lead objections or competitor comparisons before they’re presented.
3. Increased Revenue
With sales and marketing alignment, your revenue and conversion rates increase because your teams are both working towards the same goal. This results in a shorter sales cycle and a more accurate sales target.
4. A Better Strategy
By planning and enabling alignment, the company acknowledges the impact of both your marketing and sales efforts.
When the two sides work on strategies for launching marketing campaigns, attracting leads, and converting them into customers, their chances of success increase.
5. More Feedback From Customers
Both sales and marketing gather relevant feedback from customers as they interact with them on different levels.
Sales and marketing alignment facilitates sharing this valuable information. That creates a better understanding of how to reach higher conversions and win rates because both can understand and find strategies that address customer pain points.
Aligning sales and marketing comes with many challenges, but the end result is worth the effort. Their work creates the bigger picture of your business, and that puts you on the right road to success.
Carl Fisher is a PPC and CRO specialist, but writing was what led him into the world of digital marketing. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in English language and literature and extensive writing experience, he writes about technology, web development, and marketing. After his writing is done, he mostly spends his time creatively, working as a sound engineer.
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