Marketing and sales alignment. It sounds about as simple as getting the general from each army to just, agree to disagree. Truthfully, aligning your sales and marketing efforts is about bringing two very different working styles together to form one cohesive, circular strategy that covers your whole business. And while that’s probably why there’s a divide there in the first place, there are a few things that marketers can do to make peace within the troops. These three simple goals are a good place to start:
Better Enable Sales
At first glance, this sounds like something you’d expect sales to do themselves. Learning about the products, figuring out how best to sell them and what points to bring up when dealing with complex deals. On the surface, like so much of the battlefield that is the divide between sales and marketing, that would seem to be the case. But when you take an aerial view, you see the twin armies each camped on what looks like strikingly similar ground. Marketers can help sales determine which of the 20 shiny features of a new product should be highlighted to which types of prospects, and when. This gives marketing end-control over their messaging, and sales the power to walk into deals armed with not just knowledge – but the right kind of knowledge.
What’s not to like? The first step is to identify the challenges faced by sales teams going into a deal. What are the things they get asked most often by prospects? And what issues or problems come up regularly when it’s time to close? Using that feedback, you can create actionable plans for how to combat sticky situations before, during and after they develop and help boost your sales team’s overall success rates.
Encourage more conversations
Getting two armies to become one army aimed at generating pipeline and closing deals is tricky, but talking is the best way forward. Whichever side makes the first move, finding ways to keep lines of communication open will benefit everyone. Establish a pattern of communication where both teams offer problems and solutions, and where questions can be asked and new plans put into action. Having a regular forum for sales and marketing to meet each other and talk through their respective roles and what they need from one another will go a long way towards a truce.
Think of sales as another customer
Marketing and sales have different working styles, but essentially, you have the same goals. Aligning your efforts then, is all about encouraging both teams to seek each other out to provide insight, feedback and greater understanding. If marketers think of sales teams as another customer when creating content and planning campaigns, it’s easier to identify the gaps where a campaign could better support sales’ efforts.
With these tools in your respective arsenals, two armies can merge into one, and the battle between marketing and sales can come to an end. For more ways to broker peace between the marketing and sales armies, join Tiffani Bova, Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce — and self-proclaimed “recovering sales rep” on July 20 for “Dear B2B Marketer: A Love Letter From Your Sales Team”, a webinar on tips, tricks, and trends that can help you build better relationships between marketing and sales. Click the banner below to register now.