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3 Surefire Ways to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment

It’s no secret that tensions often exist between sales and marketing teams. But why?

There’s no simple answer to this question. The misalignment between sales and marketing isn’t necessarily the fault of one department over another, but rather a result of outdated processes and structures. When marketing and sales are working with different tools toward separate goals, it’s only natural for tensions to result. Fortunately, marketing automation can help provide a solution by improving lead quality, increasing revenue, and automating traditionally manual processes like lead assignment and follow-up.

Let’s take a look at three ways that marketing automation can improve marketing and sales alignment:

Streamline Data Collection

Manually updating prospect profiles can be a hassle, and the department responsible for maintaining detailed records is often a gray area. With marketing automation, prospect information entered into forms and obtained via detailed prospect tracking can automatically be imported into your system, putting a wealth of information at your sales reps’ fingertips. With this additional insight into social profile information, interests, and activities, your sales team can increase their response time and tailor their communications to the needs of each individual prospect.

Improve Lead Qualification

One of the biggest sources of tension between marketing and sales is lead quality. Often, the two departments have different ideas of what makes a good lead, leading to bias when it comes to pursuing one team’s leads over the other’s. A marketing automation platform reduces this subjectivity by giving marketers tools like scoring and grading to qualify their leads. From there, leads that reach a threshold score can be automatically assigned to a sales rep for follow-up, ensuring that only the most qualified leads get passed on to sales.

61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified. (MarketingSherpa) tweetbutton

Give Credit Where It’s Due

Disagreements also often occur over how to attribute closed deals. While marketing often feels like sales is taking credit for leads they’ve sourced, sales feels the opposite. Closed-loop reporting can clear up this confusion by allowing marketers to tie closed deals to the campaigns that sourced them. With this insight, marketing can tie revenue generated to marketing spend and increase visibility into the sales funnel, solving what has historically been a huge problem within marketing departments: accountability.

So what does marketing and sales alignment have to do with ROI? For starters, when marketing and sales don’t work together, leads can get lost in the funnel, leading to lost revenue. Improved data quality and lead assignment processes mean that sales is always following up with leads who are more likely to close, rather than wasting time chasing down dead ends.

Want to learn more about how marketing automation can impact ROI? Check out our ROI Calculator and do some number-crunching for yourself!