Sales Alignment with Marketing: Strategies for 2022

Sales Alignment with Marketing: Strategies for 2022

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Businesses all across the world are failing due to a lack of marketing and sales alignment. This imbalance is so severe that it costs firms more than a trillion dollars each year.

That's correct. Not even a million dollars...

...or maybe a billion dollars.

But a trillion dollars (with 12 zeros)!

Misalignment of sales and marketing is the leading cause of a company's annual revenue stagnation or, worse, decrease.

This topic has become so popular that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) organizations with more than 200 workers have ranked it as their third most crucial marketing priority, ahead of calculating marketing ROI and lowering acquisition costs.

Because 60-70 percent of B2B content is never used and close to 75 percent of marketing leads never convert into customers, failing to link these two teams wastes money and resources.

If this sounds similar, it's time to address the issue of sales and marketing alignment. Because if you don't, your company won't be able to expand any further.

So, how do you align both teams together?

Aligning these two teams works wonders, but you must first grasp what sets them apart to do it effectively.

RELATED READ - Resolving the Difference Between Sales and Marketing

Is there a difference between sales and marketing?

At the beginning of my career, I believed that marketing was the future. I sold what was “in the sales bag.” But I wanted to be a part of shaping the future. Naive? Delusional? Possible? Definitely!

“The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” 

- Peter Drucker

What matters in marketing isn't who can talk quicker or close better. A solid psychological grasp of client wants is required. Steve Jobs excelled in this area more than any other person I can think of.

In its simplest form, marketing is the process of making potential buyers aware of your business and brand. In contrast, sales is the process of converting spectators into actual consumers.

When you know the difference between the two, you know how they can support each other to create a successful business.

How can marketing support sales teams?

When beginning the effort to support sales, regardless of your function, there is a continuous theme:

  • Understand what you're doing –> Understand yourself.
  • Try to comprehend the obstacles and their pain areas. –> Understand your staff.
  • Identify problems that you can solve –> Decide what you will do.
  • Include it in your overall plan's deliverables –> Make a strategy for carrying it out.

With a can-do mentality and a scrappy implementation, getting started is simple. We must all begin somewhere. The problem is figuring out how to keep the effort going. The top-down strategy with a firm commitment from senior both teams management 

How Can Marketing Develop An Effective Sales Mindset?

You can support it as a marketer, depending on your function. You can also help the department by doing the following;

  • Understand its process 
  • Examine its metrics

It took me a long time to realize that salespeople and marketers don't think the same way. 

Marketing is more about creativity, but sales is all about getting close, close, close. It is all about closing a deal by pushing prospects to the bottom of the funnel. However, just as marketing must assist sales, they should also continually collaborate as a team. But this is not always the case. 

The industry is quite a competitive field. For those not in it, let me paint you a picture of how competitive the area is. 

Do you remember those days when we were kids, and suddenly a kid would shout, “Last one to reach the playground is a smelly butt!” (lol, I do hope this does not give away my age). 

Whenever the kid would announce this, we would all run so fast, as no one would want to be called a frog. That’s exactly how the field of sales is. Everyone is always competing to be the best.

Well, in this case, so that they will not be the frog. This competitive nature has influenced the attitude of working alone. In retrospect, representatives need to work as a team constantly. I cannot overemphasize how vital teamwork is to sales.

What are Some of the activities That can Help Sales Representatives To Work As A Team?

Before discussing the importance of working as a team, let us check how you can be a team player.

1. Setting team goals that include bonuses

Incentives help motivate people to work harder. And you can use this tactic to help your representatives work as a team. How do you do it? Form several groups of representatives. Then set a goal and announce to the group that they will achieve the goal and receive the bonus. 

Instinctively you’ll find the representatives working as a team and helping each other as they all want to get the bonus.

2. Schedule more meetings

The unfortunate part is that the representatives prefer being the lone wolf. It is somewhere, in some form or another, but it does not promote teamwork. To avoid such a culture, holding more meetings will allow them to be more comfortable. Also, during the meetings, you could include training as it will help build a more cooperative atmosphere.

3. Lead by example

Actions speak louder than words. Therefore as a leader, you must show by example. In this case, you could choose to interact with another leader and work as a team to achieve a common goal. 

4. Introduce team building activities

Such activities often require people to work together for them to win. It is also best to incorporate team-building activities to create a great bond among the representatives. The activities will also help build morale. 

Instead of showing the team a PowerPoint presentation on working as a team, you should lead by example. 

Significance Of Working As A Team In Sales

Now that you have an idea of how you can promote teamwork in your organization. Here are some of the reasons why you should encourage the representatives to work together.

1. Teamwork promotes intrinsic self-motivation

Working as a team helps develop friendly competition. Let’s say your friend is closing three sales in a day, and you, on the other hand, are closing one in a day. This difference will cultivate the urge to compete. 

As a team player, you’ll want to know why they are doing better and what you can do to help improve your skills. Seeing that your teammates are doing better will develop an intrinsic self-motivation culture. 

2. Working as a team helps you learn mistakes to avoid

Wouldn’t it be better if someone would guide you away from mistakes to avoid in life? 

It would be even easier to close deals as a representative when you know how to interact with the prospect. While working as a team, you’ll have the chance to interact with different people, and eventually, you’ll find yourself sharing stories and lessons you’ve learned. 

This interaction will guide you on what to do and not what to do in your next sale.  

  • Working as a team helps you think outside the box.
  • The industry has its challenges. Working as a team will help you know how the team members tend to deal with different hurdles. A benefit you are likely not to experience as a lone wolf.
  • There is more to gain when you help each other
  • Prospects often feel more comfortable buying a product or a service from a renowned company. So imagine this: if you had to work alone and close the deals while your teams are struggling, the company might fail to gain the best visibility.
  • It will be easier to close deals. It will help put your company on the map when the team succeeds, and approaching a prospect will be easy. 
  • It will help increase the rate at which you connect with the customer.
  • It is hard for everyone to like you. Imagine if you’d interact with a customer who finds you a tard annoying. Someone else on your team can close the sale. 

3. It helps promote work synergy.

Working as a team helps create an environment with trust, respect, fellowship, corporation, and support. This, in turn, will help improve the efficiency and productivity of the company. 

4. Working as a team helps promote accountability 

By working as a team, you’ll have someone who will keep you in check whenever you suck at your job. When one team member slacks their job, it will affect the team and eventually affect the organization. 

5. Improved efficiency

Sales include doing different tasks. But when the representatives decide to work as a team, it will be much easier for them to delegate themselves. 

6. It helps to build on your career

You are likely to pick up more tips while working as a team, and anytime you use them, it will help you build your career. 

They say teamwork makes a dream work. Cheesy and cliché, I know. But it is not a lie. To achieve a goal, we have got to work together as a team. Whether it’s because of our personality or some other issue outside/within our control, it is impossible to achieve things without the input of others. 

So why not just make it a habit?

And consolidate these two departments into a single "Smarketing" department while you're at it.

According to Outfunnel's revenue marketing study, nearly half of all sales and marketing professionals believe their teams are still not effectively linked. So, let's see how we can fit it.

ALSO READ - Best Sales Advice Founders Should Embrace

Marketing-Sales Alignment: A Step-by-Step Guide

Why these two departments should work together is a no-brainer. 

Marketing, in some form or another, will frequently create "leads" that Sales will pursue and attempt to convert. Regrettably, this is often where most direct the link between the two departments ends.

Take into account this:

That's a real shame.

According to another survey, the six most significant barriers to alignment are:

The current funnel causes improved collaboration and communication between the two parties.

So, How can you Establish a Smarketing Department?

1. Jump on calls together.

Sitting in on calls is a simple method of marketing to improve communication. Another way is allowing members of the marketing department to attend sales pitches.

These are fantastic ways of learning about potential customers' concerns.

2. Make official links.

Select one person from sales and one from marketing to act as a link between the two departments. Their role would be to follow up on requests, start evaluations, and ease coordination.  

3. Meet regularly

The two teams should have regular meetings, whether it is monthly or weekly. At these meetings, the sales team can give challenges or achievements. Marketing can provide input on current or upcoming initiatives and tactics.   

4. Get together and socialize.

 The two teams should spend time together in a casual setting, such as team building or happy hour. It will enhance their working relationship. Allow social interactions and information exchange between the two teams.

5. Make a group chat room.

Set up a chatroom to ensure the sharing of information between the two teams. Use it to send essential information, chat, share ideas, and keep track of project progress.

Final Note

Now, go ahead and feel the love These may appear to be a no-brainer, but the simplest option is the best one. Collaboration is the key. Teamwork makes the dream work.

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