According to the content marketing institute, 60 to 70% of B2B content is never used because the subject topics are irrelevant to the buyer audience. Furthermore, according to Hubspot 79% of marketing leads never convert due to a failure to nurture consumer connections. Either you are a tech startup or an SME both ways you need to be considerate enough to align your marketing and sales strategy to avoid the Silos. The alignment can provide efficiency in your business objectives. Collectively, the fit between sales and marketing can boost lead generation, nurturing, conversions, and retention.
Let’s talk numbers
- A well-aligned sales and marketing team tends to have 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates (MarketingProfs).
- Aligned sales and marketing B2B companies can achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth, and 27% faster three-year profit growth. (SiriusDecisions)
- Sales and marketing alignment can lead to a 32% increase in year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth (Aberdeen Group).
- Sales and marketing alignment can lead to a 208% growth in marketing revenue (Wheelhouse Advisors).
Diagnosing the problem
Apparently, 3 reasons contribute towards this as per InsideView.
- Lack of communication gap between the sales and marketing team. Further leading to obstruction in conveying the demands, what they need from other departments.
- The broken process
- KPI misalignment, companies often miss the common focus on business objectives. The sales team often complains that the marketing team is not providing them with quality leads and on the other hand sales are not following up the leads effectively.
What to do?
Step 1: Aligned customer journey
As a brand, you need to form a consensus between both the teams to deliver a single brand customer experience. From the start, creating brand awareness to nurturing the leads to build brand advocacy it’s crucial to deliver everything as a single experience.
A highly effective way to align this is by using CRM software. CRM software can provide you 360-degree insights about your customer. In a 360 degree approach, your customer meets the brand at various touch points such as sales funnel, loyalty and support, content and sentiment they connect to and purchase data.
On the brighter side, your sales and marketing team can create data-driven campaigns to reach your tech audience and maximise deal size.
The other way around is to create SLA for inbound leads. Possibly, it can hamper the opportunities by directly passing the leads to the sales team. Hubspot suggests this process.
- Calculate the Marketing Figures and Goals
- Calculate the Sales Figures and Goals
- Set up Marketing SLA Reporting
- Set up Sales SLA Reporting
- Review metrics daily to track progress
Takeaway: Put the right systems in place to build a common understanding between marketing and sales opportunities.
Step 2: Track joint KPI’s
As a tech company, you can boost the conversion by forming joint KPIs, which get monitored by both the teams to get them on the same page.
The Tech Sales team usually measures its success on, for example, demos they book, their rate of conversion from demo to opportunity. However, the marketing team focuses on lead quantity, website traffic, and click-throughs. Can you see why there is misalignment?
A joint KPI will enhance the efficiency of your business as by this you can analyse the weak areas in your customer acquisition funnel or realign the business strategy in synergy.
Takeaway: Set frequent meetings between both the departments to form a consensus on joint KPIs.
Step 3: Customer Persona
A very common disjoint among both the teams happens when they perceive their customer persona differently. An unclear persona of your ideal customer leads to depletion of your efforts, time and money.
Apparently, you want to exhaust yourself for someone who is not willing to buy your product, sound fair?
Create your Ideal Customer profile by analysing who is not the right fit mutually between the departments. It’s not appropriate where
For B2B a few considerations which both the teams should look for in ideal customers are such as background, challenges, business motivators, needs, and behaviors.
Takeaway: Make a common document that describes the ideal customer persona which is readily shared between both the teams.
Step 4: Mixed efforts
Today one of the prominent B2B marketing strategies is content marketing. Moreover, 90% marketers are aligned towards this. Content marketing is highly effective when used correctly at different stages of the sales funnel.
From top to bottom of your joint marketing and sales funnel here are the steps:
1: Blog, articles, infographics
2: Video tutorials, case studies, eBooks
3: Free assessment, demos
Takeaway: The sales team should know what type of content they should present while nurturing the leads and for the marketing team they should be in constant touch with the sales team about what type of content will support their efforts.
A hybrid alignment in marketing and sales is more than just building strategy to more about the mindset and common incentives they carry. Optimization and feedback loops can provide momentum to your lead conversion, therefore, next time increase the level of productivity with aligning marketing and sales efforts in unison
Let’s have a look at companies that have mastered the sales-marketing alignment:
Crossbeam is a partner ecosystem platform that helps companies build valuable partnerships. They act as an escrow service for data, allowing companies to find overlapping customers and prospects with their partners, while keeping the rest of their data private and secure.
Robert Moore, Co-Founder and CEO at Crossbeam told HubSpot how they managed to align Sales and Marketing. Robert revealed that the company rolled out company-wide OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) that change every quarter. They can be measured using sales, marketing and product data. Every employee at Crossbeam has been granted access to the dashboard that is updated in real time. On Slack people can share their key results and the progress. This helps to keep the whole company on the same page and aligned to the results which matter the most.
Key Takeaway: For a strong alignment, it is important that marketing and sales are on the same page. It is crucial for both teams to share key metrics and work around those to meet expectations.
We are sure you all know what and who American Express is, however, here is a quick reminder. The American Express Company is a multinational financial services business headquartered in New York City, USA.
The organisation had a goal to position itself as a leader in the corporate travel industry. It partnered with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and did extensive research on the experience of global business travellers.
To be a leader, American Express established a pilot social selling team that compromised employees across multiple departments and locations, including sales and marketing. The team created content based on the research. While marketing took over creating and distributing the content, sales was responsible for the provision of customer insights and making sure the content is customer-centric which was a critical role. The corporate travel content was a success with a reach of more than 100 million publications, over 1,500 page visits and an increase of engagement on LinkedIn by 100%.
Key Takeaway: While marketers are important for doing customer research and understanding the needs of the audience, it is important to remember that the sales team is mostly the one that talks directly to the customers. The collaboration between the both will help you align sales with marketing.
Liked this article? Why not read “How to simplify the complex of your technology”?
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