Sales and marketing misalignment. It’s not a new challenge, and it’s certainly not a simple one either. When these often opposing teams aren’t communicating efficiently or worse, operating off of different agendas, the disconnect can lead to glaring problems and make success that much harder for businesses to achieve.
In a recent study, 50% of respondents cited data as the biggest challenge to aligning sales and marketing. It’s no wonder data silos are a real concern for many organizations. In the same study, 47% said communication is a major barrier. It’s common for marketers to say the top thing they want from sales is better lead follow-up. Meanwhile, sales teams typically want marketers to deliver better-quality leads. It’s a cycle that can go around and around. These types of issues can drive a wedge and lead to even bigger knowledge gaps and challenges.
I recently came across an article written from a sales view with ideas to maximize the sales and marketing partnership. One of the interesting points it made from my perspective is that marketers should view sales teams as their internal customer, providing resources and tools based on sales’ needs, as the path to reaching end-customer needs. And when it comes to content, it’s about quality over quantity (at OMI, this is our mantra). According to the article, too many resources – whitepapers, graphics, email templates and other content – can actually be a detriment for sales teams, since it can be difficult to know which piece is best for each lead. Instead, marketers should focus on creating assets based on the content that is driving sales. When sales and marketing teams are sharing data and communicating, that information is much more apparent and accessible.
It’s not an easy fix, but many sales and marketing teams have made strong inroads to bridge these gaps, open the lines of communications and work together to achieve strong results. The effort is more than worth it. Taking a page out of my playbook, here are three of the top outcomes that sales and marketing alignment drive.
Sales teams work with prospective customers day in and day out, giving them the best insight into these individuals and their companies. When there’s free-flowing communication between teams, marketers can get a clearer picture of customers and use that information – along with data – to develop more accurate buyer personas of their target market. With those personas, marketers can optimize personalization, speaking to the direct needs of the prospect and generating higher-quality leads. Using quality acquisition email data, teams can reach a highly targeted audience to increase qualified leads and move them through the funnel, which leads me to my next point.
When sales and marketing teams are aligned, they can clearly communicate how prospects are moving through the sales funnel and what resources will work best at each stage. This is even more important now, as the buying journey has changed dramatically in recent months. I’ll share more about this in an upcoming blog post.
One of the best ways that closely aligned sales and marketing teams can drive business growth is through account-based marketing (ABM). The strategy requires sales and marketing teams to work together closely to identify prospective accounts and treat them as individual markets, or “markets of one.” At OMI, we’ve seen ABM grow in use across our client base, with dramatic results when it’s properly executed.
When sales and marketing teams work together, they’re better able to reach the right target audience, understand the buying journey, and develop the right content and plan to convert prospects into customers. Especially now, as most large in-person sales and marketing events are on hold, communication between these teams is crucial. Additionally, reports have shown that sales and marketing alignment can help your company become 67% better at closing deals, result in 36% higher customer retention rates, and generate 209% more revenue from marketing.
Those numbers tell an important story that any business can’t afford to forget.
What strategies do you use to build stronger sales and marketing alignment?
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