Aligning Sales and Marketing Needs To Be Your Priority

There is a very big payoff for companies that smooth the handoff of leads to sales.

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By John Rampton • May 13, 2016


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's no secret that sales and marketing teams don't always play nice with each other. After all, each department has a different set of goals that are commonly misunderstood by each other. The thing is, when the departments are aligned something amazing happens. Your organization wins.

For example, one study found "89.1 percent of companies that aligned sales and marketing lead generation efforts reported measurable increases in the number of leads that converted to opportunities." It's also been found by the Aberdeen Group that alignment between sales and marketing can "achieve an average 32 percent annual revenue growth over the previous year compared to an average 7 percent decline for their less well-aligned competitors."

Thanks to a joint study by MarketingProfs and MathMarketing, "organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoyed 36 percent higher customer retention rates and achieved 38 percent higher sales win rates."

Beyond these telling statistics, here are a couple of other reasons why sales and marketing alignment should be a top priority.

Customers actually notice.

Shockingly, "57 percent of customers feel that salespeople are poorly prepared or not prepared at all at initial meeting?"

To determine if your company fits into this obscene stat, examine the content and resources provided to your sales team. If they don't have content that can make a solid first impression that will engage and educate the prospective customers, then how can you expect them to close a deal?

Having your sales and marketing team collaborate on content is one way to align them since it will help them better understand the challenges that each face. More importantly, both departments can create effective content based on their knowledge and experiences with prospects.

Related: The 5 Characteristics of Extraordinary Salespeople

Prevents inefficiencies.

When your sales and marketing teams aren't aligned you're going to run into some inefficiencies. If you don't think that this is a big deal, then consider the fact the ineffective content marketing has resulted in the loss of $958 million annually.

More importantly, inefficiencies between sales and marketing can lead to sales saturation. As Mike Weir, Vertical Director for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions' Technology business, points out "that upwards of 80 percent of leads generated by marketing are neglected or never acted upon by a sales rep" because of lead quality and lead readiness of salespeople. Weir suggests that you run a sales equation to start making changes that all of your team members should be aware of.

Everyone also has to be aware of their sales team capacity by setting realistic goals, refining your lead nurturing strategy, knowing what is actually bringing in payments to your business and focusing on delivering leads to your sales team needs.

Related: Why 'Smarketing,' or Integrated Sales-and-Marketing Strategy, Is the Future for Small Business

Avoids wasted revenue.

Did you know that when you don't have a sales and marketing alignment you " waste up to 91 percent of potential ROI on marketing investments?" Even worse? Around "50 percent of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting." One way that this is caused is because your sales team is searching for content that can attract, engage, and convert leads. Sales are likely complaining to one another and feeling the disconnect. And yet, guess what? Your marketing team has already created this information and content for you, and it's usually sitting there with flashing lights. But, since they weren't aligned, your sales team is now missing out on potential sales opportunities.

Related: 5 Ways to Align Marketing With Sales to Close More Deals

Tips on aligning sales and marketing teams.

Aligning your sales and marketing teams not only increases revenue, reduces inefficiencies and wasteful spending, it helps you boost the morale of both teams leading to customer retention. When people are selling more, we're making more money. When we all make more money it generally leads to a much happier team.

The remarkable progress will be in recognizing the acknowledged changes in the buyer journey earlier, helping to close deals faster, a higher degree of confidence from your customers, and it will increase the swiftness of collaboration. Salespeople are usually pretty adept at sniffing out their next bonus (at least mine are) -- and when they come to realize that marketing is holding the key to a swifter process in sales, you will have sold your own sales team collaborating.

Hopefully you're sold on the making sales and marketing alignment a priority. And, you can achieve this through the following tips;

  • Share common goals.
  • Have shared definitions.
  • Meet regularly.
  • Have a content creation process in place.
  • Coordinate marketing campaigns with sales.
  • Facilitate training.
  • Keep sales resources in one convenient location.
  • Have fun and get to know each other.
John Rampton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Entrepreneur and Connector

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar.

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