Within the world of business, there’s one power couple that every company should aspire to emulate but many face sales and marketing misalignment. This partnership generates business results; supercharging growth rates and increasing revenue from marketing by up to 209% .
This partnership even has its own moniker. This is “Smarketing” or sales and marketing alignment.
Despite the advantages of this coupling, only 8% of businesses report having strong alignment between their sales and marketing departments. The economic impact of sales and marketing misalignment is staggering. According to one study, a lack of alignment between sales and marketing costs businesses over a trillion dollars a year. It is the overriding reason why an organisation’s annual revenue stagnates or falls into decline.
Smarketing: The evolution of sales and marketing alignment
Addressing sales and marketing misalignment requires focus at a strategic level and an understanding of today’s “customer is king” environment.
Sales reps have become somewhat side-lined owing to the digital boom as search engines and social selling fuel independent buyer research. Within the B2B sector, it is estimated that most buyers are already 57% through the buying process before meeting with a sales representative . By 2020, this number is set to increase to 80%.
The rise of the digitally-driven informed buyer has not only increased purchase cycles but weighted the sales and marketing funnel towards the latter. Charged with lead generation, lead scoring, lead nurturing and customer retention, marketing is encroaching upon sales territory. No longer siloed and separate entities, sales and marketing teams should be seen as a unified whole. The “Smarketing” department that works together to engage, inform, convert and retain custom.
Continue reading today’s “focus on series” to discover how you can integrate sales and marketing functions within your organisation. Start using Think Beyond’s alignment best practices today.
If you’d prefer to speak with a member of the Think Beyond team direct, call 01625 682110 for a no obligation, confidential chat.
How to increase integration between your marketing and sales teams
Here’s four ways you can help court the relationship between sales and marketing in your business:
1. Knowing me, knowing you: Create buyer personas together
Firstly, understanding your ideal customer is crucial if your marketing team is to attract high quality leads for sales to convert.
By working together on creating a dynamic profile of your buyer personas, sales can help marketing to understand what audiences are most valuable to your business and provide insight into customer pain points. Accurate buyer personas are the cornerstone of your marketing plan, fuelling content production, channel preferences and more.
2. Increase visibility across touch points with CRM
Data, and the exchange of that data, is key to aligning sales and marketing departments. Invest in a CRM (customer relationship management) system to increase visibility throughout the customer journey and pave the way for account-based marketing (ABM).
Combined with marketing automation technology, an effective CRM system can streamline both your lead scoring and lead nurture programmes to turn your prospects into opportunities – lead management at its best.
3. We’re all in this together, or, the importance of shared KPIs
Quantifying the value of marketing actions, or your marketing return on investment, is one of the biggest challenges facing marketing managers and CMOs. After all, how do you place a pound sign upon actions such as increased Twitter followers? How do you calculate and measure brand awareness?
Creating shared KPIs (key performance indicators) is crucial to align your sales and marketing teams and accurately gauge MROI. Furthermore, shared KPIs foster company-wide integration via the language of common metrics. Yes, sales and marketing may be a power couple but marketing and finance are BFF when shared metrics enter the business mix.
4. Reduce friction by unifying messaging
Finally, the evolution of Smarketing needs unified messaging. Incongruous sales and marketing messages such as differing product terminology and disjointed brand positioning all contribute towards a poor impression.
In order to reduce customer friction, the language used in your marketing materials should firstly, accurately reflect your proposition and secondly, be reinforced by sales. Unified messaging sets the scene for sales enablement. Equip your sales team with valuable content such as whitepapers, e-books and downloadable product guides to engage the buyer and funnel them closer to sales-won.
Adopting an ABM (account-based marketing) approach forces the issue of unified content further. By treating your accounts as markets of one, sales and marketing are thrown into sharp alignment to deliver personalised account-specific messaging. The result: ABM has been proven to increase sales win rates by 38%.
Which of the above sales and marketing alignment tips will you use in your business? Have you considered how a marketing consultant can help to integrate your teams and drive organisational success?
Don’t settle for second best
Think Beyond is a full-service marketing consultancy agency. Our CIM qualified consultants partner with you to deliver science-backed solutions that get results that are tailored to you.
Our consultants have a proven track record of managing periods of organisational change. We can help to unify your sales and marketing functions through development of a defined marketing strategy that answers your business needs. Our range of services also includes marketing training workshops and a marketing director service. These support your team, your c-suite and ultimately, your business to get on track towards greater growth.
Get in touch with Think Beyond today
Find out how Think Beyond can help support your marketing goals by getting in touch with one of our experts. Call 01625 682110 to speak with a member of the team.
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