“Our teams have great sales-marketing alignment”….said no one ever. And why would they? Sales and marketing teams frequently have a tense relationship. Most of the time this plays out with sales complaining that marketing isn’t doing enough, or isn’t doing enough of the right things, and with marketing responding that sales complains no matter what they do.
At the end of the day, however, sales and marketing are on one same team. And as customers demand more consistent and more personalized experiences across all channels, it’s never been more important for sales and marketing to work hand-in-hand.
So how can you achieve sales and marketing harmony? Well, unfortunately, the fix isn’t one size fits all. Alleviating the constant tension over qualified leads and content ROI will take time, patience and strategic coordination.
We’ve created a few guidelines that have helped smooth out the marketing-sales alignment that are sure to at least be a starting place for your B2B team.
1. Keep everything that sales needs organized and in one place
Nothing will discourage a sales rep more than taking the time to look for apiece of marketing- created content, only to not find it anywhere. Invest in a sales enablement tool and ensure everything you want sales to have access to is in there. This way, they can see how much work marketing is actually doing, and they know they can find what they need, when they need it.
2. Communicate any important campaigns multiple times, through multiple channels
Overcommunication can sometimes be better, especially when you’re dealing with a sales rep with hundreds of “out of office” replies in their inbox. So after you send an email, make sure to communicate via Slack or whatever your internal messaging system may be. Once you’ve done that, schedule a 15 minute meeting with them. This way, sales has the information they need on what’s coming, and you can avoid them asking the dreaded “what’s that?” when you mention a campaign.
3. Provide “everything you need to know” documents for every campaign
Unfortunately, it is not enough for a sales rep to be able to find what marketing is doing. They also need to know how to use it. The more context and instructions you provide, the more ROI you will see. Here at Percolate, we provide an “EYNTK Doc” for every piece of content, webinar, event, or asset we produce. This includes all relevant links, email copy, and talking scripts, so our sales team can start running immediately.
4. Always remember to address “what’s in it for them”
What better way to collaborate with a rep than to use their own sales tactics on them? Set an upfront contract that makes explicitly clear what they will gain from investing time and energy into your campaign. This ensures that they are bought in from the beginning.
5. Get feedback once the campaign is over
Just like with any relationship, there will be hiccups. Some campaigns might fall flat, and that is okay. What’s important is that all teams feel that their input matters, and will be considered when planning the next campaign. One easy way to do this is to provide anonymous feedback forms that you review with the Sales team.
A rocky sales and marketing relationship goes beyond an occasional tense email. In order to actually communicate your product’s value to customers, marketing and sales must work together. The sooner you take the first step towards tight alignment, the sooner you will see your engagement with customers improve.
With the very nature of sales changing, it is even harder to keep marketing and sales aligned—but also more important.