Marketing and sales teams have historically operated on separate wavelengths—and, in some organizations, separate universes. The disconnect between the two is understandable: Sales has black-and-white quotas. Marketing, however, lives in a world filled with varying shades of gray.
Not surprisingly, marketing and sales professionals often disagree. Sales will fault marketing for poor-quality leads, while marketing will gripe at sales for letting them go cold. Shifting blame and pointing fingers can have damaging consequences. Research from global market intelligence firm IDC, for instance, shows that failure to align marketing and sales teams has cost B2B companies more than 10 percent in revenue each year.
On the other hand, aligning your marketing and sales efforts can bring these game-changing benefits to your firm:
A Clearly Defined Strategy for Growth
Even if they’re focused on the same end goal (revenue), marketing and sales don’t always see eye to eye. Whereas marketing is focused on identifying new leads and creating content to reach them, sales is concerned with converting leads to clients. Marketing might swoon over terms such as “engagement” and “impressions,” but if they don’t instantly convert a lead, sales doesn’t want to hear about them.
Uniting these teams helps marketing better understand what sales sees as a qualified lead while giving sales valuable insight into marketing’s mission. By bridging the gap between their respective strategies, sales and marketing can leverage a shared strategy for achieving growth.
A Better Understanding of Your Ideal Client
Sales and marketing often have their own ideas about who makes the best client. But when each team targets a different buyer persona, valuable leads can be left in the lurch. By working in harmony, team members can determine—together—which individuals or organizations make the best prospects and clients. With a more robust picture of your firm’s ideal client, sales and marketing can employ a consistent, coordinated approach.
An Optimized Buying Cycle
Part of marketing’s role should be to create content and collateral that compels prospects to move through the buying cycle. A study from Demand Gen Report shows that 95 percent of buyers chose a solution provider that delivered ample content aimed at helping them navigate each stage of the buying cycle. If marketing and sales aren’t working hand-in-hand to determine the messages and types of content that are appropriate for each stage, the efficacy of these critical marketing efforts could be lost. But if the two teams come together on this issue, marketing can better understand the needs of prospects throughout the buying cycle—and develop strategies for shortening it.
A Strengthened Bottom Line
Finally, coordinating your marketing and sales efforts instead of treating each as a separate function can make a difference on your balance sheet. According to MarketingProfs, organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoyed 36 percent higher customer retention rates and 38 percent higher sales win rates. So, if your marketing and sales teams are light years apart, consider finding ways to get them into the same solar system. The benefits will be more than worth it.
If you need assistance aligning your sales and marketing teams, give us a call.
Posted on Thu, September 29, 2016
by Christine Hollinden