Managing sales and marketing alignment is essential for maximum performance from both teams. Once you synchronize your two teams, you will accelerate revenue and boost demand generation. Here are some of the best practices for doing that.
#1: Shared Goals
Shared goals are a surprisingly underutilised component of sales and marketing alignment. However, they work for a simple reason: When people know that they’re graded on how well they achieve something together, they’re far more likely to work together.
In this context, shared goals should include metrics that apply to both departments, and especially from the ways they interact. For example, a good shared goal might be a specific sales conversion rate on a specific campaign. By sharing conversion rate goals, your marketing team is more likely to deliver on quality leads while your sales teams are incentivised to convert them.
The exact nature of shared goals varies by company. The trick here is finding something that works for your company without feeling unfair. OKR are an effective way to manage shared goals. From a strategy level, you can set up a shared objective between marketing and sales. The teams will collaborate on delivering that objective through key results.
#2: Feedback Loops
Feedback loops in sales marketing alignment focus on constant, helpful information from each team. This should be an ongoing cycle, not a one-and-done report for each group. Having solid feedback loops weeds out of poor revenue generating campaigns before further investment is made.
A feedback loop should, ideally, be process-driven. The process should begin before the campaign launch and continue throughout the campaign.
It is also important to stick to data. Oftentimes, feedback is personal, which impedes the group’s goal. By sticking with data, you ensure your feedback is grounded in science.
It’s not realistic to expect that every single marketing campaign will be more effective at generating revenue. However, you can try to determine why one campaign is more successful than another by establishing a feedback loop.
Oftentimes, feedback is personal, which impedes the group's goal. By sticking with data, you ensure your feedback is grounded in fact.
#3: Campaign Briefing
Campaign briefing is pivotal to getting everyone on the same page. These let marketing teams clearly explain how they are generating leads, allowing sales teams to tailor their pitches.
These systems come in many forms, from written campaign databases to meetings. It is a good idea to outline all active marketing campaigns in some type of shared file. That way, it can be the single source of truth for sales teams. Sales managers can use this file as a reference point for training.
Marketers would want to brief sales before launching campaigns outside of BAU activity. Sales teams should develop clear strategies before marketing campaigns go live.
Don’t forget to save and archive any data you get from campaign briefing systems. This can help you get a better sense for what’s working over time and what your company can improve on.
#4: Effective Meetings
Meetings between departments are another great way to support your sales and marketing alignment, but only if you do them correctly.
Don’t have meetings for the sake of meetings. Make sure you avoid having pointless or unnecessary meetings. Even if you’re doing them remotely, Zoom fatigue is a real problem, and unnecessary in-person meetings are nearly as bad. Make sure to only call for a meeting if it moves the objective forward.
One of the most effective strategies is splitting things up with a set agenda or structure. With this setup, each department has an opportunity to focus on presenting and how they plan to do things.
There’s one time you should always have a meeting, though: when you get a new person on the sales team. Having an onboarding meeting gives them an opportunity to learn the current practices, ask questions, and otherwise learn how to mesh with your existing processes.
#5: Shared Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are a key part of modern sales and marketing tactics, but some companies don’t share these personas between different departments. This causes misalignment in targeting and could lead to an ineffective sales process.
A marketing campaign aimed at men in their 30s interested in payment software should be reflected in sales tactics. Personas often share similar pain points, so it’s vital that marketing and sales utilise the same personas, so the buying experience is consistent. Otherwise, you can get a disconnect in communications and that is never good for revenue.
#6: Have Events Together
No, this doesn’t mean putting on cheesy, forced parties where people stand around with their own groups for an hour while wishing they were at home. Events should be genuinely interesting and give people a chance to relax, mingle, and have fun.
The right type of event depends on your company culture. Don’t be afraid to solicit ideas from the team and see what sorts of things they’d enjoy. Some companies might enjoy trips to sporting events, while others might enjoy bringing in video games, having a drinking party, or going on a hike.
Achieving the proper sales marketing alignment within your company is a process, not something that happens overnight. Once you set it up, though, it becomes part of the culture and you can realise the fruits of your labour.
Change comes from the top, so don’t hesitate to take the initiative and make the alignment adjustments your company needs.