Have you ever felt like your team just wasn’t on the same page? We know how this can affect not only your business as a whole, but also your relationship with potential and established clients. What is the key to a successful B2B team? Effective communication between your sales and marketing departments! It’s that simple. Think about your sales and marketing departments like a marriage – both sides need to be strongly intertwined. One team creates the message for the product or service your business offers, and the other team is the seller. See what we mean?
In this blog, we’ll talk about why effective communication is key to a successful B2B team and how you can align your sales and marketing teams seamlessly.
Similar to a relationship, sales and marketing partnerships require continuous integration
Did you know there’s a way for your B2B business to increase revenue by 32% and retain 36% more customers? Research by the Aberdeen Group shows that this is possible through an aligned sales and marketing team. However, a significant amount of businesses aren’t doing this relatively inexpensive and straightforward technique that helps to generate more revenue, acquire more clients, and hold onto the clients you already have. It’s estimated that ignoring the alignment of sales and marketing teams could cost more than $1 trillion a year globally. Wow! Without proper alignment, up to 75% of marketing leads aren’t being converted into sales, which results in lower revenue for you and higher revenue for your competitors.
All of the best-run B2B businesses are in the process of or have already aligned their sales and marketing teams. They know that in order to maintain a competitive advantage, they need all the leverage they can get. According to Sirius Decisions, companies that align their sales and marketing departments have seen a 24% higher faster growth rate and a 27% higher faster profit growth. Aligning your sales and marketing departments is not a trend or a marketing fad – it’s considered the new normal. If your B2B business doesn’t start the process of integration, you’ll fall behind.
What causes sales and marketing misalignment?
There are probably hundreds of ways that sales and marketing can become misaligned. However, we’ll focus on a few of the bigger concepts. Basically, it comes down to how these departments view their role and others’ roles within your business. Let’s look at this from three different perspectives to help you understand both how and why it can be challenging to be on the same page.
The CEO: Many times, the CEO of an organization may not have a strong sales and marketing background. This means that many CEOs will view sales and marketing as two distinct and separate entities with unconnected roles. As the head of the organization, this viewpoint transmits to the rest of the company, impacting the company culture.
The Sales Department: A major challenge in integration is when the sales department views its role within the company and superior to those in the marketing department. This usually manifests itself by believing that any leads generated by marketing is useless. If your sales team does not value and respect the work done by your marketing team, they won’t be on the same page. Another challenge is the sales and marketing teams approaching your prospects in two different ways, with sales being focused on reducing complexity and marketing focusing on trying to find as many different approaches as possible.
The Marketing Department: The marketing department frequently has the mindset that they know what’s best for the sales team. They may view any lead as a definite sale and blame the sales team if it doesn’t close. Because they aren’t in tune with the sales team, they can lose track of how customers are buying, from something as simple as the intricacy of closing a deal to the changing wants and needs of an evolving market.
Who is to blame for the disconnect? Well, no one is to blame more than the other. Ultimately, it’s about creating a culture for your business where everyone has the same values. This starts from the top with the CEO and streams down to the marketing and sales departments. Everyone in your business needs to be on the same page when it comes to values and how to measure and reward success.
How should your business align sales and marketing?
Aligning sales and marketing is a complex process, but we’ll simplify it for you.
The first step of the process is to focus on a single customer journey. From awareness to customer interest to the purchase, your marketing and sales departments need to be on the same page. We have to thank technology for making this so much easier for B2B businesses! With customer relationship management (CRM) software, email marketing, content management, and analytics, your sales and marketing team will be able to create a unified process that will ultimately help the customer journey.
The next step is to identify buyer personas. Your business should know exactly who your ideal client is, what drives their decision-making, and how to reach them and their wants and needs. Marketing departments generally understand these concepts, but your sales department needs to be familiar with them as well and know how to integrate them into their work. Additionally, your sales department needs to let the marketing department know when they encounter changes to this persona since they are interacting with clients on a daily basis.
The final step is to use joint key performance indicators (KPIs). B2B businesses typically measure sales by new accounts, closed deals, or retention. However, marketing is measured through pipeline statistics and lead quality and quantity. How are they supposed to seamlessly work together when they are not using the same measurements for success? By using joint KPIs, you are not only encouraging the two departments to work together as one team, but you are also able to measure how effective their integration is.
These are not the only ways to align your sales and marketing teams – these are just the beginning stages, as well as some of the most effective and simplest ways.
My sales and marketing teams are aligned, now what?
Once you’ve successfully achieved sales and marketing alignment, your company will begin to see some significant revenue increases. Hubspot reports that a well-aligned sales and marketing team can lead to a 208% increase in revenue. That’s huge! Another benefit that businesses see is that the content created by the marketing team and the tools and tech from the sales team better align with the client’s journey. Having a sales team that reports back to marketing, your business will be able to generate more personalized content for your potential and established clients and increase client engagement.
The most significant benefit your business will gain is that of a shared culture of trust. By continually working together as a team, your sales and marketing departments will be on the same page and help each other to overcome obstacles. Your sales reps will begin to use your marketing materials more, and your marketing team will start viewing sales wins as their wins too. Not only will your revenue grow, but with greater cohesion and morale among your staff, the growth of your business will follow.