BLOG Why Sales and Marketing Alignment Leads to Satisfied Clients (and Staff)
Why Sales and Marketing Alignment Leads to Satisfied Clients (and Staff)
POSTED BY Danielle Holmes | Aug 4, 2020
Typical vertical company organization puts sales and marketing teams in different departments. And while both these teams don’t do the same job, separating them leads to more work, less satisfied clients, and team burnout.
Marketing teams focus on outbound marketing tactics to generate leads for their sales team. And the sales team may be focusing their time on in-person marketing and community awareness to identify qualified leads and trying to turn them into customers. Neither of these methods are problematic. But choosing to focus on them independently creates more work for both teams.
And while both teams work on identifying leads, it’s easy for customer satisfaction and follow up to fall through the cracks. Ultimately this creates a less stable client/company relationship.
Bottom line: silos are never good for companies or customers.
Consider Your Company Structure
Have you set your company up for working across teams? If you’re using a traditional vertical structure by product lines, you’ll probably see less collaboration and fewer cross-team opportunities. At Primitive, we recently reorganized to create a more collaborative environment.
What we’re seeing with a horizontal structure, organized by role, is teams working across clients and projects. What this looks like for sales and marketing alignment is working across both teams to drive leads and revenue. This structure allows your marketing and sales to be on company-wide campaigns.
When recently redesigning client packages, having sales and marketing on teams meant that we considered both what clients ask for and need, consistent descriptions across packages, and using ideas from both groups to inform marketing efforts.
"We minimized the work to maximize the ROI."
Aligning Marketing and Sales Identifies What Clients Actually Want
Aligning both marketing and sales (a.k.a “smarketing”) within your business allows both teams to share the same goals and objectives. And those goals should come from knowing their ideal client and their client’s sales journey.
Sales may think they know ideal clients based on leads that have turned into clients. But, that’s not always the case. One of the keys of healthy business is knowing when to say no to a client. And if sales isn’t involved in daily client operations, they may be converting leads that aren’t a good fit for your company. And the same goes for marketing teams. You can hack the data, watch site visits, and look at client analytics all day, but if you’re not getting a full picture of the process, you may still be tracking data on clients that aren’t returning clients.
But, when sales and marketing collaborate, they’re able to take the time to look at how past projects have gone, speak with other team members, and create a dynamic and flexible strategy to capture the right leads.
And they’ll be able to use all that data to make sure packages or products deliver what clients need to succeed. An upsale is a bad experience if it doesn’t deliver for a client. Collaborative marketing efforts means products are designed for clients, descriptions are consistent, so potential clients know what they’re getting, and they have reasonable expectations for product or service outcomes. All this leads to happy clients who make word of mouth recommendations or return.
Lower Team Burnout Rates When Sales and Marketing Are Aligned
Aligned lead generation means less work, greater ROI, and fewer process frustrations across all teams.
With sales and marketing aligned you’ll see:
- Fewer missed opportunities. When sales and marketing aren’t in sync, the potential for valuable leads to fall through the cracks grows dramatically. Collaborative processes means sales knows exactly what your offerings are and can better vet leads. It also helps marketing to create content that is easy for sales to work with.
By aligning sales and marketing, opportunities for lead generation increase.
- Better use of people and resources. Aligning marketing and sales allows you to better use the tools and resources you already have. Instead of paying for separate software, both teams could use a CRM tool like HubSpot or Marketo. You might even find that the two teams can share the value of certain positions, such as a graphic designer or someone who specializes in analyzing data. And when working collaboratively, teams share information, concerns, and road blocks. This means more opportunities to find better processes and have fewer frustrations.
- Stronger, more confident teams. Let’s just say it: It is virtually impossible to align sales and marketing without creating clear strategies, processes, and a plan for communicating information about leads. Baking in a foundation of trust and accountability amongst your teams results in a stronger, more confident organization as a whole. So, take the time to build collaborative teams.
At Primitive, we’re nothing if not practical. So here’s our best advice on how to align your sales and marketing teams!
How to align sales and marketing
Just like any process change, expect pushback and the occasional failure. Know the end result will grow your company’s ROI and keep your team satisfied.
- Create and identify buyer personas. We cannot stress this enough. Banding together to create comprehensive buyer personas always pays off dividends for your business. When personas differ between teams, the messaging that could be targeted to your audience weakens and your business immediately loses the power that can be packed in one fell swoop. Bottom line, you’re wasting precious time and resources.
By aligning your buyer personas between both teams, your:
- Marketing team knows what to write, who to write to, and where to place that content to deliver the highest ROI.
- Sales team understands the particular pain points the personas have and how to communicate the ways your brand can solve them.
- Create shared goals and objectives. At the end of the day, your marketing and sales teams are working to generate revenue for your business. Create a collaborative team that works together to achieve this goal.
- Set up a plan of action. After establishing these shared goals, create a plan to work together. How will sales influence marketing? How will the marketing team pass on information about leads?
- Set up regular meetings and communication. There needs to be a plan and a process in place to discuss goals (and how to progress towards them), create strategies, learn about leads and prospects, and plan the content and resources everyone needs to succeed.
Don’t forget: These meetings also need to serve as a platform for comprehensive post-mortems after losses, as well as a chance to celebrate team and individual victories.
Digitally confident consumers expect transparency and consistency in their experience with your business. Collaborative teams vet leads, manage client expectations, and communicate throughout the process.
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About the writer, Danielle Holmes
Danielle has been telling stories her whole life. And for the last five years she’s been telling the stories of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and companies bringing quality products and services to customers. Danielle got her start in academia. With degrees in English and anthropology, she spent more than half a decade learning how to ask questions, tell stories, and do thorough research. Her approach uses ethnographic interview and coding techniques to better understand brands and clients. She listens for key words, recurring topics, and core ideas to know the client and their ideal audience. She uses that data and understanding to tell stories—true to brands—that create loyal customers.