One of the biggest challenges when running a business is making sure that you align sales and marketing with one another. It’s surprising how many companies have marketing and sales departments that never interact, leading to all kinds of inefficiencies within the marketing and sales processes due to a lack of communication. To help prevent this from happening, the following are a few ways that you can align sales and marketing this year:
1. Make Sure The Same Terminology Is Being Used
In order for your sales team to be able to take advantage of all the documents and data that your marketing team shares with them, they will need to be familiar with the terminology being used. A lack of familiarity with common terms used by marketing personnel can cause some serious misunderstandings.
For example, your marketing team may have different terms used for leads at different stages of the buyer’s journey. If your sales team doesn’t know this, they may waste resources on leads that weren’t ready to engage or miss out on leads that were. For instance, if your marketing personnel considers leads to be different than prospects but your sales team thinks they’re the same thing, you’re going to have a problem.
2. Force Marketing And Sales Personnel To Meet Regularly
In many companies, marketing and sales personnel are barely aware of one another. They might as well be foreign concepts. If you want to align marketing and sales, then you need them to be more familiar with one another. Hold weekly meetings where they can get to know each other. Discuss some of the challenges that each department has in respect to one another to try and do a little problem solving while everyone is there. If you have these meetings regularly, your sales and marketing personnel will get to know each other better and be more comfortable around each other.
This is important because it means that not only will someone from sales or marketing feel more comfortable about reaching out to someone on the opposite side for help or to provide advice, but they’ll actually know who to reach out to. Such clear lines of communication are going to benefit both your marketing and sales departments and will greatly reduce instances of miscommunication.
3. Align Your Marketing And Sales Goals
The most effective way to make sure your marketing goals and sales goals are aligned is by creating an SLA (sales level agreement). The SLA should outline what the goals are for each department so that everyone is aware of what everyone else is attempting to achieve. An SLA also clearly defines the roles of each department in the lead generation process.
4. Coordinate Content Strategy Between Marketing And Sales
Your content strategy is a big part of your marketing efforts. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to just leave the content strategy up to your marketing team without consulting your sales team. Encourage your marketing team to get together with sales in order to discuss your content strategy. There are two reasons you should do this:
- Your sales team can inform them about certain promotional events or products/services they’re going to push, which allows your marketers to create content that’s more aligned with that strategy.
- Your sales team can inform marketing what kind of content they tend to use in order to nurture leads. In cases where marketing and sales don’t work together, marketing often develops content that’s never used by sales, which is a waste of resources.
5. Use Effective Marketing Solutions That Improve Collaboration And Communication
There are a number of tools you should integrate into your marketing strategy that will help align sales and marketing. For example, a CRM solution, such as HubSpot CRM, provides a centralized location where both marketing and sales personnel can monitor customer data and interactions. Additionally, automation tools such as lead scoring can be very helpful in bridging gaps in communication. Lead scoring allows marketers to automatically assign scores to leads based on their actions. Sales personnel can then use these scores to identify high quality leads to engage with.
By using these methods to align sales and marketing, you’ll help to reduce the miscommunication and inefficiencies that often plague the lead nurturing and sales processes. If your sales and marketing departments are isolated from each other, make sure that you implement a strategy to align your sales and marketing this year.