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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistFri, Mar 9, 2018 10 min read

Is Marketing And Sales Alignment A Non-Starter At Your Company?

Sales and Marketing Alignment

10 Reasons Why A Lack Of Marketing And Sales Alignment Is Killing Your Chances To Get Leads And Grow Revenue

Sales and Marketing AlignmentI get it; most companies still have their marketing and sales functions split between two teams with two leaders. It’s partly due to legacy thinking and also probably coming from the people on those teams. Change is hard, and it’s always easier to just keep doing what you’re already doing.

But if you’ve noticed that it’s hard to close new customers, harder to generate new leads and even more difficult to differentiate your business within your industry, then it might be the perfect time to try something different at your company.

Here are 10 reasons why your lead generation and new revenue challenges are directly tied to your lack of sales and marketing alignment, plus how to fix it in weeks, not months or years.

Reason #1 – Your Prospects Don’t Know The Difference And Don’t Care

Think about your own buying experiences. You don’t differentiate marketing from sales. To you, its one seamless buying experience from the company you’re interested in doing business with. Your prospects are having the same thoughts. Having two separate teams, two groups of people, two sets of tactics and two different sets of success measures is completely misaligned with what your prospects want from you.

Reason #2 – The Data Drives Improvements In Both Marketing And Sales

Marketing and Sales AlignmentThe good news is data now exists in both marketing and sales tactics. Start by looking at conversion points across your entire funnel, from first visit on your website to final close. This is going to give you six new data points to start tracking weekly and monthly. This is also going to quickly show you how to focus your energy by prioritizing the data points that, when improved, will have the biggest impact for the least amount of work.

Reason #3 – Content Is Now Deployed Across Both Marketing And Sales

Your marketing team should be producing a ton of thought-leadership-level content that is converting visitors into leads. But your sales team needs content that does something similar. What you need is going to be highly dependent on the context of the conversations your sales team is having with prospects, and that’s a great place to start once you get these two teams together. Have marketing start creating content that moves the sales process forward and you’ll see results in no time.

Reason #4 – Marketing Needs Input From Sales To Improve Performance

Sales and marketing alignmentMarketing is creating messages, stories and content, then publishing those company assets. The result? New leads for the sales team. But if that work isn’t producing the right leads (or the best quality leads), sales owes it to marketing to close that loop and provide feedback.

Saying the leads suck is no longer enough feedback. Close that loop and get marketing the insights it needs to adjust tactics. The result is sales will immediately start to see more high-quality leads.

Reason #5 – Sales Needs Input From Marketing To Improve Performance

Marketing created the messages, stories and content assets, but if sales isn’t using them correctly, is using them at the wrong time or is not using them at all, you have an epic fail on your hands. Marketing has to work closely with sales to make sure the sales team is using all the assets in the way marketing envisioned them. Any issues need to be corrected quickly. Marketing should be feeding sales industry insights, disruptive messaging, compelling and emotional stories, and client advocacy. This is all designed to help sales close deals.

Reason #6 – Technology Spans Across Both Teams And Functions

Technology for Sales and Marketing AlignmentMarketing and sales used to work in a technology- and data-free zone, but that has changed dramatically. Now that marketing has its own tech stack and sales has CRM (along with other add-on apps and tools), both sales and marketing are running in a much smother, more automated and scalable way.

This is good news. It’s especially good news because some of these tools (like HubSpot) run across both marketing and sales, providing an amazing amount of insight into what’s working and what’s not working so well.

Reason #7 – You Can Reduce Your Cost Of New Customer Acquisition

When you start looking at your costs across both teams, it’s easy to find ways to reduce the cost of acquiring new customers. In some of our client cases, we see one sales rep reduced from the team and that money moved into marketing tactics. Or even better, an increase in lead flow produces a more efficient sales process, allowing you to execute your sales process with a smaller investment. Either way, more new customers for a smaller marketing and sales expense means higher ROI.

Reason #8 – You Can Dramatically Reduce The Time To Close

Sales and Marketing Alignment BenefitsToday’s buyer journey is complex and confusing. Sales cycles are running longer because prospects are inundated with information, opinions, perspectives and different approaches. The better your sales and marketing, the shorter your sales cycles, because your prospects more quickly get to know, like and trust your company.

Reason #9 – You Can Build A Scalable And Predictable Revenue Machine

The only way to scale something is to build a process, system or methodology that is repeatable. Once you have the system, you can work on the individual components of the system, tweaking, adjusting and improving each one until the entire system runs like a well-oiled machine. The machine metaphor might seem out of line when it comes to sales and marketing, but today, it’s how the best companies drive predictable revenue.

Reason #10 – This Is Always A Sustainable, Competitive Advantage

Ask anyone who just selected your company why they picked you and almost everyone would mention something about your sales process. The best way to create a sustainable, competitive advantage is to break down the barriers and build a seamless prospect experience. Your competitors aren’t likely to do something similar, because it takes vision and hard work to make changes like this. The way you sell and the way you market your company can be a sustainable, competitive advantage that helps you close more new customers and close them faster than your competition.

Do you really need more? As soon as you’re done reading this, get both teams in the same room. Whether you have four people on both teams or 40 people on both teams, announce that the separate marketing and sales teams are dissolved, and their new team is called the revenue department.

Give them a single leader (the chief revenue officer, VP of revenue or director of revenue). If you have a sales leader and a marketing leader, make them both co-directors or co-VPs, and make them work together to deliver your vision of a single revenue team. One will probably quit, leaving you with the single leader you should have had at the start of this amazing new journey you’re about to undertake.

Give them their single, revenue-focused goal and let them get started. You’ll be surprised at how all the typically separate activities can get done in an orchestrated and focused way. Leads are suddenly all qualified and hot. Follow-up is instantly quick and efficient. The most exciting part is that you’ll notice an improvement in the number of leads, number of sales opportunities and closed deals in about two to four weeks especially if you also follow the tips above. 

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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.