Sales and marketing alignment (also known as smarketing) can be the difference between a business’ success and failure. Despite their similarities and seemingly close relationship, it’s not at all uncommon for marketing to pull your business one way, while your sales team is attempting to head off in another direction.
In most businesses, the marketing team is responsible for generating new leads through various marketing strategies, handing them off to the sales team to convert them into paying customers. But what happens if the leads generated by marketing’s efforts don’t respond to the sales team’s tactics? What if a customer was given confusing information by your marketing material, only to be contradicted by your sales reps? Misalignments like this can do a great deal of damage to your organization’s reputation and bottom line.
Although total alignment between sales and marketing teams can be a tall order, it’s easier to get started than you might think. Organizations that align sales and marketing will have an easier time growing audiences, converting audiences into customers, and fostering long-term business growth. Read on to learn more about five places to begin aligning your marketing and sales teams.
1. Create an Audience Persona Together
Many marketing professionals are familiar with the concept of audience personas. However, personas can also be invaluable for sales teams to learn who they’re selling to, what leads’ priorities are, and how to convert them into customers successfully.
Establishing audience personas with both your sales and marketing team ensures that everyone is on the same page about which types of customers are most valuable for your business, and how to most effectively reach them at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Sales will benefit from knowing who’s engaging with marketing, while marketers will better understand which types of audiences convert into paying customers.
2. Build a Unified Buyer’s Journey
Ensuring a consistent experience for your potential customers is the next step in sales and marketing alignment. No matter where a potential lead comes from, it’s essential to ensure they have the same successful experience that ultimately converts them.
When both sales and marketing teams understand their company’s buyer’s journey, they’ll be able to identify customer needs throughout the process and leverage their respective skillsets to meet them. From initial awareness and discovery down to the ultimate purchasing decision, building a unified buyer’s journey will help ensure sales and marketing are able to support each other from start to finish.
3. Develop Marketing Assets for Every Stage of the Sales Process
In the past, most marketing efforts were aimed at audiences in the initial stages of the buyer’s journey, while sales teams generally handled the latter half on their own. However, with modern consumers and buying behaviours becoming more complicated, organizations can now benefit from marketing materials aimed at buyers at every phase of their buyer’s journey.
It’s worth noting that as much as 65% of marketing content isn’t used by sales teams. Often, these unused assets are developed without input from both marketing and sales together, leading to less-than-useful material. Including both departments in the content development process will ensure that your marketing and sales assets meet everyone’s needs, working throughout the sales process to drive conversion and sales.
4. Ensure Consistent Messaging
Again, consistency is key when it comes to aligning sales and marketing. If marketing is saying one thing and sales is saying another, it can lead a potential buyer to question their decision and your company as a whole.
Both sales and marketing teams should have input in your overall messaging to potential buyers. When both teams agree on and use consistent messaging across all channels, marketing can effectively and accurately portray your product’s benefits, while sales can reinforce this messaging all the way up to the buying decision.
5. Evaluate Results Using the Same KPIs
Sales teams and marketing professionals pay attention to different things. For example, audience engagement and web traffic are firmly in the domain of marketing, while closing ratios and sale cycle lengths are more important to sales reps. However, finding common key performance indicators (KPIs) that are relevant to both departments can help organizations evaluate results, identify areas for potential improvement, and foster sustained business growth.
Metrics like overall revenue, customer lifetime value (CTV), cost per acquisition (CPA), and sales growth are all excellent places to start. When sales and marketing collaborate to measure and positively impact these KPIs, both teams can measure success at every stage buyer’s journey, allowing them to re-evaluate and optimize as required.
Marketing Systems for Sales Growth with Atrium
The purpose of aligning sales and marketing is to create a unified system that consistently converts audiences into paying customers. Building a system that incorporates both sales and marketing can become a key driver for your business, allowing you to invest in your future, defend against competition, and expand to new markets.
With twenty years of experience in digital marketing, Atrium Digital has helped its clients achieve sustained digital marketing success in a wide variety of fields and industries. Our unique approach allows us to engineer systems, build platforms, and optimize routines to deliver consistent results, allowing organizations to experience sustained growth through digital marketing.
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