Sales & Marketing – a relationship that should be nurtured
Companies that practise sales and marketing alignment achieve 24% business growth and 27% profit growth in three years
Sales and marketing have never been more intertwined – but why are so many still not doing it right? Let’s find out more.
There is a lot of talk about sales and marketing alignment. You can’t go to an event or watch a webinar about the B2B industry without someone bringing it up. HubSpot even came up with a catchy new word for it – smarketing! But, in reality, traditional views still prevail. Marketing still looks after the top of the funnel, generating leads and warming them up. Then, they hand it over to the sales team for the bottom of the funnel activities, resulting in the close.
Then there are companies that try to align sales and marketing but get it wrong and fail to reap the rewards. In this article, we’re going to look at how this happens and what they could do better. Here are our three ways organisations get sales and marketing alignment wrong.
1 – They don’t recognise the value
Although sales and marketing alignment is the hot topic at B2B events and in articles like this, many leaders don’t understand the value it can bring to an organisation, so they don’t make it a priority.
The facts are clear:
- 87% of sales and marketing leaders believe greater collaboration between sales and marketing increases business growth
- 94% of salespeople that responded to a LinkedIn survey said greater alignment results in better leads – ‘excellent or good’
- Companies that practise sales and marketing alignment achieve 24% quicker business growth and 27% larger profit growth over three years
When marketing and sales collaborate, you present a consistent brand to your customer, meeting them where they are and facilitating a better experience. This leads to better results.
So, why don’t all companies put this strategy into action?
Some will be living in blissful ignorance of what can be achieved with a few changes in working practices. However, you have to keep your eyes open and notice what others are doing. Blockbuster thought they were doing just fine until Netflix came along!
For some, leaders will be happy with the way things are, with marketing and sales working in their silos. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
For others, there are just too many obstacles in the way of achieving sales and marketing alignment. No one said it was going to be easy, but the best things never are.
Draw up a strategy to boost collaboration between your marketing and sales teams. You can bet your competitors are.
2 – They look for the quick fixes
Leaders in many fast-growing organisations don’t have time to let new ideas bed in. They need to achieve results today. As a result, they look for quick fixes to problems.
For example, if their sales team is not closing enough revenue, they’ll fire the lowest performers and hire new ones. Perhaps, they’ll focus their attention higher up the funnel, spending budget on new leads for the marketing team. These courses of action only mask where the real problems are.
Another quick fix that leaders often fall for is believing that technology fixes everything. There are some excellent solutions out there that help salespeople perform better. It’s certainly advisable to automate as many admin tasks as possible so your salespeople can spend more time serving prospects and customers. However, unless you have the basics right, technology will not help.
Getting sales and marketing in alignment is one of those basics you should have in place. If you don’t have it, start now. But don’t expect instant results. Give it time to work.
3 – They don’t focus on the people
Sales and marketing may be B2B or B2C, but it’s always human to human. There are real people in your marketing and sales team trying to reach other human beings in your customer base. If you only focus on the outcomes and not on the people, your sales and marketing alignment efforts will be ineffective.
It’s hard to force collaboration on people who may be resistant to different ways of working. You need to make them understand how they can support each other and the wider benefits, while giving them space to build a relationship. A great place to start is to get them speaking the same language, agreeing on the metrics around what success looks like (for example, what exactly constitutes an MQL and SQL).
They also need to see support for their actions from the people at the top of the organisation. Implementing greater alignment between sales and marketing requires a change of culture. This needs support from your C-suite. For this reason, many organisations create a CRO role that runs both the sales and marketing teams – a place where the buck can stop.
Achieving sales and marketing alignment requires changes to your internal process, but needs to be done with an external focus on your customer base.
Find out more from SaaSLeads.io
At SaaSLeads, we recruit, develop and deliver SDRs to your organisation, ready to produce excellent results in your sales team. As well as training our SDRs on how to start business conversations with potential customers, we also give them the skills to use some of the best software solutions available.
Our SDRs understand where they sit on the sales funnel and can act as a bridge between your marketing and sales experts, increasing the value of your leads and helping your closers raise their win rates.
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