How to Create Sales & Marketing Alignment

How to Create Sales & Marketing Alignment

Big Ideas

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October 15 2021
Big Ideas
Author: Alex Shao

Aligning the Sales and Marketing Team

Alignment between work teams is always important. When employees are working in the same office, it’s easier and more natural to find this alignment. Now that remote work has become the norm and seems like it will continue past the pandemic, it may take some extra effort to ensure collaboration across teams, especially the Sales and Marketing teams which are essential for driving revenue.

 

According to Hubspot, in 2020, over 40% of businesses surveyed in Canada did not meet revenue targets. However, if you look at business that enabled remote work AND aligned their sales team with their marketing team, 60% of them met or exceeded their revenue targets. Even further to that, Marketo (2020) found that tightly aligned Sales and Marketing teams are 67% better at closing deals than those who are not aligned.

 

So how do you create alignment between these two teams?

 

The Steps Towards Sales and Marketing Alignment

 

Step 1: Agree on Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP)/ Buyer Personas

The first step towards marketing and sales alignment is to agree on the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and buyer personas that your company wants to target. Creating an effective buyer persona takes research and it’s important to think of these  Buyer Personas as a real people. By coming together on this step, you can ensure strategies and marketing dollars are spent on attracting qualified leads that are likely to purchase. Which is the ultimate goal for both teams!

 

When your team has an agreement on who the customer is, you can develop a marketing strategy to target them specifically.

 

Step 2: Agree on Target Markets/ Accounts Lists

Once you have determined your buyer personas, the next step is to create a list of businesses and individuals that match the criteria you’ve created.

These lists are essential because they ultimately determine how and where you are going to reach them in your marketing strategy. For example, if you’re looking to target the decision maker at law firms, then Account Based Marketing (ABM) would be a great strategy to consider. But if your persona and target market points towards 30- 55 year old's who like chocolate, maybe targeted social ads are a better fit.

 

When planning your lists, you should consider the following platforms to execute the list build:

1.       LinkedIn Sales Navigator https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions

2.       UpLead https://www.uplead.com/

3.       ZoomInfo https://www.zoominfo.com/

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Step 3: Discuss Campaign Messaging and Overall Marketing Campaign Strategy

The next task in aligning your Sales and Marketing teams is to discuss the overall marketing strategy and the messaging that will be used in your campaigns along with any Sales collateral and client-facing material.

 

During this step, the marketing and sales teams should gather to determine the types of content, lead magnets and landing pages that can be used in this specific marketing campaign. This could involve either creating new content or repurposing existing content. Always keep in mind the customer that has been identified in the first step and provide them with a lead magnet that they will find valuable.

 

Regarding the overall marketing campaign strategy, a key focus should be the delegation of what roles each team has in the process. For instance, when a lead comes in, how does it go through the customers ’ journey, and who is responsible for what? These questions must be answered to ensure that alignment can be achieved. And of course, to ensure leads aren’t missed. Ensuring that a lead receives a consistent customer experience at every touchpoint of the customer journey builds trust and loyalty which leads to more sales and repeat business. .  

 

This is also the time to go over sales scripts and sales collateral and create as much consistency as possible with the marketing campaign so that the lead experiences a seamless flow from Marketing to Sales.

 

Step 4: Determine the Channels for the Marketing Campaign Strategy and Tech Stack

After your marketing campaign strategy and messaging sequences have been finalized, it is now time to determine the tech stack to formalize your marketing strategy.

 

This step should be straight forward because the target account list and marketing strategy that you’ve worked on should indicate which platforms and channels are the best fit to reach your potential leads.

 

An ABM tech stack, for example, should include the following tools to deploy marketing strategy.

·         Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform

·         Marketing Automation Platform

·         Content Management Platform

·         Productivity and Project Management Platform

·         Social Media Management Platform

 

The tech stack can also help with team collaboration which is key for maintaining alignment. Using a productivity and project management tool that both teams can collaborate on can help with communication and understanding for projects.

 

Step 5: Develop Reporting KPIs and Metrics

One of the last steps toward sales and marketing alignment is the development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics for your teams. The teams should decide on how the frequency of these reports, and how insights will be gathered.

 

KPIs and metrics give your teams the ability to set measurable goals and track them effectively for the duration of a campaign. Having these important metrics on hand and accessible will allow the teams to adjust strategies proactively.

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Step 6: Set Meeting Cadence

The last step is for the Sales and Marketing  teams to set up a meeting cadence to ensure alignment is working for your organization.

 

The following are some best practices from Hubspot (2020):

  • Meet on a regular basis

o   Whether it is on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis, reoccurring meetings are an effective way to build on the alignment between Sales and Marketing. These meetings can go over the following: Weekly and/ or monthly reporting data (goals, quotas, metrics, KPIs, etc.)

o   Feedback and support on campaigns and strategies

o   Recommendations for both teams/ brainstorming on content

o   Updates on campaigns

 

Whether the Sales and Marketing teams are working together in the same office, or employees are working remotely across many time zones, ensuring they are aligned means both teams will see more success and in turn revenue will grow. A clear line of communication can be easier said than done which is why it’s important to be purposeful, at least until the two teams start to feel like one, the “SMarketing” team.

 

 

To recap: 

Step 1: Agree on Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP)/Buyer Personas
Step 2: Agree on your Target Markets/Accounts Lists
Step 3: Discuss Campaign Messaging and Overall Marketing Campaign Strategy
Step 4: Determine the Channels for the Marketing Campaign Strategy and Tech Stack
Step 5: Develop Reporting KPIs and Metrics
Step 6: Set Meeting Cadence

 

 

Our Chief Client Officer, Glenn Cressman, has decades of Marketing and Sales experience under his belt. If you’re curious how aligning your Sales and Marketing teams takes you one step closer to becoming a Full-Stack Marketing organization giving you a significant edge over the competition - contact him today

 

 

Resources

https://offers.hubspot.com/en-ca/sales-and-marketing-report?

https://www.hubspot.com/resources/sales-and-marketing-alignment?hubs_post=blog.hubspot.com%2Fsales%2Fsales-audit&hubs_post-cta=Check%20out%20HubSpot%E2%80%99s%20free%20sales%20and%20marketing%20alignment%20resources%20to%20help%20you%20improve%20cross-team%20communication%20and%20collaboration.&_ga=2.172438563.1694895231.1612825215-939515569.1602712294

https://www.marsdenmarketing.com/hubfs/2021/Assets/B2B-Demand-Gen-2021_Guide.pdf

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/tried-and-true-sales-marketing-alignment

 

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