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How To Align Sales And Marketing To Achieve Success

In many organisations, sales and marketing staff are in constant conflict with one another. For instance, the sales team may complain that the marketing department is failing to generate enough high-quality leads, while the marketing department may feel sales staff are delivering the wrong messages and failing to seal the deal. Here are a few ways to align the two to achieve the best results.
Successful companies manage to align sales and marketing in order to improve the customer experience. Indeed, a report from Aberdeen Research shows that businesses that achieve strong alignment enjoy an average annual revenue growth of 20 percent; well above average. So how can this alignment be achieved?
Aligning Sales and Marketing to Achieve Success
1. Align Sales and Marketing Messages

Successful alignment requires both teams to convey the same messages to customers. A functioning marketing department will create demand through outbound campaigns, marketing literature, etc. so sales training should place an emphasis on teaching staff to use the same buzzwords, key phrases and core messages when speaking to leads.

"Ensuring alignment between messages from sources such as the web or outbound campaigns with those delivered by the salesperson creates a seamless and consistent buying experience," says Donna Walker from the MHI Research Institute. "Aligning marketing and sales is crucial to building a message management strategy."

2. Encourage Collaboration

Another important step is to encourage collaboration, rather than expect two completely independent departments to align with one another. The quest for alignment can be significantly helped if both sides understand the challenges the other department faces. Moreover, both sides can benefit from the other's expertise.

For example, it may be sensible to include top marketing executives in sales coaching, or have marketing staff sit in on sales calls. Similarly, it may make sense for sales staff to have some involvement in content creation from time to time. Regular collaboration can help both sales and marketing to realise they have so much common ground. 3. Promote Constant Communication

Finally, it is vital to encourage continuous communication between sales and marketing, in order to reduce conflicts and get both departments signing from the same hymn sheet. The two departments should share definitions and success metrics, and provide regular feedback to one another. In addition, some social interaction goes a long way.

"The head of sales and head of marketing should go grab a beer together or play a game of golf," suggests Jon Miller from Marketo, in a blog post for Lattice. "The relationship is often so frayed that a regular social cadence can literally help to set that top-down alignment."

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 19th December 2016.
Monika Gotzmann
Monika Gotzmann is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

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