Aligning Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing we want the same thing, but too often go about achieving it in completely different ways.
To understand what we can do to improve this relationship and ultimately increase revenue we must first understand the core of a “sales” v “marketing” makeup.
Here’s a STEREOTYPE, simple and one to help us understand then better align.
Sales = Act & Persuade
Marketing = Think & Plan
Marketers are concerned about losing anyone for being too “salesy” and a salesperson would rather you do something or get out of the pipeline.  Aligning metrics will help this, but the evolution of software is propelling the two disciplines into one.  More marketers should embrace risk in their comp and win with sales.  Conversely, sales needs to appreciate the importance of planning for delivering quality conversions.
One GIANT missing piece in many organizations is a meaningful feedback loop.  Communication often happens at the C-Level but never makes it to the front lines.  The last organization I was we had several factors helping to improve our sales & marketing alignment.
Here are the ingredients for starting a good sales and marketing alignment:
  1. TRANSPARENCY – if something is broken or not working DON’T ignore it.  Acknowledge it and put corrective action in place.
  2. COMMON METRICS and performance compensation (pay marketing like sales) – Leadership who has been on both sides (marketing leaders who have sold or sales leaders who have marketed understand the unique challenges across the aisle)
  3. KPI DASHBOARDS/reporting plus monthly metrics update – how many leads, opportunities, and closed-won deals
  4. MONTHLY ACCOUNTABILITY meeting & implementing sales suggestions for testing
  5. SALES SHADOWING – prospect calls & new customer ride along for marketing with the intent to understand what moves a prospect forward.
  6. WEEKLY TEAM MEETINGS (sales and marketing limited to 30 minutes)
    • Here’s what’s coming, what it looks like, what we expect the prospect/customer to do, and how to interact with it.
    • Feedback on those campaigns/action – real-time feedback from sales on what’s working/not
    • What’s happening on social/creative calendar for the month