By Samuel Thimothy, VP at OneIMS.com, an inbound marketing agency, and co-founder of Clickx.io, the digital marketing intelligence platform.
Sales and marketing misalignment is a sad reality for many B2B companies. When those two teams aren’t in sync, every revenue-generating department feels it. The good news is that there’s a way to fix it—and it’s a good one.
In this article, I want to talk about some of the most frequent challenges that arise from the sales and marketing disconnect and provide simple steps you can take to improve collaboration between them.
Let’s begin by exploring how sales and marketing misalignment can manifest in your organization.
Miscommunication And Mixed Messaging
Your marketing team runs campaigns without consulting with your sales team. As a result, the leads that come through keep asking questions about all of the features and promises they’ve seen in the ad, but the sales reps have no clue what those are—a situation that leaves everybody frustrated.
Your marketing team identifies a niche market segment with high demand. They craft the entire strategy around it but never share this information with the sales department. Consequently, the sales reps keep using the same approach as they would with your regular leads, failing to target that super-specific segment. Prospects realize that your team won’t follow up on the original promise. The deal is lost.
Wasted Resources And Efforts
Your marketers decide to bet heavily on paid ads, filling up your pipeline with lots and lots of leads. However, they do it independently and never consult the sales team. The latter spends time pursuing those leads but none of them end up being qualified. Both departments spend time, money and effort on zero-gain activity, diverting valuable resources from high-potential opportunities.
Disconnect Between The Goals
Your marketers work hard on top-of-the-funnel activities and bet heavily on social media and content marketing in order to increase your brand visibility. Meanwhile, your salespeople spend most of their time cold-calling and feel reluctant to follow up on leads generated through inbound marketing channels. Each team is working toward its own separate objectives.
Building The Bridge Between Sales And Marketing
Here’s how you can address those issues and create a collaborative and supportive environment so both of those teams can thrive.
Get Your Teams On The Same Boat
Start with regular standing meetings where sales will share their insights gained from customer interactions and the challenges they are facing during customer interactions. This will help your marketing team gain a better understanding of customer pain points and revise their idea of what a qualified lead means to the sales department.
Build A Centralized Place For All Of Your Data
This includes all the product information, case studies, customer information, FAQs and common issues, requests and complaints, as well as information on marketing campaigns and insights from data. Store it in one centralized location that is easily accessible for both teams so that your marketing team can get accurate and verified information from your sales team—and vice versa.
Set Mutual Overarching Goals
While each of your teams has its respective areas of expertise, scope of responsibility and KPIs, they need to work together to achieve one common goal. Whenever your marketing department initiates a campaign, they should notify sales and keep them in the loop about the progress. By combining marketing’s creativity with sales’s customer insights, you’ll be able to produce highly effective campaigns that really resonate with your target audience.
Sales-Driven Marketing And Marketing-Enabled Sales
If you are successful in uniting your sales and marketing, your funnel could transform into a predictable revenue-generating machine in which every step would be intentional and every action would lead to a certain positive outcome. Your marketing and sales teams can make each other 10 times more effective if they work together.
The marketing campaigns, fueled by real customer questions, pain points and objections, can generate better quality leads. At the same time, every sales call, when backed up by nurturing sequences and follow-ups, can become more personalized. This will help your sales reps build relationships with potential customers and close deals more confidently.