When you look at the traditional org chart, sales and marketing teams are kept separate. They tend to work in silos, where the marketers keep the sales funnel running and the sales associates close the deals.
The best way to drive revenue and improve the customer experience is to help your sales and marketing teams work together and align their strategies. If communication breaks down or the groups start to compete, your business will suffer.
So, what can you do to address these issues? Here are our 5 top tips for sales and marketing alignment:
1. Define the Customer Journey
The first step you should take to improve sales and marketing cooperation is to define the customer journey. While this may seem like a basic task, you must outline the responsibilities of the marketing and sales departments.
Who owns what part of the sales funnel? What are the specific roles that must be addressed throughout the customer journey? Which deliverables is each group responsible for?
Answering these questions helps you determine where the sales and marketing groups should focus their efforts. It also creates an opportunity to promote teamwork and collaboration.
For example, marketers tend to manage the activities at the top of the sales funnel, like generating new leads, increasing brand awareness, and driving the overall marketing plan. Sales associates, on the other hand, execute the strategy and follow up with leads so that they can close the business.
Not only does defining each step of the funnel eliminate confusion and duplicated efforts, but it also ensures accountability and highlights areas that can be improved.
2. Communication is Key
Another way that you can encourage sales and marketing cooperation is to foster communication and create an environment where data can be shared.
The best way to strengthen your sales funnel is to ensure that your sales team gives feedback to marketers based on the interactions they have with prospects. They can provide insights into what went well and what could be improved – time is money, so the faster the marketing team can act on these suggestions, the better.
Increasing the volume of communication is not enough, though. You need to develop a structure for this communication so that the process is consistent and standardized. For example, consider scheduling regular meetings where both teams can collaborate and share knowledge.
Your marketing and sales associates are always busy, so creating a process for communication ensures that it won’t be pushed aside or forgotten. Make agendas and document action items away from these meetings – remember that communication is only useful if it drives action!
At the next meeting, you can take time to review how the ideas were implemented and make additional adjustments as needed.
3. Develop Core Content
The next tip we have for aligning your marketing and sales teams is to develop core content. Content can play a key role in the collaboration of these groups because it ensures that everyone is using the same language, branding, tone, and more.
Consider the fact that your business will suffer if you do not have a clear content management process. It doesn’t matter if your sales and marketing employees have the same goals and focus if they are not using the right content!
That’s where a content platform like Milk Video can make all the difference. By helping you cut all your demo videos, testimonials, webinars, and other content into on-brand clips, your sales team can leverage the same media as your marketing department.
Imagine how helpful it would be if your entire organization leveraged the same case studies, highlights, and testimonials – it doesn’t get more collaborative than that. Likewise, Milk Video gives you an easy way to keep your content organized and accessible, so everyone can get the most up-to-date media whenever they need them.
Once you have the content in place, you need to ensure that your sales team knows how to find and use those resources. Similarly, this creates another opportunity for a feedback loop where the sales team contributes to the content strategy your marketing team is using.
4. Focus on the Customer Experience
Focusing on the customer experience – and putting your customers first – can also drive sales and marketing alignment. If customer satisfaction is the basis for all the actions either team is taking, there is no doubt that they will be working towards the same end goal.
Likewise, keeping this high-level goal at the forefront of your strategy reduces tension and competition. Putting the customer first ensures that your prospects won’t feel like they are just another quote or statistic during the buying process.
In other words, prioritizing the needs of your customers will naturally increase collaboration between your marketing team and sales associates.
5. Use the Same Metrics
The last tip we have for aligning marketing and sales is to integrate your success metrics. Another way to keep the focus on your customer, and boost collaboration, is to use common metrics to track performance and individual achievements.
The idea is to help both groups share accountability for meeting revenue goals and improving the overall customer journey. It will lead to a focus on quality over quantity when it comes to leads and will encourage the teams to work together whenever possible. Consider the benefits that using the same metrics will also have on aligning content to better meet customer needs and improving the lead hand-off process!
The standard metrics generally look like the sales team getting compensated for closing new business, while the marketers get recognition for pushing leads through the door. Instead, create a recognition program that addresses the value that team members add at throughout the sales funnel.
Rewarding both teams for sales emphasizes the need for collaboration and respect. Take time to celebrate together, and you will find that your marketing and sales teams will start to align.
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