The Need for Sales & Marketing Alignment Within an Organization
Sales & Marketing Alignment = Increased Revenue
Despite the fact that 80% of businesses recognize the benefits of greater alignment between sales and marketing, most (60%) aren’t unifying their divisions – so says a new report from recruiter Ranstad. Sales and marketing often come hand in hand within an organization although their roles are very different. In an aligned organization, it’s Marketing’s job to help Sales better assess the qualified leads they get and find the information that would be most valuable to them. Sales can help Marketing improve their lead generation and qualification process by showing the marketing team which leads are higher quality (making it further along the sales process) and why they are converting. Their ultimate aim is the same, which is business growth, so appreciating this is the platform for better working. Ultimately sales and marketing are very often reliant on each other – marketing might for example drive the online or phone leads that power a sales force. Likewise, sales leads might power a marketing CRM program.
The growth of digital has meant there is a closer connection between marketing and sales. Brands can now embed a call to action in almost any piece of digital marketing – think Google or Twitter’s ‘buy’ buttons.
According to Forrester Research, this is what the B2B customer’s buying process looks like now:
The bad news is this customer journey is happening with or without your sales and marketing teams. The good news is all of this online information is accessible to everyone in your organization. It’s time for the sales and marketing teams to work together and take control of the online conversation. That’s why digital marketing is necessary and constant communication between the sales and marketing teams will ensure that the marketing efforts are producing a high return on investment. Hubspot reported that organizations with good alignment between sales and marketing teams achieve 20 percent revenue growth on average annually. By contrast, companies with poor alignment saw revenues decline by 4 percent.
A key job of Marketing is to understand the marketplace from the perspective of the customer looking back towards the company and helping lead the company where it should be in the future. Marketing should direct the organization toward the segments, or groups of customers and channels where the company can profitably compete. It should help the organization see how it needs to modify its product offerings, pricing and communication so that it meets the needs of the distribution channel or end customers. (This is a function of your market positioning strategy.)
They also needs to convert their market understanding into tools and tactics to attract the market, build (often digital) relationships, and develop leads. They may also direct Sales as to where they should be hunting and what ammo to use. Note, however, that if Marketing becomes a sales support function focused only on the now, the future can become lost.
The truth is that your marketing automation platform is only as good as the information that you put into it. If unqualified leads are being passed to Sales automatically, it is up to Marketing to update these triggers to become more accurate. The objective of Marketing and Sales alignment is knowing when a process is working and when it isn’t, so you can keep improving your Sales and Marketing strategies.
If we broke it down to the basics, marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects and the sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract. Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. If you work to strategically combine both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. If you realize the importance of digital strategy along with the sales and marketing alignment then you will be unstoppable.
If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy your competitor probably does, leading to sever loss of control on your part. Remember that a digital marketing strategy is the road that leads you to your goals. This is what is going to allow you to be successful in the online space resulting in increased revenue. As a one stop shop, Top Floor helps create integrated marketing strategies that align with our customers’ long-term business goals and help those two crucial department, marketing and sales, to align and collaborate.