Sales and Marketing are two critical components of any successful business, but occasionally these two departments are not in alignment. For a successful flow, there needs to be a connection between getting qualified leads to the sales team and turning them into conversions. When the sales team feels they are being sent poor quality leads and the marketing team feels the sales department is doing a poor job closing leads, there is a disconnection that needs immediate attention.
The Roles of Sales and Marketing
In the broadest sense, Sales refers to the process of communicating directly with potential customers in an effort to make a sale and marketing is designed to engage, create awareness and attract attention. There are a variety of platforms each of these roles use to get the job done, but they are rarely successful without the support of the other.
Defining a Qualified Lead
Perhaps the first step to establishing a connection between sales and marketing is to create a company-wide definition of a qualified lead. Ideally, both teams will work together to create this definition, with the sales team leading the way since they are the ones that are tasked with converting the leads. When both sides exchange information and work together, the result will be a meaningful definition that can be tweaked as you go along.
Sales and Marketing Teams Working Together
A strong marketing team and a strong sales team can accomplish a lot on their own, but when they unite and work together the results can be truly magical. According to data provided by the TAS Group, companies with sales and marketing teams that are tightly aligned see some exciting results:
- 36% higher customer retention rate
- 38% higher sales win rates
- 208% more revenue from marketing
- 67% better at closing deals
- Up to 3x revenue growth
Strategies for Sales and Marketing Alignment
The concept of why sales and marketing should work together is easy enough to grasp, but making it a reality might require you to take the initiative to make it happen. The first step is to schedule a meeting for everyone to get together and begin the process of connecting the goals of the two teams.
Positivity is the name of the game, and it’s important for everyone to leave the meeting feeling like they have been heard and are excited about the new opportunities. After defining what a qualified lead looks like, it’s time to move onto some other important items.
The Marketing / Sales Funnel – Even if you don’t call it a funnel, the process each person goes through from prospect to paying customer is crucial. Get each team to describe the funnel to ensure there aren’t any discrepancies and then outline any friction points they may have noticed.
Some common ones are marketing qualified leads, or leads at the top of the funnel and sales qualified leads, or leads at the bottom of the funnel. Iron out any wrinkles and make sure each team understands their role in the funnel moving forward. Making sure that you have a clear customer persona or personas and that both teams have a clear idea of what they are will also help to form the connection you’re after.
Let Sales Have Input in Content Creation – If the sales team can have a certain degree of input about marketing content, they will feel as though they have some control over the quality of leads they are getting. They are on the front lines and hear the reasons a customer decides not to buy, so their input can also be valuable in a marketing sense.
Switching Up Your Marketing Team – If you currently use an outside marketing agency and you notice that they are frequently out of alignment with the sales team, you may want to consider bringing in a new one. A new marketing team with a fresh outlook can make a world of difference. If you are not using an outside marketing agency, but still feel that the inside marketing team is out of alignment, then it might be time to bring in an expert Marketing strategist.
Incentivize Collaboration – This can take many forms, but when it’s in their mutual best interests to work well together and get results, they’ll be far more likely to make it happen.
Working with an Experienced Marketing Consultant
Issues between sales and marketing teams are nothing new, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take definitive action to get them on track. At WSI Healthy Digital Solutions, we will take a close look at the marketing messages and what the sales team is selling and implement new strategies to get everyone on the same page and boost the results of both departments.