Why should sales and marketing work together?
When a lead enters your buyer’s journey, they are going through different phases. These four phases are: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. Marketing takes care of attracting and converting, then passes the lead to the sales team for closing.
Once the lead becomes a customer, it’s the job of the company to delight the customer and keep him happy.
Without a sales and marketing partnership, the leads that have gone through the buyer’s journey and are ready to buy will fall through the cracks. The marketing team notifies the sales team when a lead is ready to be closed, and if there is no clear method of communication, the lead could get lost and cost your business.
The sales and marketing teams need to work together to achieve a common goal. That common goal is improving revenue.
There are a lot of different functions and activities that go on in sales teams and marketing teams, but they are all working towards the same goal: increasing revenue. It’s important that your sales and marketing team turn into best friends, so there is higher efficiency, less confusion, and higher conversions.
Sales and marketing have a long history of not getting along with each other. If you’re thinking it would be wonderful if my marketing and sales team could get along then you need to keep reading! I’m going to review the steps you need to take to turn your sales and marketing teams into one cohesive customer producing machine.
How to Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams Aligned?
Align sales and marketing around the same goal
Every business is working towards the same goal, generate more business. You can think of it in terms of dollars or new clients.
For example; if you’re a gym business you goal might be to get 100 new members a month. For some businesses it’s better to refer to a new member goal than a monetary goal. Essentially they equal the same thing but you need to understand what your team likes more.
Your sales and marketing team should be working together to achieve this goal.
How are you going to know if they are working to achieve the goal?
Let’s keep going!
Be on the same page – Implement a Service Level Agreement
For sales and marketing to achieve a revenue goal they each, need to know the part they play in the process.
To hit a goal revenue, sales and marketing need to work backwards. They need to have a thorough understanding of how many marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) they need, and what defines a sales-ready lead.
For example, let’s say your company has a revenue goal of $100,000. The average deal size is $10,000. That means you need 10 new customers to hit the $100,000 goal. If your company’s average lead to customer rate is 2% that means you need 500 leads to get 10 new clients.
In the example above, the marketing team knows how many leads they need to provide to the sales team to reach the company’s revenue goal. Once the number and details are ironed out, a service level agreement needs to be implemented.
A service level agreement defines what each team, from sales to marketing, commits to accomplish in order to hit company revenue goals.
Marketing defines in the agreement how many marketing qualified leads they need to provide to sales, taking into consideration the close historical rate and the definition of sales qualified lead.
Sales will define in the agreement how quickly they will follow up a lead that the marketing team provides and how many they will follow up.
Define sales ready lead
In addition to numbers, a sales-ready lead needs to be defined further.
If your marketing team says it is sending tons of leads to the sales team, and it’s the sales team’s fault the company is not hitting its goals because the sales team can’t close, there is no sales and marketing alignment.
The sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page about what constitutes a sales-qualified lead. A sales-qualified lead for your company can mean that the lead is a contact that filled out a form to request a demo, is located in the United States, and has over 1 million in annual revenue.
Once this is defined, there can be no point in blaming anyone.
Determine the process of communicating new MQLs and SQLs between teams
This point can seem like a very simple thing, but it’s very important.
Once marketing determines that it has a sales-qualified lead, how will it let the sales team know? The communication can be as simple as an automated email with the contact’s details.
Make sure your sales and marketing teams agree on a process
Complete the feedback loop between marketing and sales
For sales and marketing to know they are doing a good job, closed-looped reporting needs to be implemented.
Closed-looped reporting allows for the marketing team to pass more information to the sales team, and the sales team provides feedback to the marketing team.
Sales and marketing both benefit from this feedback loop. Marketing gets to know which campaigns are working and which are not. Sales gets help prioritizing leads and gets more information on leads for better sales calls. These are just a few of the benefits.
If you constantly hear your sales team saying they are getting duplicate leads, they don’t receive any valuable information needed to close the lead, and are receiving leads that are unqualified, then it’s time you implemented closed-loop reporting.
Maintain Open Communication
If your teams are not communicating, there is a problem. Open and constant communication is key to sales and marketing alignment.
Sales and marketing need to have weekly and monthly meetings.
The weekly meetings are held to get everyone on the same page. The entire sales and marketing team attends to determine the week’s goals, keep track of marketing KPIs, get new information, celebrate successes, and review the service-level agreement.
The monthly meetings are held to resolve an issue and discuss new initiatives or other topics in depth. These meetings are with key managers only.
Make sure the marketing team sends email campaigns to the sales team. This is one of the best ways to keep the sales team up-to-date on new campaigns, new products, or changes in current campaigns that are running. Remember that every email will help the sales team reach their sales quotas.
Turning your sales and marketing teams into BFFs will take some time, and it needs the commitment of the entire team.
If you’re trying to create synergy between your two teams, make sure to keep each of the points covered in this post in mind!