When it comes to today’s complex sales cycle, no GTM team should be operating on their own. Sales and marketing teams in particular are intricately intertwined, so ensuring that they work well together is quintessential for generating and closing opportunities. Alignment is so important in fact, that poor Sales and Marketing Alignment costs businesses an estimated $1 trillion a year.
In this blog, we will discuss the importance of Sales and Marketing Alignment and some steps you can take to improve your teams’ cohesion, as well as how Strong CRM can help your teams achieve their sales goals.
What is Sales Marketing Alignment?
As mentioned briefly above, Sales and Marketing Alignment is the practice of coordinating your sales and marketing teams to work towards the same goals. Anyone familiar with selling understands that the relationship between sales and marketing teams is a constant back-and-forth during every stage of the sales cycle.
At the most basic level, marketing teams are initially responsible for finding and qualifying leads that will eventually become opportunities for the sales team to close. If the marketing team cannot generate enough qualified leads, sales teams will likely miss their goals, and if sales teams cannot close on qualified leads, marketing teams may feel like their efforts are going to waste.
This reliance on one another means that differing goals can lead to serious loss of trust and even create conflict between teams. Considering the negative impact of poor alignment on revenue, it is safe to say that prioritizing a solid alignment foundation is paramount for every company with a modern sales process.
With great collaboration between the teams, new possibilities open up for winning opportunities. Lead recycling, for example, is only possible if both teams are effectively communicating and collaborating to reach their shared goals. When an opportunity that was engaged by the sales team goes cold, marketers should be ready to re-engage the contact and bring them back into the marketing funnel. This results in more qualified leads and closed-won opportunities over time, ultimately increasing revenue.
Improving sales and marketing alignment offers a wealth of other benefits, but getting there requires consistent and intentional effort.
How Can I Improve Sales Marketing Alignment?
Improving sales marketing alignment is not something you can do overnight. As your business grows and evolves, both your teams and your goals will change. So, it is important to establish some strong foundations and feedback loops to keep your teams aligned.
For starters, critically reviewing your standards and processes for qualifying leads is an easy way to improve alignment. When looking at qualified lead generation, there are two main factors to consider.
1. If marketing teams are not able to bring in a good enough quantity of qualified leads, sales teams will have fewer opportunities to close deals and hit their goals.
2. If marketing teams are not bringing in leads that are likely to be won, then regardless of how many they bring in their goals will not be met.
Frequently review which sources are generating the highest amount of qualified leads to be able to better strategize your budget and marketing efforts. If leads brought in are consistently closed-lost, review what your businesses’ definitions for “qualified leads” are and take the opportunity to reflect on why those opportunities failed. If there are common factors to lost opportunities, that can also indicate the need for a change in strategy. Perfecting your lead qualification process is the best way to increase both opportunity win rates and general team morale, but it takes constant effort to achieve improvements.
Once those qualified leads are consistently coming in, the next important step is to optimize your lead hand-off. Qualified leads are most likely to convert into won opportunities if the sales team engages them in a timely manner. If qualified leads are consistently lost in the hand-off process, this can quickly lead to serious internal conflict and loss of revenue, so making sure this process goes smoothly is crucial.
Creating proper communication channels manually is a good way to allow your teams to coordinate better and secure more opportunities. However, manual solutions don’t scale as well as the solutions Strong CRM can provide to improve your alignment with.
How Strong CRM Can Help
While improving Sales Marketing Alignment is possible to begin at a small scale for any business, the most impactful changes come from improving your existing systems and channels to enable teams to easily communicate and collaborate. Strong CRM is a company that follows a technology-first mindset, meaning that we keep up to date with all of the newest and innovative technological solutions.
For example, to help your marketing team create more qualified leads, Strong CRM can create automated flows that will score leads that enter your pipeline according to the metrics most important to you. As leads interact with your website and digital channels, different actions they take will score them according to the parameters you decide on. This process will help lead scoring to automatically begin qualifying prospects and allow for analysis and adjustments when necessary.
Strong CRM can also set up automated lead routing systems that ensure your qualified leads are assigned and routed to the best salesperson for the job, as well as notifying them via Salesforce and Slack when an opportunity appears.
These are just two examples of the many ways Strong CRM helps businesses improve their sales and marketing alignment.
Sales and Marketing Alignment is incredibly important to maintain a healthy sales pipeline. Helping your teams stay on the same page is not only good for revenue but also for your employees.
Ultimately, alignment works because it is a human-focused solution. Ensuring your teams are in sync will improve your team’s relationship, and having a collaborative workspace will symbiotically improve alignment.