By Payal Parikh, Director of Client Engagement at Heinz Marketing
What is sales and marketing alignment? Is your organization ready for a culture shift? Sales and marketing alignment is a shared system of communication, strategy, and goals that enable marketing and sales to operate cohesively towards a common business objective. Wherein, not only are group goals met, but everyone feels like they have contributed to the organization’s overall success. Working together, aligned teams can deliver high-impact marketing activities, boost sales effectiveness, and ultimately grow revenue.
Aligning sales and marketing departments is not just about internal cohesion. According to HubSpot, when sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates. And companies with good sales and marketing alignment practices in place generated more than three times as much revenue from marketing efforts as companies without.
In my previous blogs, I have shared some strategies and best practices around sales and marketing alignment. But I strongly believe it is much more than that. There are two caveats to sales and marketing alignment, which are interconnected.
Sales and Marketing Alignment starts with Leadership:
Leadership drives the attitudes of their teams. Any culture change starts from leadership for it to be effective. Get buy-in from the executives in your organization for the concept of bringing the teams together, to work towards a common goal. They need to understand the team’s need to be working with each other and not in silos.
Accept that culture change takes time even when alignment is the goal at the very top of the organization. There is a trickle-down effect, not an immediate result, especially when sales and marketing have been at odds in the past, playing the blame game and working independently of each other.
Sales and Marketing Alignment will require a Culture Shift:
Creating a culture where sales and marketing combine their efforts to accomplish company goals isn’t out of reach. True alignment does not happen at the sales kick-off. It happens via the tactics, processes, and habits that connect the two groups on a daily basis.
Sales need to be able to trust the leads that marketing provides through inbound strategies and go-to-market campaigns. Marketing must believe sales follows up with the leads it generates. This trust is built over time. The two groups need to communicate with each other regularly. And over time the foundation is built for a successful sales and marketing alignment.
Sales and marketing alignment focuses both teams on a singular goal and unites them in the pursuit of success. When these two teams work in tandem, the entire organization benefits. Create goals based on metrics that are working towards a common business goal of revenue achievement. The ideal sales and marketing funnel is really a revenue funnel in which both sales and marketing teams are accountable, in varying degrees, at each stage of the funnel.
Unless there is the same business goal to achieve for both teams, alignment won’t happen.
These two are not barriers to alignment but can slow the process, so set your expectations accordingly and prepare for a gradual—rather than sudden—change. And when you implement the strategies highlighted in my other blog, that change will happen as your sales and marketing teams move closer together, aligned to keep their eyes on the same goal: revenue.
Contact us today for tools and tips on how to bring both these teams together and achieve seamless alignment.