The Impact of Marketing and Sales Alignment on Go-To-Market Success
Ineffective communication between marketing and sales teams can hinder go-to-market success. In this article, you’ll learn how to spot the signs of misalignment and how to address them to achieve a more effective go-to-market strategy.
By Maria Geokezas, Chief Operating Officer at Heinz Marketing
It’s no secret marketing and sales are equally critical to your go-to-market success. Marketing generates leads and builds brand awareness, while sales is responsible for closing deals and driving revenue—working together to create a customer feedback loop that fuels growth.
But sometimes, things go off track, and marketing and sales operate in their own silos causing them to be misaligned in the way they attract and acquire new customers.
Now you may be wondering how you can ensure marketing and sales alignment – especially if you’re working with a team outside your organization – and if it is really that important.
Below, we’ll explore some of the signs your marketing and sales teams aren’t aligned and offer tips on how to improve your collaborative process.
Telltale Signs of Misalignment
Marketing and sales must have open communication and collaboration along with a shared understanding of what success looks like at every step. Otherwise your team may struggle to generate leads, nurture prospects, and close deals—ultimately suffocating your go-to-market execution.
One of the most significant indicators your marketing and sales teams aren’t aligned is a disconnect in how they communicate with leads and customers. If you find marketing generates leads, but once they talk to sales, they turn cold. This could be part of the problem.
Moreover, if the marketing team generates leads the sales team isn’t following up on, you might have an issue with your lead hand-off process. Maybe the sales team doesn’t have visibility into the leads generated, or they don’t feel the leads are of high quality.
Either way, it’s an issue of communication.
When your sales team isn’t providing feedback to the marketing team on the quality of the leads they’re receiving, it can lead to a lack of trust between the two teams and missed opportunities for optimization.
Only when there’s two-way communication and collaboration can alignment be achieved. So, if you’re noticing any of these issues within your organization, it’s time to step in or risk your go-to-market success.
The Path to Marketing and Sales Alignment
Now that you know how to spot the signs of misalignment, let’s talk about a few ways you can make sure your marketing and sales teams are on the same page moving forward.
1. Set clear goals and metrics for success
When setting goals it is essential to involve both marketing and sales teams. Everyone must clearly understand their role, how they can contribute to the overall goals, and metrics for success. Some marketing and sales metrics you need to watch are:
- Number of leads
- Lead response time
- Number of meetings set
- Deals closed
- Average deal value
- Sales cycle length
These metrics should make it easy to track progress toward individual and group goals, allowing teams to measure the effectiveness of their efforts and make adjustments as needed. What’s more, they allow you to spot any disconnects between teams. For example, if you have a high number of leads but a low number of meetings set, then you know your leads might not be the right fit for your product.
2. Facilitate communication and collaboration
If two-way communication isn’t baked into your processes, it won’t happen. That means there should be regularly scheduled meetings or check-ins where both teams can discuss ongoing campaigns, sales initiatives, and other issues that arise. Ideally, these meetings should be structured to guarantee everyone has an opportunity to speak and share their thoughts.
But you don’t want communication to cease once the meeting is over.
Instead, you should establish a clear communication channel between the two teams. Something as simple as setting up shared communication tools like Asana, Slack, or Microsoft Teams goes a long way.
3. Tap into data to streamline processes
Real-time data and insights are critical for both marketing and sales teams. When teams have access to real-time data, they can make more informed decisions that help them accomplish their respective and combined goals.
The right dashboards and reporting tools provide a clear picture of how customers are progressing at each stage of your funnel. Marketing and sales should be able to see who the leads are, their job titles, where they came from, and what marketing materials they’ve engaged with before they get on a call with the sales team.
4. Shared training and resources
Sales training isn’t just for sales teams. It is an essential for marketing as well. Providing sales training to marketing teams can help them understand the sales process and the needs of sales teams.
On the other hand, providing marketing training to sales teams can help them understand the marketing process and how to leverage marketing materials effectively.
Another great way to share resources is through marketing automation software. This software can help streamline lead generation and customer management processes, guaranteeing no leads or customers fall through the cracks during the marketing-to-sales transition. It also creates a shared hub for up-to-date marketing materials and sales enablement resources.
5. Celebrate wins together
Last but not least, when teams work together and achieve success they should acknowledge and celebrate those wins together as well.
Celebrating together helps marketing and sales teams see how collaboration leads to success. That way when things inevitably get tough in the future they’re motivated to stick together to overcome challenges instead of pulling back—which is the ultimate goal of alignment.
Of course developing marketing and sales alignment won’t happen overnight. But once you get it right you create a powerful force that drives growth, increases revenue, and amplifies your go-to-market success.