Take your sales and marketing teams out of the ring! 🥊

There’s no need for so much friction between these two functions - they should be working towards the same goal: revenue growth. Aligning your sales and marketing can help your teams achieve 24% faster growth rates and 27% faster profit growth.

To resolve this historic feud, revenue operations teams must step in and streamline processes between marketing and sales functions.

We cover:

What is sales and marketing alignment? 

Sales and marketing alignment is the process of creating shared goals and processes to improve communication between these two crucial revenue functions. 

These teams are often siloed - especially as your organization grows. However, this siloed approach to revenue can cause inefficiencies and lead to both teams pulling in different directions, resulting in stagnating growth.

Uniting marketing and sales around common goals can improve your revenue strategies and boost team performance. 

‘Smarketing’ is a term used to describe sales and marketing teams that are so aligned they act as one team. 

What are the benefits of sales and marketing alignment?

So what exactly are the benefits of aligning your sales and marketing teams?

These benefits include: 

  • Better customer experience
  • More effective and productive teams
  • Better customer data
  • Easier attribution
  • Smoother processes and handoffs
  • Improved revenue growth

Let’s explore these further! 👀

Better customer experience

When your customers reach out to your company through different touchpoints they assume their information is being passed over and they don’t want to answer the same question over and over. Which is often the case if sales and marketing don’t collaborate.

By keeping good customer records in the same place and communicating cross-functionally, you can improve your customers’ experience (CX).

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More effective and productive teams

When sales and marketing work together they can better understand your customers and what they respond to. This can make your revenue teams more effective at converting customers through the sales cycle.

Better customer data

When your sales and marketing teams share information on your customers, you gather a 360 view of the customer journey and your personas.

How much of your customer data and insights are split across different databases or functions? How often do your sales and marketing teams communicate customer insights to each other?

Alignment allows you to see the full picture and helps you to understand your customers that much better. It also helps you to improve how you market your products, which in turn, leads to increased revenue. 

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Easier attribution

When no one talks to each other it can be difficult to know which marketing actions led to a sale. Attribution can be more easily determined when sales and marketing teams talk to each other about what campaigns were running when leads came through the funnel.

Proper attribution can also lead to better resource allocation when your teams can collaborate and communicate more effectively with each other. 

Smoother processes and handoffs

Alignment creates smoother processes for sharing information and handing off lead information. Often marketing qualified leads (MQLs) can get lost when they’re passed to sales - a smooth handover process can allow these leads to be nurtured and followed up with sales.

Improved revenue growth

Sales and marketing alignment can improve revenue streams by improving customer retention rates, generating more qualified leads (that are nurtured!), and creating more streamlined processes for your teams.

Struggling with stagnant revenue? Try aligning your sales and marketing teams before making drastic changes to your business.

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Aligning sales and marketing strategy

Okay, there’s clearly a lot of benefits of sales and marketing alignment - but how do you break down these silos and create harmony in your organization? Here are our steps to align these two revenue functions.

Shared goals and strategy

The first step in aligning your sales and marketing teams is to give them some common ground. A shared goal and strategy can help to get these teams excited to work together and tackle this new goal.

The goal can be related directly to revenue like doubling new revenue in the next quarter or something more specific like converting 10% of MQLs into sales. Both of these goals require marketing and sales action.

You can also align the strategy and approach teams will be using to achieve business goals by breaking down the silo and encouraging teams to work together.

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From aligning teams to streamlining processes, and everything in between. We highlight the best practices for revenue operations pros to increase revenue growth.

Agree on processes

Another aspect of alignment is ensuring everyone agrees on the processes used by both teams. This may include how sales and marketing team members communicate with each other, how data is inputted into your CRM, or how to qualify a lead.

When these processes are agreed upon in advance, friction between these teams can be minimized from the start.

Structure your team for success

How you structure your teams can impact how your teams gel together. Your marketing team should have clear guidelines on the roles that belong to them - namely top of funnel awareness and lead generation.

The same is true of sales they should be clear on the expectations of their role - bottom of funnel conversions and closing deals. There should also be reps who focus on reviewing and qualifying MQLs only.

This can ensure no element of the sales funnel is forgotten and no leads slip through the cracks.

Focus on the customer journey

By focusing on the entire customer journey you can align your teams around CX. Instead of a harsh line in the sand of marketing vs sales focusing on the full sales cycle allows your teams to understand how your customers feel about your processes and adjust accordingly.

If you have a super intense awareness phase where prospects get blasted with loads of emails, then transition to a purchasing phase with limited contact from sales (or vice versa) they may feel confused.

Create a feedback loop

Creating an intuitive way to share feedback between teams will allow better communication and ensure nothing is lost in a pile of messages.

A way to share information may be to have a dedicated cross-functional channel or email chain where all of this information is shared.

Invest in revenue enablement 

By investing in revenue enablement, you can train your teams effectively to ensure they’re performing at their best. This enablement may also help them to adjust to any changes to their workflow from process changes.

Best practices for aligning sales and marketing teams

Now you understand the strategies to align your marketing and sales teams, here are some best practices to set yourself up for success.

Meet regularly

Having regular meetings with sales and marketing leaders present can allow collaboration on strategy and a smooth handover of information and performance metrics, leading to smoother collaboration.

Collaborate on content

Marketing teams make loads of content for sales teams to utilize when selling, but most of it goes untouched. By collaborating on content creation, sales teams can get the resources they actually need and marketing can stop wasting time on unnecessary content.

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Share reporting and analytics

By sharing reporting and analytics both functions can understand how well they are meeting their joint goals. This can help to reduce negative feelings between departments as previously marketing may have felt that sales weren’t pulling their weight (or vice versa).

Celebrate wins

To boost morale between teams and ensure everyone feels appreciated, ensure you make an effort to shout out team members (or project teams) who have performed well. 

Bonus points if you have a way your teams can share the learnings of their success to the wider team so they can gain insights into the success. 

Final thoughts

Overall, RevOps teams strive to align the revenue functions. This is especially important when considering how impactful sales and marketing alignment is for generating, qualifying, and converting leads.

Aligning your sales and marketing teams is a great way to boost revenue growth.

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