The Simons Group Logo

Top 4 Tips to Align Sales and Marketing

Top 4 Tips to Align Sales and Marketing

If you want to stay competitive in today’s digital world, your companies’ sales and marketing teams must work together. However, many companies struggle to reach this utopian vision. Why?

First let’s explore each team’s function:

  • Marketers are all about building brand awareness and generating leads.
  • Salespeople turn that brand awareness and those leads into profits.

It seems like it would be easy for them to be on the same page, but it’s not.

To clarify, sales and marketing live in two distinct worlds. Each has different problems to solve:

Marketers deal with the masses

The marketing department guides multiple prospects through a series of steps.  These steps are based on the path of purchasing products and services. In other words, the buyer’s journey. Marketing must move audience members through the funnel to generate leads.

Salespeople deal with individuals

Each prospect that a salesperson deals with is a person. We all know people can be erratic. As a result, salespeople need flexible account strategies. They must be in tune with each prospect. They also must know what to say in competitive settings.

The friction develops

With these different roles, friction can rear its ugly head in the following ways:

  • Marketers develop brand and product positioning.
  • Sales takes this positioning and makes it their own.
  • Marketers become upset that their well-crafted positioning is being ruined.
  • Salespeople become frustrated because they must translate positioning for multiple prospects.

Do you feel like you’re looking in a mirror? If so, don’t worry. The first step to fix a problem is to realize it exists. Here are my top four tips to align your marketing and sales departments:

Tip 1: Bring education to the forefront of marketing and sales

Marketing and sales teams work toward the same goal but in different ways:

  • Marketing educates searchers and visitors. Marketing wants to convert these groups to leads.
  • Sales educates leads, so they can become customers.

Each educates prospects. They provide information prospects need to become customers. Both teams know what questions prospects and customers are asking. Marketers use data analytics. In turn, salespeople interact directly with prospects. By realizing that marketing and sales are on the same team, educators will go a long way in creating unity.

Tip 2: Hold regular joint brainstorming sessions

This tip ties back nicely to tip 1. Both teams know what questions prospects are asking online or directly. Use these questions to help develop your content calendar. About once a month, ask one of your writers to meet with your sales team. The goal is to brainstorm content ideas. Ideas can include how to answer your buyers’ questions.

As a result, these sessions will help your marketing and sales departments think like a team. They’ll help your marketing team become closer with your buyers. Meanwhile, your content will resonate with potential customers.

Similarly, your sales team will become invested in the content creation process. The team will start flagging questions that prospect ask. Moreover, your salespeople will lean on marketing to help answer these questions during the right phase of the funnel.

Tip 3: Align your buyer’s journey

Your buyer’s journey can’t develop in a vacuum. Similarly, it won’t work with marketing, alone. Marketing and sales must understand your customers. Both teams must agree about how they’ll speak with your customers. Language should be consistent across all of your channels.

If there’s a divide, marketing won’t understand who the buyer is. As a result, marketing will generate low-quality leads. Likewise, sales won’t be able to convert them to customers.

A marketer should work with sales to audit your buyer’s journey. When performing the audit:

  • Review all messaging together – from content to offers to email campaigns.
  • Make sure all marketing messaging aligns with buyers’ experience.
  • Flag and fill in any gaps in the journey.
  • Make a list of inconsistencies to address.
  • Assign marketing and sales resources and a completion timeline for each.

You should repeat this exercise at least once a year for best results.

Tip 4: Marketing should speak to customers

Salespeople talk with customers regularly. Marketing should do the same. As a marketer, you can’t rely solely on sales to understand your customers. Direct customer conversations allow you to hear from them in their own words. As a result, you’ll gain critical insights into the ways they think and speak.

Next, consider starting a brand marketing case study program. Case studies tell prospects that your company delivers results. They’re also a great way to inspire marketers to speak with your customers. By doing so, you’ll be positioned to uncover their pain points and learn more about your company’s solution. In the same vein, you’ll learn more about the benefits that your buyers really care about.

You can brainstorm customers to feature during your brainstorming sessions (see tip 2).

Wrapping it up

Today, buyers are self-educated. They’ll research you and your competitors online. All of this happens before they become leads. Your company’s customer acquisition depends on your marketing materials resonating with them.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t see this. Instead, they see marketing and sales as separate departments. This is a big mistake. Why? Revenue acquisition is tied to marketing and sales.

Getting marketing and sales on the same team will do wonders for your company’s performance.