Alignment between marketing and sales means that both share objectives, technologies and processes, allowing them to monitor and optimize every step of sales, from the first interaction to closing.
The sales process today takes place mostly through indirect interaction between buyer and seller, which takes place through marketing.
That’s because the buyer’s profile, currently, is someone who educates himself and relates online, having broad access to information and people.
Before, the purchase path was much more logical and, therefore, it was much easier to direct the lead through the sales team.
Marketing drove every volume of leads received at the top of the funnel, arousing interest and consideration. After that, the lead was handled by sales and the process as a whole had more control.
Currently, the way in which marketing directs the behavior of the lead will influence much more, even before it reaches the commercial.
This process has changed with today’s marketing tools, which let you know the entire lead buying journey. In this way, marketing shares the responsibility for generating value with the sales team.
It worth keeping marketing and sales together?
We’ve already talked here about the Y sales funnel and how to work with leads with a good profile of the inbound base, but who haven’t yet raised their hand, passing these leads to the outbound side.
The Y gives the impression that, perhaps, the leads coming from inbound and outbound come from very different paths and strategies, right?
Although the paths taken by these leads are, in fact, quite different (the old net fishing vs. harpoon fishing analogy), which leads your team to consider the leads interesting or not, should follow a unified logic.
Then, according to the webinar done by the team of park view city , with the staff of Ring Central and SaleScout , the advantages of having marketing and sales are aligned:
- Greater effectiveness in closing deals by up to 67% ;
- 36% higher customer retention rate ;
- Fastest revenue growth in 3 years.
In the language that any business owner will understand: alignment between marketing and sales is the differential for a constant increase in revenue.
If marketing and sales are not well aligned:
- 79% of leads worked in marketing never make it to commercial;
- 50% of the leads are not worked by sales and, after a few attempts, it ends up being common for the salesperson to leave these leads aside and give a more immediate focus to his efforts (more evolved businesses in the funnel);
- Negative impact on revenue ;
- Loss of production and budget, because the teams’ actions are blurred.
What are the main challenges?
Difficulty sharing quality lead information
- Communication failures: this type of information must always be formalized and that chat over a coffee, although also important, is not exactly what we expect here;
- Misaligned metrics and/or in opposite directions: there must be a balance between volume and quality, and sometimes this even depends on the moment in which your company and operation meet;
- Failed process, without engagement: the first factor that guarantees engagement is to bring awareness to the process, whoever does this or does that, without understanding why, will not help at all.
Marketing vs. sales charges and needs sometimes go in opposite directions
- The sales team needs quality leads and the marketing team needs to bring volume to the lead base;
- Sales works the leads with a focus on closing, marketing works the leads with a focus on improving follow ups ;
- Marketing strategies focus on tools that automate emails and other means of communication, sales seek to make contacts that are personalized and, consequently, more relevant.
If so, what do you both need?
Share the same go-to-market approach, have the same lead evolution criteria along the funnel (MQL, SQL, customer), understand which key accounts require more focus.
How to make an efficient demand generation alignment?
First step: Definition of ICP and Personas
In order for marketing and sales to share quality information, the operation as a whole must, above all, be clear about the ideal customer profile, which will better visualize the added value in the solution.
Second, we must understand, within this profile, what would be the persona of the decision maker, who is the person we must talk to directly to close a deal.
We also need to know who the influencers are, people who will be impacted by the solution and who also need to buy into the idea.
Second step: The criteria and tools
With this in mind, it is necessary to have a constant return from the leads that are entering, to ensure that the criteria used for qualification are increasingly rounded and always with aligned expectations.
The parameters must be very well analyzed because, many times, the leads that come in through the inbound are just curious.
We want the curious too, ok? It is usually a sign that marketing is doing its homework well, validating its authority in the subjects covered.
Regarding the tools, it is important to analyze how the integration between marketing and sales is going, ensuring that teams communicate based on equivalent criteria and with clear parameters for passing leads.
Step Three: Metrics
Process awareness does not only mean understanding the criteria and using the tools well, it also means formalizing it.
It is crucial to have a sense of the effort required to achieve a given result:
- How many touchpoints are made in X time to connect with X leads?
- How many of these connections actually evolve into opportunities?
In other words, you must measure the operational indicators (effort) and the key indicators (conversion), understanding in which direction you should expend more effort.
How to keep the machine running?
In addition to the lead qualification triggers being very clear in the automation tools, the team has to be well trained to use them in the best way, creating an actionable sales intelligence process.
Here, it is important to have a very open communication and a clear notion of when to follow up, so that the process can happen constantly.
Feedback should be very open and you should never wait.
If you’ve seen that you’re missing some information, if you don’t find any leads, or something like that, feedback should happen right away.
What guarantees a good evolution of leads along the funnel and, consequently, a good sale, is not the automation of the process, but the human character that the salesperson will bring along the approaches.
Without paying attention to this, the process will not be truly oiled and there will not be a good connection between the lead and the real value generation in the connection with the company.
It’s all about truly knowing the lead’s needs.
The feedback culture is important internally in various sectors: between the marketing team and the sales team, between the members of each team, between the teams and managers…
It’s also interesting that this culture is used with that lead that had everything to go right, that perfect cross, that got in the face of the goal and, suddenly, it went wrong!
Why not try to understand what happened so you don’t get it wrong again?
I talked here about tools, processes, metrics, formalities…
Then I also talked about the importance of the human character that the salesperson will imprint on communications with the lead. Got confused? After all, what should the focus be?
That’s exactly what you get, it’s all together and mixed!
But if you want a tip on how to get started, a good guide is to evaluate the sales history that has already been validated and understand that the customers you already have in the base certainly have some common points. From there you can start to evolve both sides, defining criteria and creating context. The criteria will help in the formal part of the process and the context will help you communicate with leads.
Both must happen from Commercial Intelligence.
It is essential to filter the companies that fit the ICP and search for the persona’s contacts, in addition to some relevant information that can be searched about when the lead is:
- Has the lead recently received a round of investments?
- Has there been a recent move from a senior position (c-level), which may also have greatly increased the chance of a closer and more effective connection?
So, have you set up that meeting with the whole team to wash the dirty clothes and line up what’s out of alignment? I hope there is nothing more for you to take this initiative