Stronger Together: Aligning Marketing and Sales Teams

In my career in marketing operationsI’ve had the unique opportunity to be the “go-between” for marketing and sales. I’ve seen teams thrive when everyone is seeing eye to eye, and I’ve seen teams fall short when connections break down. 

In our recent webinar, Sync for Success: Aligning Sales and Marketing, oupanelists shared how marketing and sales teams can measure success and how to best be aligned on all goals. Just like any other relationship, the success of the marketing and sales relationship depends on a few key qualities: communication, visibility, and reevaluations. 

Communication  

Great communication is one of the most important qualities in a relationship, and the connection between marketing and sales is no differentWhen marketing and sales communicate effectively, the overall business does better

As Jacob Warwick, CEO of Discover Podium, best described in the webinar, the last thing you want to do is walk on eggshells around your teammates. Those who can convey their message about what is working and what isn’t will push their teams to success. There’s a difference between being rude and being candid, and those who are able to walk this fine line make the best leaders.  

Remember—you’re all on the same team. If you can’t be honest and work toward the same goal, alignment breaks downAs noted in the webinar, “Breakdown happens when communications break down.” Don’t let this happen to your team. 

Visibility 

Similar to honest communication, constant visibility into what your marketing and sales teams are doing is critical for success. This doesn’t only involve telling sales what campaigns you are running, but explaining why you are running this campaign, the goals of the campaign (e.g., how many MQLs you would like to see as a result), and then looking together at the campaign for metrics of success.  

Without this visibility on all fronts, the marketing team won’t know to continue to run similar campaigns or know to take a different approach. Without data, teams can go off gut reactions and ultimately pass blame onto the otherThe best way to avoid this is for everyone to be on the same page and looking together at the same information. 

Marketing and sales need to have weekly meetings to gain visibility into what the sales team is hearing from prospects. Marketing knows how to execute campaigns; sales knows what customers and prospects are struggling with. Marketers should join sales calls, read their prospecting emails, and listen to recorded calls. This will give marketing ample information to create new campaigns that directly solve the obstacles their target prospects are facing. Marketing, in turn, gives sales the fuel they need to close business. 

Reevaluation 

Finally, after communicating effectively and having the visibility into what both teams are doing, it’s critical to reevaluate to determine how to move forward.

Is there a reason why a campaign was not as successful as you thought? Was it the wrong audience for the content, did the message not resonate, or was it another reason?

The only way to move forward is for both teams to meet, conduct a retrospective, and reach a conclusion as to why something did or did not work without blaming anymore.

What has worked in the past for a certain channel or audience may not work the same a few months later. Take a step back, look at the data, and reevaluate on how to move forward together. You are both working toward achieving the same goals and reevaluation is the only way to get there.  

More Ways to Align Marketing and Sales

What other qualities have you found to be essential in helping marketing and sales teams work stronger together? For more advice and strategies, be sure to listen to our webinar, Sync for Success: Aligning Sales and Marketing. 

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