- Posted by Mark Elliott
- On August 1, 2017
- 0 Comments
I have worked for almost 25 years in sales and marketing for B2B focused businesses. Over that time, I have seen sales and marketing alignment and misalignment. People often get hung up on if a task or role is sales or marketing focused. In my opinion, roles should be focused on generating revenue or supporting customers, those are the important items for clients. As a wise man said to me once, in the absence of revenue there can be no profit. It is key for organizations, especially B2B startups, to have the sales and marketing teams working together. Here are a few tips on having better sales and marketing alignment for your business.
Identify an ideal customer
One of the problems that startups often make is not understanding what their ideal customer looks like. This is especially important with the leads that are passed over to the sales team. There should be a good fit for geography, the size of an organization, use case, and contact role. It is better to have fewer of the ideal customers than more of the wrong targets.
Understand the buyer’s journey
How does your ideal customer make decisions on buying a solution like yours or solving the related problem? The marketing department should be developing content to support the buyer’s journey and the research a prospect does before they make the purchase decision. At the same time, the sales team should be utilizing the tools and technology to interact with customers and prospects. This could include monitoring social interaction and email campaigns for sales triggers.
Technology and visibility
The sales and marketing stack needs to work well together and connect with your CRM. There also needs to be instant visibility by both the sales and marketing team on the leads being passed over as well as the results of the engagements.
Targets and compensation plans
In my years I have seen compensation plans developed that would actually pit sales and marketing against each other. This is massively detrimental to medium and long term success. Both teams should have individual targets that match up to the things that they can immediately control. There should also be targets that relate to the overall result and that also acknowledge marketing’s role in the closing of new accounts. It is okay to pay multiple people on the same closed deal. Very rarely is one individual team member fully responsible for the entire sale.
Communication and feedback
Sales and marketing teams can often be in their own silos. It is important to include each other in the formation of the process, team meetings, and sharing feedback. Many of the issues around sales and marketing alignment come down to poor communication. Inherently the sales and marketing teams want the business to be successful and want to understand the processes and challenges of both teams. Give them the opportunity to have this communication.
If your sale and marketing team is misaligned or you need some help growing your team, contact me directly for a conversation.