Are Sales & Marketing Best Friends in your organization? Sales & Marketing alignment is key to transitioning leads into prospects, then...happy customers. How have you achieved alignment success between your Sales & Marketing Teams?
I could write about this for days! I've held positions in both sales ops and marketing ops, so here are a just a few things I've learned.
1. Work on your relationship.
One way to keep a good relationship between sales & marketing is to hold biweekly or monthly meetings. No matter what role you have in marketing there is probably a "counter part" in sales. (Kind of like another dimension). This is especially true with marketing ops and sales ops teams. Find your counter part and hold regularly scheduled meetings, so you're always on the same page.
These meetings keep you up to date on new initiatives, new processes, and great perspectives into what works.
2. Make it easy.
Sales is a hard job. They receive empty promises, phone calls are ignored, and sometimes they face the hard no. If you're implementing a new process, say to attach contacts to an opportunity. Make the process easy and simple. Know your process inside and out so you can explain it in the most simple terms and go into details as needed. Also, reassure and explain how these processes help you hand over better leads. They want you to excel at your job because it makes their job easier. Most importantly, exhaust all options before requiring extra fields and steps for them to follow.
3. Know the tools.
Knowing what systems and tools they use to do their job will help you get the most information to do your job better. Take a few salesforce classes, download the salesforce app to get their on-the-go experience, and learn how they run "campaigns". You'll be surprised at the amount of information they hold in those tools and can easily leverage it through Marketo to engage your market in new ways. This will also help you exhaust all options before developing new processes.
4. Have a contact, or two.
Sales is a cycle, and it's hard for marketers to remember that seeing as we're always concentrated on the funnel. Have a contact in each sales department to get the full sales cycle view of what works. Make a connection with an insides sales rep, and account executive, and account manager, a customer success manager, etc. Ask all of them what they need to make their job easier, what will make someone book a demo, what will make someone sign, what will make a customer loyal. You'll get a bunch of marketing ideas!
I'll leave it there. Hope it helps!
Could not agree more with your last point. Having contacts within our sales team has helped me gain insight into their daily processes and how our team can make their jobs easier.
I guess it just depends on the day of the week...
our company has taken major strides to align not just sales and marketing but all of our customer facing teams. We have incorporated weekly funnel meetings where everyone gets in either a room or on a call and discuss just that, the funnel. We discuss what Marketing is contributing and bringing to the table, previous campaigns that worked and upcoming ones. Sales reports on all opportunities created and closed - what they are seeing in the field from a competition stand point and what tools they are needing to assist in selling. At the end of the day, we all feel part of the same team which I think is the ultimate success for alignment.
We've been struggling in this area, especially as we go through growing pains with Inside Sales (which is in Marketing). We've tried to preserve a few people who jump to help Sales whenever they need reports, information, etc. so that those people have a great relationship and can help influence Sales into accepting changes.
1.Bridge Building Between Marketing and Sales: a) Set Common Goals Begin by ensuring your groups are in agreement. Much like having your week after week visit with a closest companion to make up for lost time, groups need to speak with each other. At the point when both know about what the ultimate objective is, it's less demanding to sort out and cooperate to accomplish it. b) Give Respect, Gain Respect When you don't comprehend your closest companion's qualities, it can be difficult to have a decent relationship. Similarly, Marketing and Sales groups need to become acquainted with and see each other's past work and triumphs.
2.Strength in Diversity: It's anything but difficult to make companions with individuals who think alike, all things considered incredible fellowships are conceived when distinctive individuals gather as one. Like "The Breakfast Club" would have us know, it can be difficult to look past the underlying appearances, however once you understand the extraordinary "talents" your groups or companions have, you can begin opening channels for better arrangement.
If I can provide some food for thought I'll be happy. It's a work in progress at my organization, however, there are some pillars we're working on it to ensure Sales and Marketing are aligned:
1- Create a Marketing Plan covering sales activities or marketing programs that are related to sales;
2- Make sure Marketo and Salesforce are happily integrated
3- Create a program that incentivizes sales to provide feedback for content creation
4- Create automated processes (mainly on Salesforce) that will dictate how sales interact with crm and marketing automation
5- Finally, take part of the sales plan and contribute to programs that support sales initiatives.
Of course, there are some other topics, but to my point, that alignment should be direct and simple.
The biggest tip I can give you here is look for ways to save sales time and keep what you pass to them very clear and actionable.
Some things I have done in the past that have really helped to get sales in the marketing camp:
1) Create documentation for them that explains what you're doing, why and when - at a really high level - and what to expect from those actions.
2) Agree upon SLAs for reactions to asks from both Marketing/Sales. How long before MQLs receive outreach, etc.
3) Find opportunities to automate. I set up tokenized emails against MKTO Programs that looked for completed outbound sales activities and automated the follow-up emails. Different codes for different emails, pretty easy on my end, but it saved sales 1-2 hours a day and we ensured messaging was always on brand.
4) Create reports in CRM that give sales targeted hit lists for people they should be calling (and why) based on marketing insights
5) Activate your syncs between Marketo Programs and SFDC Campaigns for Nurture Programs, and then allow sales to create reports in CRM and add them to campaigns to kick off re-nurture or ongoing outreach from sales on leads that need more time
6) Set up emails that are delivering content to look for leads that have opportunities and trigger a different tokenized email to send the content from the opportunity owner with a "personalized" message, rather than having it come from a general firstname.lastname@example.org email.
7) Add custom fields and activities to CRM and then populate them using Marketo. Not just things like score and lifecycle, but also things like time/date stamps for when they entered different streams of your nurture programs OR a open activities created and assigned by marketo to follow up on key content downloads that tend to indicate buying readiness
These are just a couple quick things that have served me well in the past. Happy to provide more if they'd be of use.
This is one of those strategic goals that I feel is easy to put on paper, but in reality is never complete. The funnel is always changing as consumer behavior (B2B and B2C) evolves. One key component: when is the right time to enact organizational change? Three years ago, I pointed out to our executive team that we don't have a traditional marketing funnel and sales creates their own contacts. Their challenge back: what would it look like if we did? That question has driven my career. Chipping away little by little, we're now restructuring our sales team so there is a group who works with MOFU and a group for BOFU ... with marketing driving TOFU contacts. We've let go some sales leaders with a traditional view and invested in sales reps who see the value marketing can bring. We're getting close, but now it leads to the terrifying truth: time for marketing to delver. We have the platform in Marketo. We have some content that will work. We're revising our website to support the strategy. In the end, unifying sales and marketing starts with marketing, because if we don't deliver qualified leads, what's the point?