Sales and marketing alignment means different things to different people.
The obvious goal is to get marketing and sales teams to agree on what constitutes qualified leads and form a relatively friction-free relationship in which everyone speaks the same language; however, the unfortunate reality is that intricacies specific to each effort require dedicated attention, and expected contention between the two divisions can prevent or delay progress.
What often occurs is that the sales team complains that the marketing team isn't generating enough leads, while the marketing team complains that the sales team doesn't follow up with the leads or put in enough effort to qualify them.
Sales teams usually require a little motivation to be more proactive. Although marketing teams must be responsive to the nuances of the sales team's current efforts, it is the job of the marketing team to influence and educate the sales team with insights regarding the business.
Ideally, the sales team would be excited to meet with the marketing team, simply because of the promise and benefit of researched target market perceptions and solid industry foresight.
How can marketing teams influence, educate, and encourage sales teams? How do you align such disparate yet parallel objectives as sales and marketing?
1. Get the priorities right: Alignment starts with a revenue goal
Both the sales and the marketing teams need to be focused on a common goal—revenue.
Matt Close is EVP of sales at the TAS Group, which provides smart sales transformation in the cloud and on mobile devices. With an extensive background leading sales organizations globally, Matt heads a team of sales professionals across North America and EMEA for the TAS Group.
Maureen Blandford is CMO of the TAS Group, which provides smart sales transformation in the cloud and on mobile devices. Previously, she was founder and CEO of sales enablement consultancy MindTime Group and CEO of the media/communications firm ManaVision.