Finger-pointing between Sales and Marketing is nothing new. Once a lead is handed off from Marketing to Sales, it's all too often assumed that the marketer's job is done. But companies that excel have found a way for these two departments to collaborate so they are rowing together—in sync and in alignment—during the entire buyer's journey.
Marketing and Sales alignment is a hot topic. And no wonder, failure to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue per year, studies show; that's $100 million for a billion-dollar company.
A defined process, communication, and a willingness to partner, combined with the right technology to support sales and marketing alignment, is essential for success (and avoiding a substantial ROI loss).
What happens if the marketing and sales teams aren't aligned?
At a time when buyers are getting 57% of the way through the buyer's journey before even talking to Sales, and also when Marketing oversees more than half of the buying process, integration between the Marketing Automation platform and CRM is a must. Otherwise, there is a huge disconnect between the two teams.
Without alignment, much can quickly go awry:
- Sales and Marketing both lose visibility into each other's efforts.
- Leads deemed ready for Sales are passed in a variety of ways (spreadsheets, email, etc.), rather than one succinct and distinct process.
- Marketing hands off the baton and stands to the side, losing the ability to follow the process and its outcome.
How do you align the two teams?
Besides integrating marketing automation and CRM, there are a few more things marketers can do to streamline people and processes:
- Plan regular meetings with the sales managers and their team.
- Put together a content creation process that involves both teams.
- Coordinate marketing campaigns with Sales, keeping it in the loop for key content, event invites, and promotions going out to prospects.
- Use lead scoring or account scoring to measure the engagement of a prospect with your brand.
- Provide sales enablement to create more informed and successful sales development reps. (Apparently, 76% of content marketers forget about sales enablement.)
If marketers are always looking at leads as a baton handoff and not joining sales' efforts throughout the process, it's easy for those hard-earned leads to quickly leak out of the funnel and get lost.
This video from Salesfusion's Marketing Minute Video Series homes in on the importance of ensuring both teams are in the same boat, working and rowing together all the way to the finish line. When everyone rows in the same direction, the boat has a much higher chance of winning the race.