In theory, your sales and marketing departments should be the best of friends. But in practice, there are bottlenecks and a serious lack of communication.
Sure, it’s a problem, but your company is doing well. It’s not the biggest issue, right?
What if I told you that misalignment between sales and marketing technologies costs B2B companies 10% of revenue or more per year? Change your mind yet?
Why is Sales and Marketing Communication Important?
Misalignment between sales and marketing typically happens when each team creates goals and strategies separate from one another.
It’s like working on a group project without agreeing on a topic first. The ultimate goal is to get an A, but if everyone is working on different, conflicting topics, it’s impossible to end up with a cohesive end result.
When sales and marketing don’t communicate properly, you risk broken processes and inconsistent metrics. But when you get that connection right, you reap a whole lot of benefits.
1. Increased Productivity
Sales reps spend a lot of time looking for content to share with prospects, or sorting through leads that don’t necessarily meet the mark.
Wouldn’t it be great if marketing was aware of sales initiatives and organizational goals so that they could provide sales reps with relevant content for every step of the sales journey?
That’s exactly what good communication between sales and marketing does.
Marketing can equip the sales team with industry data and best practice content so that they can better inform and engage prospects. Sales can help marketing create content that their prospects are looking for. It’s a win for both teams AND the company’s bottom line.
2. Better Use of Resources
Want to hear something scary? Marketing teams can spend time creating content that never even gets used by sales teams. Want to hear something else scary? Over 90% of sales reps say that content is essential to moving prospects along the sales journey, but don’t know where to find it, or how to use it.
Clearly, resources are not being put to good use, which results in lost opportunities and increased disharmony. Improved communication allows marketing content to be used, and sales to close more deals because of it.
3. Better Customer Experiences
One of the best things about marketing and sales alignment is that it leads to better customer experiences.
Believe it or not, customers can always tell when there is disjointedness within a company. As the buyer journey continues to evolve, it is imperative that sales and marketing are on the same page, and prepared to adapt and adjust, together as a team.
Methods for Improving Sales and Marketing Communications
So now you know communication between sales and marketing is important. But, as with many things in life, it can be easier said than done.
Have no fear, your checklist for improving sales and marketing correspondence is here.
1. Get Support from Leadership.
It’s the responsibility of leadership to monitor the communication of the two departments. When something goes wrong, it’s usually time to realign.
Leadership of sales and marketing departments have the opportunity to set an example for their employees. If executives of the two departments get along and start the communication initiatives, the rest of the team will likely follow.
2. Use Technology to Support Communication Initiatives.
Technology exists to make things easier, and when it comes to aligning sales and marketing communication, it most certainly does.
When beginning your communication initiatives, any technology you use should be accessible and easily incorporated into the two departments’ workflows.
Sales enablement tools, for example, are a great way to promote easy communication by using real-time data to identify the most important synching points.
3. Determine KPIs Together.
Marketers tend to prioritize more top of the funnel tasks such as generating leads, whereas sales people like to focus more on bottom of the funnel things like closing sales.
And while that all makes sense, it makes even more sense for them to share the same metrics. Remember, at the end of the day, sales and marketing want the same thing: revenue growth.
This is where the data comes in. When you share key information both teams can make better decisions to hit their KPIs. For example, understanding what your audience wants out of content and why enables marketers to create the right copy and gives sales the tools to close those deals.
4. Schedule Bi-Weekly or Monthly Meetings to Stay Up-to-Date.
Think of salespeople as performers, and marketers as the behind-the-scenes crew. Sales reps face the audience, so they know what they like, what they don’t like, and the things they respond to the most. Once the crew has that information, they can create supporting sets, props, costumes etc to cater to what the audience is looking for.
The key comes down to sales effectively communicating with marketing about what customers are looking for, trends they are identifying, etc, so that marketing can create content to aid in moving them along in the sales cycle. Setting up regular meetings where information is shared between the two departments keeps everyone up to speed and in sync.
Closing Thoughts on Sales and Marketing Communication
If you’re new to prioritizing sales and marketing communication alignment, then frequent check-ins are imperative to working out any kicks and figuring out what works best for your teams.
Maybe the bi-weekly meeting is too frequent. Change it to once a month. Maybe you’re realizing that some of the data you’re looking at isn’t that relevant to either team. Adjust your sales enablement software or listening tools.
Ultimately, you should be seeing positive results from sales and marketing working more closely together (both in terms of company culture and KPIs). When sales and marketing are in sync, customers can tell, and your sales numbers will reap the benefits.