Is there friction between Sales and Marketing in your company? You’re not alone. To many B2B companies, it’s just beginning to hit home how much revenue they’re losing because of it. According to HubSpot, the misalignment of the two teams costs $ 1 trillion a year because of wasted marketing efforts and low sales productivity.
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Is it really that bad?
HubSpot’s conclusion is based on research. 79% of the leads your marketing team painstakingly generates will probably never convert. At least, not until your sales team begins to nurture them properly! Analyze their efforts thoroughly – how many leads do they make any contact with? Chances are, only 20-30%. If the teams are aligned, you can expect the following results:
- 27% faster profit growth in three years,
- 38% more deals closed,
- 208% higher revenue from marketing.
If the benefits have convinced you, that’s great. Now, you need to take steps so that Sales and Marketing are on the same page.
1. Identify the problems and come up with solutions
First, you’ll need to discuss the problems the two teams (secretly or openly) blame on each other. To solve them, they’ll need to communicate better. Here are the most common issues, their likely causes, and their possible solutions.
|Marketing generates poor-quality leads.||Marketing doesn’t know the buyers enough to create relevant content.||Sales should report customer satisfaction and prospects’ concerns to Marketing and help them come up with content ideas.|
|Few of the supposedly good leads ever convert into sales.||Sales doesn’t follow up on leads properly and moves on to new ones too quickly.||Marketing should work closely with Sales to time the follow-ups better. They should contact each lead at least five times.|
|Marketing doesn’t have a measurable goal, and their strategy is inconsistent.||Marketing doesn’t know the statistics needed to tie their actions to sales.||Sales should inform Marketing about revenue goals, the average deal size, and the leads to conversion rate so they can calculate the number of leads needed.|
|Sales and Marketing disagree on crucial definitions.||There was never any talk about what constitutes a lead, a qualified lead, an opportunity, etc.||Sales and Marketing should meet and discuss the concepts that matter in their work.|
|Sales and Marketing have no incentive to discuss their goals together and cooperate.||The relationship between Sales and Marketing hasn’t been emphasized enough.||Sales and Marketing need to set performance metrics that have more to do with each other.|
2. Divide the sales funnel between the two teams
Once the two teams address the above issues, they’ll need to collaborate better from then on. Everyone should know what they’re responsible for. This means defining the sales funnel stages and deciding who owns each of them and what goals they should involve. Make them sign an SLA (service level agreement) to hold each other accountable.
For example, there should be a clear distinction between leads who need more nurturing by Marketing and ones that are already interested and in need of a follow-up by Sales. The buyer’s journey is not linear, so gray areas will come up. In those cases, a healthy discussion will point to the right course of action.
3. Equip both teams with tools that will reduce their workload
If Sales and Marketing are to discuss their issues and collaborate, they need the time to do it. Don’t let them drown in repetitive tasks that they could easily automate. Compare the software that supports both teams’ day-to-day work. If you’re not sure where to start, follow a ready guide to the best proposal tools for each stage of the sales funnel.
- Sellizer.io – an example of proposal software
4. Enable closed-loop reporting
To work, your system needs to be a closed loop. Sales and Marketing alignment doesn’t just mean a seamless connection in the middle of the funnel. It also means that Marketing should be aware of what happened to the leads at the end.
CRM software will help them understand the new customers (e.g., which marketing source they came from and what made the leads convert) and generate better leads in the future with the help of marketing automation software.
5. Use the saved time for weekly meetings and data reviews
Using automation tools, both Sales and Marketing will have more time to develop a consistent strategy and stick to it. It’s best if they have weekly meetings where Marketing shares information on campaign activity and plans. Sales should report their actions, successes, and issues as well. An ongoing, written exchange of information could also work wonders for the teams’ alignment.
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Avoid drama and celebrate achievements together
Follow the above steps closely and you’ll feel a breath of fresh air in your company. Now able to track their activity and results, your employees will be more data-oriented. Let the numbers surrounding leads and sales be clear to everyone so that Marketing and Sales can focus on common goals.
If you’re interested in software that will reduce your sales team’s workload, you can try Sellizer out for free (a 14-day trial).