Content Marketing Manager
It often seems like marketing and sales people speak totally different languages. Why else would communication and collaboration efforts constantly fall short? Yet, ask nearly any leader, and they’ll tell you that marketing and sales alignment is critical for creating resilient sales and marketing strategies.
Aligned teams have higher performance rates and are more likely to create an effective sales process and do better at hitting revenue targets. But year after year, these two departments can’t seem to stay in sync.
We found in our 2022 Revenue Marketing Report that only 42% of marketers felt like their sales and marketing departments were aligned. With more than half of companies still struggling to get the two departments to work together, what’s it gonna take to be one big happy family?
Building a productive relationship between marketing and sales is no walk in the park, especially in our new remote and hybrid work models. Still, with the right strategies, it is possible to get these two departments working together efficiently.
6 tips to get sales and marketing to walk in step
We’ve pulled together six ways to immediately improve the alignment between your sales and marketing teams, based on our own internal practices.
1. Hold weekly pipeline reviews with leaders from both departments
Once a week, get leaders from both teams together to discuss the entire funnel.
Start by taking inventory of what the marketing team has accomplished. Look at the marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and the amount of pipeline generated and go into the monthly forecast.
Then, get into the sales side of things, and go over things like deals closed and average deal size. After the team has discussed both sides of the coin, it’s time for everyone to look at the current initiatives together and discuss ways to improve sales execution and pipeline generation.
2. Try a buddy system
This is something we do here at Copper. With a buddy system, you pair one salesperson and one marketer together with the goal of improving sales and marketing. There aren’t any guidelines or expectations. It’s just a way of encouraging the two departments to work together to better the entire system.
For example, a salesperson can go to their marketing buddy to talk about a specific problem.
- Maybe all their leads are ghosting them.
- Maybe they aren’t getting enough leads.
- Maybe they feel like the leads they’re getting aren’t quite right.
- Maybe they keep hitting the same objection over and over.
- Maybe they feel like their leads require too much education.
Whatever the issues might be, the salesperson and the marketing person can work together to understand all sides of the problem and come up with a workable solution. We’ve seen sales and marketing duos devise some pretty innovative, quick solutions that make everyone more successful.
3. Schedule regular win/loss reviews with both teams
Schedule regular win/loss reviews with the whole team monthly, every other month or once a quarter. In a win/loss review, have all your reps talk about their biggest wins and losses for the period. (We like to do the three biggest wins and three top losses).
By having both sales and marketing in the meeting, every team member has the opportunity to learn a bit more about what’s working and what isn’t. When everyone partakes in these meetings, the marketing department can get deep and comprehensive insight on your buyers and prospects, and your sales team can express their needs to help drive more success in the future.
This practice will also help support more formal win-loss analysis efforts when the time arrives.
4. Set and abide by clear metrics
Each team should have clear, documented metrics to achieve so that it’s easier to identify issues and improve. For example, you might require your marketing team to generate a certain number of MQLs each month, and the sales team might have a set number of actions they must take for each lead.
Without well-documented goals, it gets really difficult to identify problem spots and too easy to point fingers at each other. When everyone is held to certain standards, animosity or resentment are much less likely to crop up.
5. Use SQLs as the “north star” metric
Opportunities matter a lot more than traffic. At the end of the day, if the leads aren’t good, your sales team will have a hard time closing them. When the marketing team is only responsible for generating traffic and leads — with no regard for the quality or close rate — it can lead to mistrust from the sales department and lackluster results.
Instead, consider using SQLs (sales qualified leads) as your primary KPI. By doing this, your marketing team will be compelled to develop a laser-like focus on generating the types of leads your sales team needs, and your sales team will develop trust and respect for the marketing team in return.
6. Get rid of manual communication and use the tools at your disposal
Behind every company that’s struggling with sales and marketing alignment lies a mountain of scattered emails, shared spreadsheets, unanswered chats and handwritten notes. It’s too easy for miscommunications to happen when companies rely on manual, untracked communication.
Instead, use the tech that’s already available to you, like a CRM, to outline processes, track communication and eliminate the manual data transfer. When you combine a CRM with collaboration tools, like Google Workspace, it’s much easier to track all the conversations and deals and keep everyone on the same page.
Build a sturdy bridge between sales and marketing
Give these six strategies a whirl and see how quickly your cross-team relationships improve. At Copper, we practice all six to keep our sales and marketing teams walking in sync and speaking the same language.
If you need a CRM to streamline your pipelines and enhance the communication between these two departments, give Copper a try free for 14 days.