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Are you focused on sales and marketing alignment?
For a long time, isolation and miscommunication between marketing and sales departments have been huge. What’s more, this concept has been highly supported by the top management due to operational convenience. Anyways, this time has passed and market dictates new rules. Now all departments of the business consolidate to assure the best customer experience with a brand.
The best-in-class have already experienced this transformation and their results totally inspire us:
We collected best alignment practices and worked out a clear action plan for you to implement it in any company no matter shape and size.
Let’s start big - with Customer Centricity
A lot has been already said on this matter. That’s without a doubt one of the biggest milestones for your biz. All reorganizing process from now on will turn around your customers, their needs, interests, and experience. And for a good reason, as it’s going to bring you a myriad of insights to grow the business further.
No worries, it’s not that large if approached smartly. You simply set the customers’ experience with your brand as a strategic commercial goal. Here is your actions breakdown to proceed with:
1. Decide on the unified definitions
This one is not that complicated. Instead of using common terms, discuss them with your whole team to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
You’ll need to define at what point prospect moves to a lead category when the lead is considered as MQL or SQL, and most importantly, draw a common portrait of your ideal customer.
Chances are you’ll come up with a couple of peculiarities to add to the definitions connected with your market or sales process. Plus it’ll help structure the customer journey even better and minimize misunderstandings.
2. Get Joint Sales and Marketing Planning done
Gone are the days when Sales and Marketing teams operated all isolated. Nowadays, marketing is not only the provider of leads but also one of the responsible parties for the company’s revenue.
To realign your organization, start with planning shared between Sales and Marketing:
Present reimagined product(s) and your value proposition focusing on your customers’ core issues;
Agree on how Sales will capitalize on the existing Marketing Offering;
Map out your typical customer journey to separate areas of responsibility;
Important! Define Sales and Marketing assistance resources to help reach stated goals. All content materials should support your customer-centered strategy.
3. Set aligned strategic business goals
Here it’s all about breaking down strategic commercial goals onto smaller related marketing and sales segments:
Determine common goals and objectives;
Divide those between Sales and Marketing teams and make sure they contribute to overall income;
Set revenue-focused KPI’s for each department;
Connect KPI’s to a solid motivation scheme, both personal and for teams.
That’s basically how to shift your company onto so highly hyped customer-obsessed approach. And here is why:
This part is the key to the operational success of the entire transformation project. Uninterrupted communication between the teams delivers agreed, unified concepts everyone shares. It goes without saying that brand messages marketing is communicating should be praised by sales.
Sit down both teams and agree on brand voice messages across all available channels - not to get customers confused, on all stages, via every source - sales or marketing, they should get a unified brand vision. Create the letters and communicate them religiously to your target audience. Inconsistency is frustrating.
Launch a feedback system - sales will constantly get in touch with leads brought by marketing. So these guys are the best source of quality feedback for marketing. Just arrange it in the most suitable form and coordinate marketing campaigns with a sales team. You’ll see, it’s a real game-changer!
Marketing updates sales on upcoming campaigns - ensure a seamless interaction with the leads by sales getting ready to pitch them beforehand. Always share some strategically important changes or novelties with your Sales team. Not only this will provide extra insights into your customers’ interests, but also will give time to think through the approach.
agreed brand and buyers vision;
more satisfied customers and consistency at approaching them;
continuous improvement of the major KPI’s.
N.B. Happily, we live in the era of rich technology and you can (and should) pick a solid one-and-done automation tool to implement all those changes and step up your market game.
Not to get you confused, Account-based Marketing in B2B is approaching your target entire companies/accounts in a personalized manner.
Marketers across businesses find this approach smarter than a pure inbound marketing because suitable needs of a single insider don’t necessarily mean that the whole company is the right fit.
All your previous steps are complementary to this stage. And want it or not, account-based marketing is impossible with pen and paper. It’s high time to find a tool that will help achieve your Strategy.
Pick a tool for managing accounts - you’ll need a complex platform that not only allows storing profiles’ data but also track all stages and touch points with accounts, pitch with personalized emails, adverts, and content;
Import all available data on your prospects and clients - no matter what phase your company is at, you have pieces of info. They’ll become a starting point and help the platform find insights about your target audience (yes, those tools are smart and helpful!);
Research more data and expand accounts - after you enter some basic info, usually all public info will add up to profiles automatically. But still chances are, you’ll need to manually edit it and add some more private details like relevant phone numbers, job titles and email addresses;
Engage and reactivate - now that you’re ready with the target accounts, start using all benefits of an automation tool. Depending on which one you choose, those platforms will usually provide activity-based insights for personalized addressing each account. Not to mention, these platforms include all needed tools to build and implement targeted emails, advertising campaigns, cross-sell offers, etc.
more personalization => shortened buying cycles;
overall better customer service;
Accounts analytics is clearer => relevant insights for future.
It's great if you adopt one mutual platform for shared information between Sales and Marketing at all times.
My only message would be “Hurry up” if you’re not there yet because the majority of players already are. Don’t waste your resources for a scanty output that degrades like mad.
All you need is to establish communication in between divisions and you’ll see how it boosts entire business.
Organizationally aligned companies experience 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth. In sales, they enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates. And overall, synced teams are 67% better at closing deals.
It’s hard to overrate the importance of aligning your sales and marketing teams. Account-based marketing requires this, customer-centered approach requires this. Best time-tested business practices showcase this.
Looks like high time to implement it! Don’t you think?