Want to Achieve World Peace? Align your Sales and Marketing Strategy

    3 minutes read
    John - 31.05.2017

    Confrontation is one of the worst parts of the professional environment. Sometimes it’s necessary, but when your sales and marketing strategy is suffering because of communication problems between departments, it can be a tricky situation to approach.

    Sales enablement is a strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training and coaching services for salespeople along the entire customer’s buying journey. If you want to find out how it can transform your business then read our blog "Will sales and marketing harmony be the death of the sales qualified"

    The more fragmentation there is within a business, the more likely you or a poor management type will have to gather people together in a boardroom and come out with awful business analogies. More serious than that, fragmentation between departments can place doubts in your head and make you question the effectiveness of your business strategy.

    If people aren’t rowing in the same direction, then the boat won’t reach the shore.

    It’s one of the cheesier business analogies out there, but it’s so popular and widely used because there’s truth in those words. If all of your departments, employees and co-workers are on the same page, then you’re likely to achieve your goals much quicker than if departments are split.

    We’re specifically talking about sales and marketing departments here. It’s pretty simple - the more aligned your sales and marketing strategy, the better your potential business growth.

    You may have the best sales and marketing strategy in the world in theory, but it won’t mean anything if your employees and separate departments don’t buy into it. Luckily, most problems can be fixed quite easily.

    Two different worlds

    Want to Achieve World Peace? Align your Sales and Marketing Strategy

    It’s important to note that a sales department and a marketing department work in entirely different ways, despite having the same goal. Marketing leans toward creative and – in the age of the internet – conversational angles. The sales department on the other hand is typically results driven.

    Marketing is and always has been known as a loss-making department, but one that is essential to advertise who you are and what you’re about to new potential customers. They are then funnelled toward your sales department, who make the money.

    It’s a delicate balance between the departments, though. One can’t exist without the other, and both can benefit from a more collaborative approach in the workplace.

    How to align departments to your sales and marketing strategy

    Want to Achieve World Peace? Align your Sales and Marketing Strategy

    Similar goals, totally different ways of working. It’s easy to see how and why the two departments can become a bit disjointed. It’s essential they don’t though, because they’re essential to generate income and attract future business. Luckily, inbound marketing platform HubSpot can help banish those problems and lay solid foundations for the future.

    We’re HubSpot partners at Six & Flow, and we think the platform is a fantastic way to unlock the full potential of a creative sales and marketing strategy for small, medium and large businesses. HubSpot collects key data from across your marketing campaigns and sales funnel to align the activities of both departments, and see what parts are working or can be improved upon.

    HubSpot, complemented with our inbound knowledge and creative angle, has helped clients in niche industries to generate more leads through marketing, introduce potential clients to the sales funnel, convert those sales and help them grow.

    Our knowledge and experience of the platform also enables to provide HubSpot sales tool training to clients. This helps them to streamline their internal feedback loop, improve communications between departments, and create strategies that allow the marketing team to attract better leads with a stronger chance of converting in the hands of the sales team.

    This may sound technical, but it isn’t as scary as you may think. Part of the reason for this is because HubSpot is also community-focused, and likes to provide tips specifically on matters such as department alignment. A lot of them boil down to basic common sense.

    Get social

    Want to Achieve World Peace? Align your Sales and Marketing Strategy

    Away from marketing software, the best way to deal with any sales and marketing strategy problems and miscommunications are usually personal, social, human solutions. Increasing the frequency of internal meetings across all levels, for instance, or letting departments intermingle on personal as well as professional levels, and allowing people to contribute their opinions more freely.

    As well as the personal level, there are other internal tweaks you can make to better align departments. You can get feedback from both departments by assessing recorded sales calls, and improve your training measures if people are unfamiliar with the software you’re using. We’d also recommend gettingboth departments to use a shared online calendar in order to better align the teams’ movements.

    Sales can pool the data they collect with marketing to create a better content marketing strategy, or salespeople could be profiled on your site to give them a more personal approach to the people you’re targeting. There are all sorts of creative ways to work together and improve interdepartmental relationships; once you’ve found the perfect formula, success is sure to follow.

    UPDATE: Business processes can drive sales and marketing alignment

    Want to Achieve World Peace? Align your Sales and Marketing Strategy

    HubSpot’s latest State of Inbound Marketing report found that a company’s C-suite and its managers often have wildly differing opinions on the relationship between sales and marketing teams.

    There’s obviously room for improvement, as just 44% of those surveyed claimed their marketing and sales teams weren't even "generally aligned.” Only 22% of respondents said their teams are tightly aligned with sales and marketing service level agreements (SLAs).

    Interestingly though, while only 17% of managers say their teams are tightly aligned, 31% of C-level executives think this is the case. So do senior management tend to have rose-tinted glasses when it comes to sales and marketing alignment? And if so, why?

    “We found that the executives who set the vision for their companies have very different perspectives on the state of their business, compared to individual contributors tasked with executing on that vision,” said HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan.

    “Executives need a better understanding of the day-to-day challenges employees face, and employees need to communicate more clearly the roadblocks in the way of success.” 

    Both sales and marketing teams still often struggle with the day to day running of campaigns. HubSpot’s survey found that 40% of respondents saw providing the ROI of marketing activities as their top marketing challenge. Similarly, 32% of respondents said their sales team spends more than an hour performing data entry and other manual tasks. 

    Without suitable processes in place to manage sales leads, or track marketing ROI, sales and marketing alignment is a big ask. If both teams are struggling to achieve these two vital tasks, they are unlikely to have the time and energy to sit down and collaborate in innovative ways.

    Sales enablement is a strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by providing integrated content, training and coaching services for salespeople along the entire customer’s buying journey. If you want to find out how it can transform your business then read our blog "Will sales and marketing harmony be the death of the sales qualified"


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