If you just read the headline and thought to yourself, there is no possible way to accomplish alignment; then you are probably in the same boat as many other companies. However, we are here to tell you that it can happen. It will just take some hard work and collaboration.
Let’s see if this scenario sounds familiar: ABC company is a somewhat successful organization, with moderate pipeline, lead flow, etc. Everyone is working really hard, but working in a very siloed environment where marketing and sales are just not communicating. Sales is complaining that there are not enough leads coming from marketing, which is causing a lack of pipeline. Marketing is saying that they are sending sales qualified leads, but sales never does anything with them. The tension between the two groups keeps mounting and finger pointing starts to happen even at the highest levels. If this scenario sounds a lot like what happens in your company, the good news is it can be fixed even if it has been going on for awhile.
In reality, both teams work extremely hard to support the revenue goals of their organization. If they were properly aligned, these two teams could be exceedingly more successful than they are in most organizations. The question is, how do you get these two seeming opponents to combine forces and work together as allies towards their common goal? The answer is simple: process and technology.
The first step is critical: both teams need to sit down together and lay everything out on the table. They must conduct working sessions where both sides are heard and then come to an agreement on the following.
- Basic Definitions
- What is a lead?
- What is an opportunity?
- Goals: marketing should have a clear view of the revenue goal for sales. Then together, the two groups can determine the right formula for building a robust pipeline.
Now don’t be fooled, this is not a quick session and most likely will take multiple discussions to finalize. However, if the work is put in and SLAs are put in place for both sides then you are well on your way to building that alignment. On top of that, there needs to be consistent meetings between the two teams to talk through results, provide feedback, and make any necessary adjustments to move forward.
Alignment also just doesn’t happen because you have talked through everything. This is where the technology piece comes in to help automate and execute on what was agreed upon. Leading organizations scale their efforts to drive higher lead quality and volume by using technology. Marketing automation technology is the only proven way for B2B marketers to scale their efforts, drive leads, align with sales and impact ROI efficiently. If you have the right marketing automation technology, then you should be able to automate the successful handoff from marketing to sales and sales back to marketing.
These guidelines may seem obvious, but so often sales and marketing are not willing to put in the work up front. However, they’ll find if they do, the results are worth the effort. The example above is a real company scenario where for years the teams were not working together. By finally putting collaboration first, over the next 6-9 months the sales pipeline grew by over 140% with both teams singing each others’ praise. This illustrates that marketing and sales alignment is not just a myth. It can be your reality if both teams put in the work.