Marketing & Sales Alignment

Strong alignment between sales and marketing can greatly benefit any company. Unfortunately, these two departments often tend to have contentious relationships, misunderstanding the goals of the other while pulling against each other. It would be much better for any business if these two departments strived for the same goals in the same ways. Reachforce and Marketo found that businesses within which marketing and sales work together are 67% better at closing deals.

The question is, how can your organization achieve this type of alignment? Let's dive in and explore critical strategies for building an aligned and cohesive sales and marketing strategy. 

Acadia's Guide To Marketing and Sales Alignment For Manufacturing and Industrial Businesses


Table of Contents

What is a Sales and Marketing Alignment?
- How Can Marketing and Sales Work Together?

5 Ways to Improve Marketing and Sales Effectiveness
- Creating a Uniform Sales Pipeline
- Agree on a Customer Persona
- Keep Marketing Messages Consistent
- Use Customer Feedback to Your Advantage
- Combine Efforts for Post-Sale Growth and Retention

Problems Sales and Marketing Alignment Can Solve
- Poor Customer Data
- Inaccurate Buyer Personas
- Demonstrating ROI for Marketing

Best Practices for Bringing Sales and Marketing Together
- Have Marketing and Sales Teams Meet Regularly
- Coordinate Your Marketing Campaigns with Sales Input
- Measure the Same KPIs for Each Team

Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams

What is Sales and Marketing Alignment?

When sales and marketing departments are aligned, they share a system of goals, strategies, and communications, allowing them to operate on a unified front. There are many benefits to this type of alignment, including better sales effectiveness, higher impact marketing activities, and increased revenue. Marketing and sales departments have historically worked in segmented "silos," wherein marketing would live at the top of the funnel and sales would live at the bottom. Today, there are more effective strategies than this linear setup; this is where "smarketing" comes into play!

How Can Marketing and Sales Work Together?

The core marketing responsibilities of any organization are often to manage customer experiences, create and update content, generate demand, manage public relations, and build brand awareness. On the other hand, the core responsibilities of sales departments are often to optimize sales operations, manage pipelines and forecasting, manage customer relationships, and generate revenue.  

These two departments work together when the company can create a seamless handoff between generated leads from marketing and sales, create cross-functional input for general marketing strategies, and share the same transparent goals and objectives.



5 Ways to Improve Marketing and Sales Effectiveness

Below are some of the most common ways that businesses can improve their sales and marketing effectiveness.  

1) Creating a Uniform Sales Pipeline

The first step to improving effectiveness between sales and marketing is to create a new pipeline or funnel for these teams to follow. You should aim to create a singular customer experience, from the awareness stage to the loyalty stage. With connectivity between these two branches, both teams can track prospects throughout the funnel.  

2) Agree on a Customer Persona

Your business must clarify your ideal customer persona - marketing teams often have more systematic, targeted approaches to finding ideal customers, while sales teams often want to go after the lead with the most money. Creating an ideal customer persona document with each team together can ensure both teams have access to live and updated versions whenever necessary.  

3) Keep Marketing Messages Consistent

Sales and marketing teams often use different terminology and messaging regarding specific products. Mismatched messaging can be very confusing for potential customers. If marketing is telling a customer one thing and sales is telling them another, it gives them a wrong impression of your company and reduces trust. Keep the customer journey consistent by reinforcing the same messages to close deals.  

4) Use Customer Feedback to Your Advantage

Looking at customer feedback is one of the most powerful strategies for aligning these two teams. You can find customer feedback from sales calls, using it to analyze customer motivations and pain points. Once you have these insights, you can use them the create new messages for your marketing. 

5) Combine Efforts for Post-Sale Growth and Retention

Did you know that attracting new customers can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining your current customers? 
To increase the lifetime longevity of your customers, sales and marketing should work closely. For example, when a business acquires a new customer, a good marketing team will pivot its message to get that customer to upgrade their product, try new products, etc. The sales team will be standing by, ready to pitch when needed.


Problems Sales and Marketing Alignment Can Solve

With alignment between your sales and marketing teams, your organization can experience efficient growth. Let's look at a few common problems that tighter alignment can solve.  

Poor Customer Data

Just because you have a giant maze of data in your organization does not mean it'll deliver helpful insights. With better alignment between marketing and sales, you can centralize your data technology to get more cohesive insights that both teams can reference!

Inaccurate Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are just as valuable to your sales reps as they are to your marketing staff. Having the right buyer persona can tell your sales staff who they are selling to and how they can help them. Alignment can reduce inaccuracy when creating buyer personas, keeping both teams on the same page.

Demonstrating ROI for Marketing

It can be difficult to demonstrate ROI when your two teams are working separately. If a marketing team can't prove that their asset had a significant influence on a deal, it can be challenging to understand where investments are most optimal. With optimized sales and marketing alignment, both teams will have a more transparent view of how their actions are impacting ROI.



Best Practices for Sales and Marketing Alignment

Now that you understand how sales and marketing alignment can solve significant issues within your organization, let's look at a few best practices to achieve this type of alignment.  

Have Marketing and Sales Teams Meet Regularly

Having your sales and marketing teams meet regularly will make ensure that neither team is working with blinders on. It is essential that teams refrain from creating go-to sales and marketing strategies independently! 

Brainstorm Together and Set Shared Goals

When sales and marketing teams come together, they can gain a better understanding of the current market, what customers are looking for, and how your organization can address critical problems. Schedule sessions regularly or host off-site team leadership meetings, making sure everyone can gather in a physical or digital space so that they can brainstorm with one another.   

Coordinate Your Marketing Campaigns with Sales Team Input

Statistics show that 65% of marketing content never gets utilized by sales teams. One of the significant factors of this statistic is poor alignment strategies. Marketing teams will create, develop, and deliver sales assets without getting any input from the actual sales team. As a result, the content made by these marketers doesn't often meet the needs of salespeople or positively impact deals. Having coordination between these two teams will allow salespeople to provide input for future marketing strategies.

Create Content for Every Step of the Sales Pipeline

Having content for every step of the sales pipeline is a great way to solidify alignment. Content that meets the needs of salespeople will likely result in increased adoption of marketing content. Salespeople will feel more comfortable with using marketing material, and your marketing team won't have to deal with as many one-off requests and wasted hours of work! 

Measure the Same KPIs for Each Team

One of the biggest challenges that organizations face when it comes to sales and marketing alignment is tracking joint KPIs. Often, KPIs are measured differently by each team. Sales teams track their KPIs based on numbers, such as contract renewals, deals closed, or new accounts. On the other hand, marketing teams will often measure KPIs based on qualities like brand awareness or lead generation.

When you measure joint KPIs, you help your teams unite under common goals. Using joint KPIs provides energy in the workflow and analysis phases of your business. Plus, you'll be able to use the KPIs in the unified marketing funnel that we talked about earlier to detect any weak areas throughout. 



Sales and Marketing Alignment Benefits Your Entire Business

Aligning your sales and marketing teams is one of the best ways to scale your business upward. When you combine these two departments into a unified "smarketing" department, it becomes easier to explore new business opportunities, optimize the strategies of your sales and marketing teams, and uncover helpful insights!

When you utilize a wholly aligned sales and marketing department, you put yourself in a position to draw out the most value from your potential customers and prospects.  

Acadia LMS is Here to Help as a Trusted Consultant

We hope that we've inspired you to change your organization and combine these two crucial teams to help your business reach new heights. Of course, we understand that putting in the work to align these two departments can be complex and overwhelming, which is why we want to help! Acadia LMS is a trusted marketing consultant with decades of experience helping organizations optimize their operations to rise above the competition and expand their reach.

Contact Us Today for a Consultation

Acadia LMS is a top-rated marketing partner for industrial manufacturers. Get started on your journey to greater organizational alignment today by contacting us for a free consultation! 


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