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What happens when sales and marketing departments don’t align? Business problems start to arise. Inadequate cross-departmental communication eventually leads to poor strategy planning and execution. Often, team members are not only unclear as to how they fit into the plan, they have little insight into their colleagues’ roles. If this sounds like your business, rest assured you’re not alone. According to Forrester Research, 92 percent of organizations have a marketing and sales alignment problem.

On the flip side of the coin, businesses that focus on sales and marketing alignment can experience up to a 20 percent growth in annual revenue while maximizing prospect engagement and profitability. So, how can you foster sales and marketing team alignment? By encouraging shared processes, collaboration and technology, you can help sales and marketing stakeholders reach alignment nirvana.

However, in order to make a lasting impact on your teams, you need to focus on changes in processes and perception. Here are three tips to ignite progress toward sales and marketing alignment:

1. Align Marketing Activities to Sales Objectives

To bolster cooperation between your sales and marketing teams, you must first align their goals and objectives. Identify the key business objectives behind your sales and marketing goals. These goals may consist of new customer acquisition, revenue, upsell or a combination of engagement and retention tactics. Determine which initiatives support or align with mutual objectives.

Alignment in practice: It’s most likely your marketing team has a key audience, or buyer persona, to whom they target their marketing efforts and campaigns. Your sales force is also targeting a particular buyer throughout the sales process. Sales and marketing teams must have a common understanding of each others’ buyer personas to ensure the marketing team is targeting the right audience to drive prospects into the sales funnel.

2. Create Consistent Marketing Collateral for Sales and Marketing

Your sales and marketing teams should have access to a common set of collateral to be used in email campaigns, client meetings or tradeshows and other events. Working together to ideate and execute these materials will help teams become more aligned on messaging and ensure the content meets mutual objectives.

Alignment in practice: According to McKinsey and Company, the average office worker spends 28 hours a week writing emails and searching for internal information, like case studies, one-sheets and other useful documents. To make collateral easily accessible for your marketing and sales teams, store documents on cloud-based platform, like a company wiki or internal social network. This way, employees can access information from a single platform at a moment’s notice.

3. Integrate CRM and Marketing Technology

Integrating customer relationship management (CRM) software with marketing technology can help your business better coordinate and align sales and marketing activities. If teams are working from the same platform to prospect and market to prospects, you can implement marketing automation features that tag contacts’ readiness to purchase based on past engagement with marketing campaigns. Then, both teams have access to campaign performance to better quantify their success.

Alignment in practice: Being able to import contacts, manage them and market to them from a single system can empower your sales and marketing teams to align their efforts in a new way. By adopting a cloud-based CRM solution, marketing professionals can align email campaigns with the sales cycle in an effort to reach contacts at the right time in the customer journey.

Even with these tips in place, aligning your marketing teams and sales force should be an ongoing process for your organization. Having the right technology in place will help both parties communicate and collaborate on customer acquisition, conversion and retention.

To learn more about how sales and marketing at your organization can leverage CRM software to increase alignment, contact us today!

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