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Aligning sales and marketing teams has many impacts on a business. In the short-run, it will improve your lead generation and conversion strategies and in the long-run, it will increase the ROIs of your sales and marketing investments.

What happens when your sales and marketing teams are aligned

The benefits of sales and marketing alignment sound almost too good to be true, but we can assure you that there’s no magic at play here. It’s just the result of improved communication between two of your most important departments, which happen to be interdependent.

It’s a marketer’s right to see how sales representatives use his content. Just consider this highlight from a recent Business 2 Community article:

 “Aberdeen Group found that 60% of best-in-class organizations have a formal competency to ensure that marketing has extensive visibility into the sales team’s utilization of content. Not surprisingly, organizations with this visibility see an 85% sales quota attainment, more than three times more than the worst performers.”

Your marketing team needs to see how your sales team interacts with prospective customers. This helps them create more effective content and advertisements.

Likewise, your sales representatives should understand how and why the marketing team makes its decisions. This gives them further insight into their process and helps them utilize content better in the sales process.

Reasons for nonalignment

There are several reasons why sales and marketing teams tend to break apart. That’s exactly why it’s so common among businesses.

Here are a few examples of nonalignment causes:

  • Lack of communication between the teams
  • A rivalry concerning which team is more important
  • Teams assigning blame to one another
  • Lack of unified objectives and goals
  • Lack of accountability

As you can clearly see, nonalignment usually stems from errors in management. Fortunately, that means that the problem doesn’t have to be resolved by the teams themselves.

How to align the teams

The best way to align your sales and marketing teams is to create unified objectives for them. The idea is to provide incentives for them to work together, rather than hoping to outperform one another.

A recent Branding Magazine article explains this strategy. According to the article, it’s optimal to create overarching objectives for both teams to achieve as well as specific ones tailored to each individual team:

“Marketing and sales need to be peers, often reporting up to the same person or group. That allows you to have aligned objectives as you report to the same person, but also individual objectives to support your different needs. So, again, as I mentioned before, you’ve got the same sales and profit goals, but you have a lot of other different objectives. It’s important to align those and … for the sales team to understand what the marketing team is doing, how that helps them long-term and why we need to build our brand.”

When done right, this motivates the teams to improve their collaborative and individual performances. Even if it does nothing but align your sales and marketing, this strategy will pay off in the long-run.

How to keep them aligned in the long-run

Aligning sales and marketing won’t mean much if the teams break apart after a few months. To enjoy the benefits of alignment, you’ll have to keep them working together in the long-run.

It’s up to management to keep things running smoothly. Keep setting new objectives and look out for signs of nonalignment. This is particularly important when revenue is down and the teams look for a credible scapegoat.

Setting overarching objectives for your sales and marketing teams can have a major impact on your sales quota attainment. To talk more about aligning your sales and marketing teams, or anything else, contact us today.

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