How to Successfully Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams

MHI Member Guest blog by Brian C. Neuwirth, President at UNEX Manufacturing, Inc.

In theory, Sales and Marketing go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly. In fact, many companies don’t even differentiate the departments. Rather than having a “Sales” department and a “Marketing Department” they have a “Sales & Marketing Department.” That’s because neither department can reach its full potential without the other. They’re two sides of the same coin.

However, in practice, these departments often seem like they have different goals and priorities. As boundaries between different functions evolve and merge through technology integration and digital communications, marketing’s role needs to be expanded to leverage specific marketing programs that can aid sales engagements.

MHI’s Marketing Professionals (MPro) Community is hosting its first webinar of the year on Monday, March 22, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT on “How to Successfully Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams.” Below are five areas that I’ve found have helped drive success in keeping the Sales and Marketing teams aligned.

1) Mapping the Process of How a Lead Becomes an Order

This may seem like common sense, but it’s very important for everybody to be aware of how a lead becomes an order. Salespeople understand that process but in the marketing department, they may not. If everybody knows the path of leads come in, where they came from, it adds perspective on where a customer is in the sales cycle and what they might be expecting as far as next steps and follow up communication. If you know how a lead came in, you can better handle it. 

2) Integrating Marketing Automation into the Process

Along those same lines, it is just as important for the sales team to understand the communication piece that is already in place. If a company is using marketing automation (and if they’re not, they should consider starting), when a lead comes in, that potential customer is put on a “journey” or a “campaign.” When that converts into an order, it pops them out of the campaign, so they aren’t getting communication asking for an order, when an order has already been placed. But I think, a lot of times, the sales team might not understand the ins and outs of marketing automation. Make it clear that there is a coordinated, scheduled message going out to the customers. Let the sales team know that they don’t needed to follow up immediately, because the marketing automation will send an email. When the departments are in sync, it can streamline the process and make things less cumbersome and easier to close the order.

3) Having a CRM as the Backbone of the Process

Having a CRM used to be a luxury that only big companies could afford. Now, it’s almost table stakes. If you don’t have an organized system to track either inbound leads or opportunities throughout the sales process, it is much more challenging to convert them. And it is also a lot more difficult to justify the cost of getting the lead in the first place. The CRM helps both the sales and marketing teams stay organized and up-to-date.

4) Measuring Results

There is an old saying that what is measured gets done. Have KPIs in place that are linked to both teams’ collaboration and encourage collaboration and communication. For instance, I can have my marketing team set the loftiest goals possible. I can have them generate a million leads this year. But if the sales team doesn’t convert those leads, what’s the point? So, how can you make it so that’s a team goal? Make it clear that by working together, it will make it easier for both departments to hit their goals.

5) Consistent Communication

Finally, communication. Communication has always been vital, but never more so than over this past year. Take the time to have a weekly or monthly scheduled team huddle. Have the departments share what is going on. What’s going well? What problems are they seeing? What’s in the queue that needs to be addressed? Make sure it’s a consistent meeting with a consistent agenda. The first step toward solving an issue is addressing that it exists.

These are some of the things we do at UNEX to drive success. The ”How to Successfully Align Your Marketing and Sales Teams” webinar will touch on each of these. Other areas that will be discussed are:

– Identify how you can help sales via different sales stages
– Map marketing content to a sales cycle
– Understand the collaboration process between sales and marketing

We have an amazing speaker, Pam Didner, lined up. She is a B2B marketing consultant, writer, podcaster, speaker and author of 3 books. She has given future trends, content marketing and sales enablement presentations and workshops in the US, Europe, South America and Asia. You see more of her on her YouTube channel – The Mpro Community plans on presenting 4 webinars this year and we look forward to having you join us for the first one this one on Monday March 22nd.

For more information, or to register, click here.