Get to know some challenges in the alignment between Marketing and Sales, find out how to face them and see what to do so that the roles are clear
If someone asks you why it is important to have Marketing and Sales working together like that of nova city Islamabad, what is your answer? “Harmony in the company”? “Friendship atmosphere”? “Most fun barbecues”? All of this may be true, but I bet you would answer “sell more”.
And that’s what matters, in the end—though I admit that barbecues also get better and livelier.
However, it is not because the objective is to “sell more” that the responsibility for improving this relationship is only of Sales. The performance is joint.
In this post, Team of bahria hills is going to talk about the changing roles of areas in the consumer’s buying journey. You will also learn how to bring the two areas within your company together. Read on and understand how to align Marketing and Sales!
What are the most common frictions between Marketing and Sales?
Before understanding how to bring marketing and Sales together, it is important to know what the most common frictions between these two teams are.
It’s not necessarily a pattern, but it’s common for Marketing and Sales to fall out. This can generate some conflicts, leading to misalignment and, consequently, damage to the business.
See if you’ve heard some of these Sales Marketing Criticisms:
- Deliver Bad Leads ;
- Manipulate the numbers to hit the goal;
- Lack of opportunities to work, which leads to idle salespeople;
- No front-line vision;
- Lack of sense of urgency.
On the other hand, these marketing to Sales restrictions will seem common to you:
- Wasting good business opportunities;
- Not following the established process;
- Lack of long-term vision;
- Seller who uses operation problems as a crutch and assumes no responsibility for delivery.
What leads to these criticisms is not the sole fault of one side. It ends up being a reflection of a cycle of lack of interaction between teams. Due to the great pressure exerted on Marketing and Sales, the areas end up seeing themselves as enemies in a tug of war.
But do not need be like that. Both teams can work together, which is even more important in a context where consumers are empowered by the wealth of information available on the internet. That’s the subject of the next topic.
Why should Marketing and Sales work together?
Marketing has always played a sales support role. It did this by publicizing the products and providing the sellers with demonstrative material and the like. The internet, however, has changed the way businesses and consumers relate.
Thus, there was a great empowerment of the consumer, who today does not depend on the seller to understand about products and competitors, their characteristics and prices. In addition, there is social proof that brands build around products and services.
The way consumers go through the shopping journey has also changed radically. Whereas before the seller acted directly from the beginning, today, when this contact happens, the consumer is already considering a solution or even deciding to buy. Because? Because you searched the internet.
In other words, we are saying that at least half of the process that consumers go through today is done through internet searches, without any interference from Sales. Inbound Marketing is the most efficient way to do this work.
In this new context, Marketing and Sales are now partners in a marathon. Marketing starts the purchase journey with Leads and delivers business opportunities to Sales to be converted. It is the already consolidated Marketing and Sales funnel.
One thing is quite clear in this new scenario: the fact that the Marketing and Sales teams are sharing responsibilities. They are jointly responsible for bringing revenue into the company. That’s why it’s so important to be aligned.
Marketing functions are to attract and nurture leads with purchase potential up to a certain point of maturity. Then, the area must deliver them to Sales with good closing conditions.
The Sales team, on the other hand, receives these opportunities and tries to advance them in the purchase process. In addition, it provides feedback for Marketing to understand which characteristics of Leads reflect the greatest potential for closing.
It seems that everything is resolved then, right?
What to do to align Marketing and Sales in practice?
Marketing and Sales teams may even know they need to work together, but that’s not enough.
For alignment to really work on a day-to-day basis, clear agreements are needed. Otherwise, Marketing can push the envelope with the quality of Leads. It is also normal that sellers do not provide feedback to Marketing.
So how to solve these problems?
Create an SLA between Marketing and Sales
The most basic tip to align Marketing and Sales teams is to create an SLA (Service Level Agreement) between Marketing and Sales.
The SLA is like a contract in which the responsibilities and expectations of each team are defined. It is important that it is, for example, the quantity and quality of Leads passed from Marketing to Sales and the steps of the sellers in the follow-up of those Leads.
There must also be the goals that must be met by each of the teams, defining when a Lead must be transferred from one side to another. This prevents expectations from being misaligned or from one team having more activities than the other.
The important thing is that everything will be documented, being easily accessed by everyone in the company. This will lessen conflicts as everyone will understand your goals clearly.
Exchange information constantly
During the entire process of transitioning from Marketing Leads to Sales, it is important that the two teams share information with each other.
Marketing, for example, must send Leads data to Sales to take a more personalized approach — this includes conversion history, open emails, etc.
Sales, on the other hand, must give feedback to Marketing about the contacts received. Which became customers? Which ones were inappropriate? These feedbacks are essential for the forwarded Leads to be more satisfactory in the future.
Hold regular meetings
With the information being shared, the areas must hold meetings at a defined frequency — every 15 days is a good frequency.
In them, teams can discuss recent results and upcoming challenges. Feedback about Leads can also be passed on at this meeting.
The meeting should also be used to review the SLA made between teams, both in terms of number of Leads and criteria for evaluating contacts.
Make it easy to align using the right tools
Another thing that makes the alignment between areas much easier is to integrate Marketing and Sales tools. Processes are clearer and data is visible to all team members. This ends up avoiding many conflicts and disagreements.
The RD Station platform, from Resultados Digitais, has two software that work in a fully integrated manner: RD Station Marketing and RD Station CRM. You can try both for free, so you can see the benefits your operation will have.
CRM, by the way, has a completely free version. If your Sales team still uses spreadsheets and has lost information all over the place, RD Station CRM will help you solve this and many other problems.