According to research by Hubspot, misalignment between marketing and sales costs a staggering $1 trillion a year, as a result of decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts.

Meanwhile, businesses where these two departments collaborate achieve 27% faster three-year profit growth, close 38% more deals, and achieve 208% higher marketing revenue. And that’s to name just a few of the benefits.

But how did these organisations get to a point of aligning these two functions? And what sets the two departments apart? Business2Community investigated…

The roles of marketing and sales

First things first, what differentiates marketing and sales? Both departments are trying to achieve the same goal – a happy and expanding customer base. But they go about this in very different ways:

Marketing thinks more broadly, while sales thinks specifically – With the exception of ABM, marketing targets buyers in a broader sense, while sales seeks to build personal relationships with specific individuals.

Marketing looks to the long-term, while sales focuses on the short-term – The marketing strategy sets the big picture for generating awareness, solving customer pain points, and setting your business apart from the competition. Sales are more short-term, driven by the desire to close deals.

They have different skill sets – Marketers tend to be more creative and focus on the details, while salespeople are usually great communicators and relationship builders. Merging the two complementary skill sets is a recipe for success.

How are businesses aligning the two functions?

There are clearly many benefits to aligning sales and marketing, but what sets these businesses apart from the rest?

A survey discussed by Business2Community found that aligned teams had:

  • A collaborative relationship built on trust and respect, with neither side blaming the other for poor results
  • Collaborated to present plans to the Board or Executive leadership to influence up the organisation
  • Collected and shared intelligent customer and market information, such as marketers sharing insights to help sellers further deepen customer relationships
  • Transformed into an integrated team, with clear roles and responsibilities, consistently communicating with each other and with customers, ensuring a smooth buyer journey and brand consistency

How to align sales and marketing in your company

Alignment requires a shift in how the teams work with each other and making sure their functions are aligned with customers.

For internal alignment, the two departments need to have shared goals – which are more specific than increasing their customers. To ensure this, they need to agree on the answers to the following questions:

  • Who is our ideal target?
  • What is the ‘value’ of our product or service?
  • What is our value proposition?
  • What constitutes a ‘campaign’?
  • What qualifies as a ‘lead’?

But they also need to make sure they stay connected to the customer. Sharing lead insights and intelligence helps the sales team to better place themselves in positions of thought leadership, while also enabling the marketing department to create materials and messages that really speak to the customers.

There isn’t a one-time quick fix to align marketing and sales. It might take time, but it’s a worthwhile investment. For some expert help, speak to Chapman Consulting.