The relationship between sales and marketing is perhaps the most important to the growth and sustainability of an organization. Social media and the relative ease of connecting and speaking with someone through digital channels have blurred the lines a bit between the two departments, which can actually be a good thing if you’re both on the same page. In order to establish true alignment, sales and marketing need to function as one cohesive unit. Here we take a look at a few key steps needed to make that happen.
As with anything in business, accomplishing a task is much easier when you have a plan. Having a centralized planning process that merges the strategies and tactics of sales and marketing into one comprehensive effort will be far more effective than rogue sales and marketing campaigns.
Establish Ideal Buyer Criteria
When developing your sales and marketing strategy, it should be done with your customer in mind. Both teams should play a role in developing your buyer personas. Ensuring that your company accurately represents your ideal customer will aid in developing more targeted marketing campaigns and help establish what represents a truly qualified lead.
Set Lead Definitions
The biggest point of contention between sales and marketing tends to be what constitutes a lead. The age-old argument needs to be addressed by every organization to ensure sales-ready leads are passed along in a timely fashion and that those who need more nurturing will remain in the hands of marketing.
Use Consistent Messaging
Ensuring that your sales and marketing teams communicate a consistent message is vital to developing brand awareness and trust. Communication is key to maintaining this consistency. Marketers should be engaged in the sales process from beginning to end to understand customer needs and the sales process better.
This is the most important step in aligning sales and marketing. Open communication, regular meetings, and a willingness to share materials and experiences are what will bring the two sides together. The simple act of meeting regularly can create camaraderie and encourage collaboration. Both are necessary for creating a unified team.
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