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3 tips to help align your sales and marketing teams

by Elise Stieferman

October 26, 2021

Sales and marketing teams seem to be frequently at odds with each other at organizations of all sizes. The challenges often stem from speaking different languages of what success looks like, when at the end of the day, both teams are working toward the same goal: to grow the business and drive results. But, the way these teams go about achieving these outcomes is fairly different. Sales teams often struggle to understand marketers’ strategies which include industry jargon that seem to convolute how it’s helping them meet their quotas and support their on the ground efforts. However, there are steps marketers can take to help bridge this gap and ultimately drive a stronger, more effective relationship.

Here are our three tips to growing your sales and marketing alignment.

Educate the team on key marketing terms

Mass media placements like billboards and television ads are likely to be self-evident since they are highly visible, but emerging technology and digital placements will need to be explained in more detail to showcase how the technology lends itself to quicker intel and learnings. That being said, it will be challenging to ever get on the same page if the sales team does not understand the terms you are using to describe your campaign (think CPM, CTR, programmatic) and cannot easily reiterate your efforts to key stakeholders. Providing a presentation to get the sales team up to speed on marketing terms is a useful start for internal conversations. It’s also important to provide them with appropriate resources to explain marketing campaigns in a way that easily showcases value to individuals, such as retailers or end clients.

Explain how campaigns are set up relative to company goals

At the end of the day, sales teams will be primarily concerned with understanding if and how the marketing campaigns are impacting the bottom line. It’s likely they will be unclear about the benefits of your campaigns if they are not directly addressing impact on sales and ROI. However, marketers know (and deep-down sales team members know too) that you cannot necessarily ask your consumers to make a purchase or take an action upon first exposure; in fact, you likely shouldn’t ask them to take much action until you’ve had nearly 10 touchpoints. As a result, you should explain how each tactic leads the consumer to that point of purchase and discuss what signals show directional success throughout the funnel.

Furthermore, it can be tempting to simply go after the “low hanging fruit” for the quick sale. But another critical goal of marketing is to expose new consumers to your brand and increase customer lifetime value . Consider showcasing how your marketing efforts work in parallel with sales tactics (cold outreach, business dinners, gift packages, etc.).

Have regular cross-departmental meetings

While your company likely holds company-wide meetings and town halls to discuss the state of the business and key callouts, it is beneficial for sales and marketing teams to have similar meetings on a monthly or quarterly basis to help ensure there is a strong feedback loop. This is a time where you can discuss your respective team goals, explain new initiatives and learnings, and even potentially hear direct client feedback from the sales team to guide future marketing tactics. In my experience it's failing to have these regular touch bases that often leads to misinformation, misunderstanding and, in worst case scenarios, animosity. Avoid these situations by agreeing to discuss areas of opportunity and concerns across teams. I guarantee this will translate into positive results both for internal culture and external perception.

Takeaways

Make sure you’re speaking the same language and educating teams as needed.

Arm sales teams with the resources to better explain marketing efforts and how they are impacting company revenue.

Identify ways to have compounding impact between marketing and sales initiatives.

Meet regularly to ensure everyone continues to be updated and on the same page.

Tags

Sales Enablement
marketing advice
marketing insights