How to bridge the sales and marketing alignment gap
How to bridge the sales and marketing alignment gap

Why should alignment with sales be top of the agenda for marketing professionals? Well, there’s a proven economic advantage to be had by businesses if teams work effectively together. Research has found it can lead to 24% faster three-year revenue growth (SiriusDecisions), 36% higher customer retention rates (Marketingprofs), and 38% higher sales win rates (Marketingprofs). John Cheney, CEO of cloud-based CRM vendor, Workbooks, explains the three steps to achieving greater alignment between marketing and sales functions.

1. The ideal customer profile

Central to sales and marketing alignment is a clearly defined ideal customer profile (ICP). PPC campaigns and digital advertising are highly successful, but only if targeting the right audiences. This should be the starting point: establishing a shared understanding of the business’s ideal clients. Where is the company going to get the most value from marketing and what type of audience is it looking to reach?

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When agreeing upon an ICP, it’s also important to consider how that definition is shaped in a way that’s easy to measure. The profile should be based on data that can be easily acquired – like a company’s revenue, the sectors it operates in, and geographic location. This will help narrow down the target audience more effectively and quickly qualify new leads.

2. Shared processes, common goals

Working together to clearly define the different stages of the sales and marketing process will ensure everyone understands what they are responsible for. The goal is to establish well-defined agreements between teams. If the marketing team generates a lead for sales, how quickly are they expected to follow it up? Is a day acceptable? A week? True alignment is only possible when key targets, goals and metrics are defined that everybody has bought into.

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3. Technology is the enabler for change

A cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system can help join up sales, marketing, finance, and customer service teams to achieve operational excellence and revenue success.

Real-time visibility can be achieved across the company with access to a central repository of information and insight into the sales funnel. Information on each customer or prospect relationship – where they are in the funnel and how they have engaged – provides valuable intel into sales and marketing performance. Marketers can make more informed decisions in response to changing buyer demand, while facilitating the communication needed between teams to execute them effectively.

Operations are streamlined as a result, with opportunities to automate set processes – helping to drive efficiencies while delivering a superior experience. The Workbooks CRM can even be tailored to the business’s unique needs and objectives.

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