Sales & Marketing Alignment: The Marketing Perspective
DemandCon’s Boston conference opened yesterday. The organization stresses sales and marketing alignment, holding several workshops on the topic each day of the conference. In that spirit, we’re publishing one post about sales and marketing alignment from the marketing point of view today, to complement the one we published from the sales point of view yesterday.
I’ve always worked very closely with sales, and at times even reported into sales. I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of marketing and sales alignment, and here’s what I’ve learned:
If you’re in the same physical location, use that to your advantage. Sit near the sales team, and sit in on some of their calls if you can. Listen to their conversations and talk tracks as they follow up with the leads you generated. You’ll get new ideas about how to generate higher quality leads.
Attend each other’s meetings. You both need the information that gets shared. Listen as sales tells you what happens out where the rubber meet the road. Share your planned campaigns to get feedback and let them know what to expect. Listen to them share their wins and losses; you’ll get new ideas about how to create relevant content and campaigns.
Close all the loops.
The amount and level of communication, and who communicates with whom, should be discussed and agreed to. Consider doing “Campaign Alerts” or weekly “Field Notes” to make this a regular and widespread process.
Do it together. The most successful campaigns I’ve created are those that are multi-touch – and with heavy sales involvement. Help sales by providing resources such as on-message email templates they can deploy quickly. Define the roles, write everything down in a two-way service level agreement, and work together.
Get ahead of issues. Jump on problems and talk them out as early as possible, while you still have a chance of solving them.
Most issues (e.g., a slow start to the quarter, leads in an “Open status” for too long) aren’t just sales or just marketing issues – they affect both teams and need to be addressed together.
In the end, we all want the same thing: revenue. It’s easier to reach your goals when you have two teams working together to achieve them.
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