Sales & Marketing Alignment: The Sales Perspective

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align-marketing-salesDemandCon’s Boston conference opens today. One of DemandCon’s key findings is that it is “statistically clear that companies who aligned their sales and marketing processes were winning the battle.” In that spirit, we’re publishing one post about sales and marketing alignment from the sales point of view today, and one from the marketing point of view tomorrow.

Chris Hardeman, Act-On’s Vice President of Sales, North America points out that while sales and marketing should have a natural affinity, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the two teams “seem so far apart that all the technology and willpower in the world can’t pull them together.”

Here’s Chris’ list of five key points for marketing to consider to help close that damaging gap:

  1. The numbers. To truly understand what’s required, marketing needs to understand the numbers from the bottom up. How many leads, at what stages, does sales need to make their numbers? As the sales quota goes up, the lead quota must remain aligned with it.
  2.  Identify sales-ready leads. Sales is always, always, time-challenged. Marketing can help by using methods that prioritize leads, such as lead scoring. The goal is to hand off only the leads that are truly sales-ready.
  3.  Action-oriented messaging. Remember that email marketing messaging isn’t literature, or art; it’s got to have a strong call to action, often in the first sentence. Shorter messages, not obviously marketing-generated, will often get a better response. Work with your sales department to craft the brand-consistent messaging you want with the action-oriented messaging sales needs.
  4.  Know what story sales tells. Spend time with your sales team; sit in on each other’s meeting, listen to real sales calls. You’ll get inspired.
  5.  It’s always now. Share your calendars, sync your efforts in lead management to the flow that sales needs, and be aware of critical deadlines, such as end-of-quarter.
  6. Between using technology (such as marketing automation) and using a well-planned process, sales and marketing alignment isn’t difficult; it’s just important.


Read more of Chris Hardeman’s thoughts in Sales is from Mars, Marketing’s from Venus: Five Factors to Close the Gap.


Attending DemandCon in Boston? Make sure to stop by Booth 136 and say hi!