Alignment between sales and marketing is an important component of most successful businesses. Companies that enjoy such alignment tend to perform much better than their counterparts that don't. In fact, one study found that aligned marketing and sales teams are 67% more efficient at closing deals!
On the other hand, lack of alignment can lead to a ton of missed opportunities - as well as serious friction between the two departments. For example, salespeople who don't know about recent promotions or offers from marketing often find themselves at a disadvantage when talking to prospective customers. Either the customers know something they don't (which is a bad look for the brand), or they may not have the messaging they need to close the deal.
The point is, it's important to keep your sales team in the loop when it comes to new marketing initiatives, such as email campaigns. What steps can you take towards greater alignment? Here are 6 suggestions that can help.
We're not talking about English vs. Chinese or French vs. Swedish here. We're talking about common differences between the "language of marketing" compared to the "language of sales."
For example, your marketing team may use terms like "SQLs" or "MQLs" quite frequently. They know what those terms mean - but do your salespeople also understand the vocabulary? Do they know what messaging to use on a marketing qualified lead, or when it turns into a sales qualified lead?
Your sales team may be used to speaking about prospects in terms of "accounts," "deal velocity," and "win rate." If there's a "language misalignment" between the two teams, you can begin your efforts by bridging that gap. Either educate each department on the terminology used by the other team, or develop a "lingua franca" that can unify them both.
If your sales and marketing teams have different goals, it's like they're trying to drive the same car in two different directions. Sure, they both want to see higher conversion rates, more customers, and increased revenue - but they need to agree on how to achieve those major goals in order to successfully reach them.
With that in mind, it's vital that both departments share some smaller "stepping stone" goals that will lead to the bigger objectives. These could include metrics like number of conversations, quality of conversations, number of meetings booked, win rate, etc. In terms of email marketing, open rate and click-through rate are two basic KPIs to track across both departments.
The goals you come up with should be mutually acceptable to both your sales and marketing managers. In addition, consider creating a shared dashboard to keep track of these goals (and keep them in front of both teams).
Content plays a huge role in successful sales/marketing alignment. After all, your marketing team's job is to generate content that will help prospects move down the sales funnel; and your sales team's job is to leverage that content into closed deals and long-term relationships.
Your sales reps and marketers really need to be on the same page when it comes to what good content looks like, and what it's designed for. There should be regular, consistent feedback between the two teams. It's a two-way street: your sales reps can provide marketing with positive and negative insights into customer reactions to content (what works, and what doesn't work); and your marketing team can continually educate and update sales reps on how to make the best use of available content (e.g., which messaging to use for email-generated leads).
At the end of the day, good communication is the key to alignment between sales and marketing. Regular communication needs to be built into the workflow of both departments. For example:
However you set it up, make sure that the lines of communication stay open and "well-lubricated" day in and day out.
The sales industry can be tough. It can wear down even the most talented of reps. It can have its dry spells, on an individual or organizational level.
That's why it's so helpful to celebrate the wins together - with both sales and marketing. When you keep each team aware of the other's accomplishments (closed deals, number of conversations, number of sign-ups, number of referrals, etc.), and highlight the fact that both teams worked together to make those accomplishments a reality, you go a long way towards fostering a collaborative spirit across the two departments.
Finally, it's also a good idea to make sure that your sales and marketing teams use the same tools, software programs, and platforms (at least to the extent possible). This will drive a consistent experience across the two departments, and also make collaboration much easier. For instance, when your sales and marketing teams are both familiar with using Sendlio for an upcoming email marketing campaign, they'll be able to share insights, track interactions, and hand off leads in a highly efficient manner.
In summary, it's imperative that you keep your sales team aware of new email marketing campaigns - and really, that you keep both sales and marketing on the same page during all phases of the customer journey. Good communication is essential. World-class tools can help.
If you'd like to learn more about our automated audience engagement tool for email, text, and voice, reach out to our team of friendly experts at Sendlio today. We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have!