Sometimes the content around sales and marketing alignment can start to sound a lot like information about diet and exercise. Yes, everyone knows you should be exercising and eating well, and most people even understand why it’s important. But actually figuring out what it takes for you to exercise and practice a healthy diet is much different.
It’s very similar with your business. You know that you need to practice sales and marketing alignment – you understand the benefits of it and the consequences that will happen if you don’t follow this method. But actually executing it can be difficult.
Build Sales and Marketing Alignment for Your Business
Like a healthy diet and exercise routine, the exact steps you take will be unique to your business and needs. But there are some guidelines to follow in order to successfully align these two teams.
Unite Both Teams Under a Shared Goal
When you first start trying to change to a healthier lifestyle, one of the things that keeps you on track is knowing your end goal. This is true for any other process, and it holds true in building sales and marketing alignment for your business. In the past, marketing and sales have often had their own goals and processes and everyone just crossed their fingers that both teams would do their jobs and it would result in business growth. But these two teams should have a shared goal: revenue. Together, they are responsible for bringing in new income for your business, so it only makes sense that you build out a process that unites them under this goal.
Evaluate Your Current Customers
Before you begin jumping into changing everything about your current processes, take the time to evaluate your current customers. How many of them represent your ideal buyer persona? Which are the most profitable, easiest to work with, and most aligned with your product or service? Do you have any customers that you work with because you wanted the income, but are actually a drain on your team? Once you’ve evaluated your customers, begin to look more closely at those who align the most with your ideal customer. How did you acquire them, and how can you replicate this process in order to earn more customers that match your buyer persona for your ideal customer?
Create a Lead Scoring System
Evaluating your current customers helps your marketing and sales teams identify the most important criteria you want new customers to have. Use these markers to set up a lead scoring system. This system clarifies communication between sales and marketing: it leaves no doubt as to which leads are ready to be handed off to sales, which leads require more nurturing, and which leads are not a good fit for your business (and vice versa).
Build a Sales Process
Your team now knows their shared goal, the kind of customer they are trying to reach, and how to identify which leads are ready to meet with a salesperson. Now you just need to nail down your sales process in order to make sure that all happens smoothly. You need to create a sales process.
A sales process outlines the steps a prospect will follow as they transition from being an MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) to an SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). It should include who is responsible for every touchpoint a prospect has with your business and how you will track and evaluate results. Check out this blog post on what you should consider when building your sales process.
Set up the Nuts and Bolts of Sales and Marketing Alignment
Once you and your sales and marketing teams have created these plans and processes, it’s time to start putting it all into action. You need to select a leader to make sure both teams are carrying out their work and to host sales and marketing meetings. These teams need to meet on a regular basis to give a quick overview of current leads and prospects, discuss any issues that have arisen, and make strategy adjustments as necessary. At least once a month, both teams need to look at analytics for your marketing and sales performance so that you can adjust as necessary. Finally, these meetings are a great time to celebrate shared success toward sales and marketing’s goal of revenue. While your salespeople might be the ones who officially close a deal with a prospect, it is the result of a joint effort between these two teams.
Growing your business is never a solo endeavor. It requires work and cooperation between two teams united under a common shared goal of generating revenue. When you implement sales and marketing alignment, everyone benefits.
Want to learn more about growing your business with sales and marketing alignment? Download our free book, A Team Approach to Growing Your Business.