Goals are meant to be achieved and it would be a false statement if we say that organizational goals are different from departmental goals. You all have read somewhere about it; companies and sales & marketing gurus keep reminding you that there is an alignment issue of sales and marketing in B2B companies. For every small and midsize business, landing the biggest and most profitable account matters the most. It helps them sustain their dream and grow the business in terms of revenue.
Sales and marketing always set their individual sail and drift apart from each other and the organizational goals too. Getting that perfect sales and marketing alignment has always been a difficult job to do. Established and growing companies are still struggling to do the same.
We are writing this article for business owners and managers to understand and discuss the many ways of achieving that alignment between sales and marketing. In this article, we will cover:
- what sets sales and marketing apart?
- value of customer feedbacks
- develop a process that bridges the gaps
- the sales and marketing alignment issues b2b businesses face
1. What sets sales and marketing apart?
As a business owner, you must try to find out what sets these two departments apart. Let’s lay it out in front of you as a proper step. Identifying the sales and marketing gaps is part of every businesses’ sales cycle and it can be done by identifying its root cause. Here a few steps that you can follow for finding the root cause in yours.
Step 1. Analyze prior sales and marketing performance
Every business wants to improve their deal win/loss ratio. It becomes very crucial for these business owners to understand and analyze their previous sales and marketing performance. Doing so helps them see the outlines and points them towards the solution of getting rid of the gaps.
Step 2. Analyze current sales and marketing processes
You can identify the crucial gap between sales and marketing with the following steps:
- Analyze the steps that must be added, or improved in your sales cycle
- Assess the methods and channels your organization uses to sell and market its solutions
- Is the current process of generating leads and converting them into customers working for your organization?
Step 3. Analyze current sales and marketing strategy
Finding out the strategic gaps between sales and marketing is more important. These gaps create the void in the sales process and often are outside the control of the sales and marketing professionals. We would suggest that you:
- Focus on target customer profile and market
- Recheck the communication channels
- Work on the short-term focus and periodic sales drives
- Think over generating demand for your product
- Check your position in the industry as an expert
2. Value of Customer Feedbacks
Customer feedbacks are your biggest weapon when it comes to unraveling the shortcomings of your sales process.
- Were the implementation period and the subsequent result calculated perfectly by the sales team?
- How are your customers reacting to your product?
- Is your product proving them the required solution to their problem?
- Does the mode of engagement suit your sales requirement?
- Were they properly responded while in the sales process or the sales representatives late in responding to the customers?
3. Develop a Process that Bridges the Gaps
The first step towards a successful sales and marketing alignment is setting the strategy that makes them both work towards the equal revenue goal. The simple thing to do here is:
Alignment of Departmental Goal
Any team that has more than two individuals have more thoughts, ideas, and plans. We are talking about two different departments here. You must align your departments’ goals.
Create certain understanding and arrive at an agreement based on the business objectives both teams pursue organizational growth.
Step 1. Create a lead process
Businesses survive and excel based on the workflow they decide for their daily process.
In that same manner, you must create a workflow which defines the point at which a lead is generated until it is handed off to sales from marketing.
A proper textbook approach is sometimes beneficial for B2B companies.
Inquiry Generated →
MQL (marketing qualified lead) →
SAO (sales accepted opportunity) →
SQO (sales qualified opportunity) →
Deal Status (Closed/Won deal)
You can later evolve this process depending on the campaign feedback sales receives in the future.
Step 2. Clearly define the Lead Handover Process
A half-baked cake is equal to a half-convinced prospect. It becomes crucial for you to define and decide when a lead must be handed over to sales.
Include information like
- Company size,
- Industry, and
- Behavioral information (content requested by lead, whether demo has been requested)
Determine the lead hand-off process
- Define which leads are ready to be handed to sales and how sales must follow up on these leads, making sure that the demanding work of marketing doesn’t get blown.
- Develop a workable Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Resolve marketing and sales performance metrics.
For example, marketing delivers a certain number of qualified leads. After this, sales must follow up on these qualified leads in a specific period; before they got cold.
Customer Intelligence has been cited as the key to successful prospecting by 74% of sales and marketing professionals
Step 3. Study Your audience
For marketing professionals, the potential customers are uncovered by understanding their online buying behavior, search queries, and past orders. These criteria change on various demographics.
- Marketing professionals reading this blog will understand this.
- Anyone can be a potential buyer, but as a business, you are looking for someone who holds the position of the final decision maker.
- Having such a data takes you one step ahead in the market race.
- Having hold on such a bifurcated and rich data helps you market your product resulting in successful sales.
Step 4. What are issues, problems, and desires do your audience has?
Some troubles are more concerning then minting money.
How do I manage my leads or what should I do to get my deals moving are such questions that every B2B business owner asks himself?
Pinpoint on the solution to that predominant problem makes you their best product supplier.
Step 5. Where are they coming from?
Find out the channels they are using and list down their online consumption habits.
Are they reading blogs, are they on the email newsletter list?
Online readers are generally researching for short-form yet interactive content.
But they even might want to delve deeper into your blogs for 1,000 words for finding answers to their problems, if your product is offering it to them.
You must know how marketing is luring or interacting with these consumers.
4. The Sales and Marketing Alignment Problems B2B Businesses Face?
Problem #1: No set lead movement strategy between sales and marketing
Solution: Specialized strategy for finalizing B2B sales
Define the process from the moment a lead enters your sales process.
Techniques that marketers use are dynamic for your sales funnel.
Clearly define your strategy and process for
- nurturing, and
- transferring leads.
“Lead” has different definitions in marketing and sales, so you must make sure that they both understand it from a common perspective.
Problem #2: Quality Lead
Solution: Automation and filter
If the sales department wastes its time on bad leads, then it starts blaming marketing for the delay.
Have an automated process that
- attracts leads
- vets the bad ones out
Analyze and clear out the ones who are looking for a solution, as your company offers, so that the sales team can follow up.
Include qualification questions and gradually outline your leads while they move through your sales process and subscribe to your content.
Problem #3: Dynamic Purchasing Cycles
Solution: Promote constant communication
Marketing and sales team must have an ongoing interaction. It is crucial for them to maintain the lead numbers and for finalizing the sales and that is what will affect their economy.
Both the teams must analyze the consumer interest and reflect it in their reports so that when they notice a downfall in the clients’ interest in your product, they can quickly create and implement a plan and take countermeasures.
For B2B companies and startups alike, aligning sales and marketing does not have to be done from the scratch. There are software and tools that have been developed to automate such tasks. These tools provide you with crucial buyer information, which can be used by the sales and marketing department alike for creating sales and marketing strategies.
Alignment between sales and marketing teams in B2B companies is a dynamic and never-ending process. It is crucial for businesses as their growth and revenue depend on this alignment.
- Hunting high quality leads and then nurturing them before handing them over to the sales department.
- Following up on the leads and converting them into returning customers.
This process seems simple on paper, but it takes much of your time, energy and resources. Salesmate CRM has been intuitively designed to make all those arduous tasks go away and automate your business process. If you want to book a demo and find out how you can use our workflows for automating your sales and marketing process and create more focus on your revenue targets then reach out to us, today!
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We built two consulting agency businesses from scratch using these techniques.