I presume you got to this page because you want to know more about sales & marketing alignment. Perhaps you’re interested in a quick audit – some gem to prove your suspicion that your team simply could do better?
That’s OK, most business people feel the same. We take up the mantle of sales and marketing jobs because we want to make things better – whether you’re on the sales side focused on more and bigger sales, or on the marketing side wanting to make a bigger impact and drive more leads.
Oops, I said it….
I mentioned “two sides” – the sales side and the marketing side. Well, that’s how it is in most companies, and that’s what needs fixing. MarketingProfs stated that “Companies that have sales & marketing alignment have 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates.” And we’d all like that, wouldn’t we?
So what questions should you be asking yourself?
1. Does your sales team think that they get really good leads from marketing?
Do they jump on every lead knowing that there is a high chance it will be a winner? Or do they take a bit more time? Do they feed back to marketing to help improve the quality? Or do they sit back and complain that they don’t like “cold calling”.
InsideSales.com found that if you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them. Furthermore 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. Are your sales people alerted about qualified form fills on your website instantly? And do they react quickly to them?
2. Does your marketing team get input from sales for content planning?
Everyone talks about buyer personas, and whilst marketing should be creating content for your buyer personas, it is often the sales people who actually get to meet and deal with the real live examples. So it makes absolute sense, that they should share this knowledge with the marketing team to help define well targeted content. But do they?
The sales team should also have an up-to-date view on the competition and where deals are lost, that loss review could provide vital information to help steer future marketing messages.
3. Do all sales and marketing people agree on the definition of a lead?
That sounds too obvious, and we hear “of course they all agree” a lot. But when we examine things a bit further we can find a marketing person quoting a “lead score of 30 or above” and the sales person in the same company examining “budget, authority, need etc.” True alignment means one set of measurement criteria that is agreed by all.
4. Does everyone know the numbers – contacts made, leads generated, sales closed?
How many contacts are there in your target market? At any given time, only 3% of your market is actively buying. 56% are not ready, 40% are poised to begin. [Source: Vorsight] How many marketing communications (calls, emails, website visits etc.) does it take before someone becomes a lead? How much lead nurturing is needed before they become a qualified lead? How many qualified leads are needed to generate a sale? How many sales do you need to meet your company goals? The whole team should know these numbers and have plans to hit each one. It’s no longer just the sales people who are numbers driven. Top marketing teams are numbers driven too.
5. Do you have a service level agreement on the treatment of leads between sales and marketing?
An SLA should cover how leads are handled – when they are passed over, how quickly they are contacted and qualified, what happens if sales reject them, how long they can be “nurtured” by sales without the sign of a deal….and more.
If you’re confident about your sales and marketing alignment, I’d like to ask one more question:
Do you rely on disparate sales and marketing systems, CRM, Google Analytics, social media tools, prospecting tools and more?
Want to understand how an aligned Sales and Marketing team can benefit your organisation? Read more about the key benefits of sales and marketing alignment.
Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads [Source: ANNUITAS Group].
How do you think your Sales and Marketing team are performing? Arrange a free Sales and Marketing consultation with one of our experts: