Quick Tips to Better Align Sales and Marketing
Obvious fact: If you align sales and marketing teams, you will drive better leads, close more business, and reduce internal conflicts that may stand in the way of meeting objectives.
Survey Reveals Breakdown: The annual CSO Insights survey reports that major issues still exist between these two essential teams. Findings include the following:
- 63% cited the need for improvement in marketing-generated lead quality and quantity
- Only 43% said they had a formal process for qualifying a lead
- 45% said supporting materials needed improvement
Create a Mutual Service Level Agreement (SLA) — With an effective SLA, both teams agree on priorities and accountabilities for deliverables. They commit to collaborating on programs and to discuss challenges openly.
- Quick Tip: SLAs should include joint goal creation, meeting cadence, sales responsibilities, and marketing responsibilities.
Lead Criteria — Sales and marketing need to agree on the definition of a good lead vs. a bad lead.
- Quick Tip: Define the elements of a qualified lead, allow marketing to do the initial follow-up and qualification if it is a marketing-generated lead, sales must close out wins and losses with relevant information, and make sure contacts are added and updated in the CRM.
- Quick Tip: Embrace and share social selling tools, including mentions and links of company articles on LinkedIn, tweeting or re-tweeting ideas or company tweets, creating circles and sharing information on Google+, and reaching out to prospects and clients to share relevant articles with an “I thought you might find this interesting” note.
- Quick Tip: This generic sales process can offer a starting point for what marketing can help support. It also may help to define triggers that signal when to really move a lead into the sales cycle.
- Qualification: E-mail templates, product playbooks, brochures, case studies, fact sheets
- Discovery: Industry information, white papers, validation letters
- Proposal: Updated proposal templates, RFP resources, solution outlines
- Presentation: PowerPoint template, demos
- Close: Contracts, master service agreements, implementation plans
Do you have more tips? What have been some of your challenges with aligning marketing and sales? Let us know!
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