Many are discovering what is possible through sales and marketing alignment, empowering teams who were once isolated from one another.
Alignment can be perfectly described as an underdog sports team. An unlikely group of individuals coming together with the spirit and tenacity to achieve their dreams. Uniting under a single banner to win that big game, defying the odds, emerging victorious.
There are few things in this world quite as fulfilling as seeing a massive project come to a successful close. Achieving collective goals is possible through a group’s willingness to commit the time and effort necessary without ever losing sight of the end result.
Sales and marketing teams influence each other more than they would assume, but many companies fail to bring these two together. With shared goals, the combined efforts of these two teams have infinite potential when alignment is allowed to happen.
The truth is that a business is only successful because of the people behind it. Marketers and salespeople all want the same thing: more revenue. We all have come to accept that the sales are only focused on closing the leads the marketing teams get for them.
To unite under a single banner, the best chance sales professionals and marketers have is by focusing on their storytelling.
Why is Alignment Important?
Watching large groups of people unite to achieve a shared goal is quite special. Sales and marketing teams can come together to do great things as a cohesive, well-oiled machine.
Alignment is no simple task, but there’s a ton of data out there that says it works.
Consider a few interesting figures from this Marketo study about sales and marketing:
- 108% less friction
- 67% higher probability of closing leads
- 209% better contribution to revenue
In this study alone, sales and marketing alignment has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. Also, consider this recent survey by LinkedIn where 70% of respondents said sales and marketing collaboration delivers a better buying experience for the customer.
There’s a clear benefit to achieving better alignment, and more companies are adopting the concept by the day. What many don’t appreciate is that storytelling one of the best approaches to marketing and sales teams together.
Sales + Marketing = Storytelling
Digital technology has changed the world forever, which means that buyers control how and where they consume content that matters to them. For the first time in history, the average person has an entire wealth of information at their fingertips in a moment’s notice.
With the boom of mobile technology, businesses have to learn to break through all the noise in order to reach their customers. When done correctly, storytelling is an extremely effective marketing tool.
Storytelling is the perfect way to connect with customers and prospects on a deeper level.
Because storytelling ultimately defines the kind of conversations you’re having with your customers, sales and marketing teams need to share a singular vision. They need to be on the same page for prospects to have a better chance of becoming customers.
Through collaborative discussion can sales and marketing teams come together in the name of alignment. It is in these discussions where teams can identify the finer points of their story and agree on a universal vision.
Beyond this first step, here’s a look at a few ways marketing and sales teams can journey down the path of alignment.
Sales Enablement Isn’t a One-Way Street
Salespeople are talking with customers on a daily basis, meaning they will always have deep insights that can help marketing efforts. But because these two teams often work independently, these insights aren’t shared.
The wasted opportunity here is that without this collaboration, marketing teams miss out on creating remarkable content that resonates strongly with their audience.
Insights from sales teams are essentially gold to marketers. Some of the best content is often created with the purpose of answering specific questions for buyers during the initial research phase. Without understanding the questions buyers have, there’s a chance that marketers won’t create content to answer those questions.
Salespeople also need to share insights with marketing teams in order to analyze the effectiveness of their messaging. Marketing teams can become stronger when sales teams must openly share what they learn from prospects and buyers.
A Reciprocal Relationship
The core aspect of a salesperson’s job is to build meaningful relationships with customers repeat conversation. They are the ones who how to speak their buyers’ language.
The potential to improve discussions with buyers will always exist with the use of helpful devices. Sales enablement is all about empowering sales teams with data and supplementary content. In turn, these tools help salespeople sell with more efficiency.
Content is becoming increasingly important businesses in many industries. Good content has the potential to become immensely powerful selling tools. The truth is that without marketing teams, sales teams don’t have the means or the skillsets to build up these valuable assets.
Overall, content is extremely effective as selling tools when it’s apparent that sales and marketing teams are unified in their storytelling.
Content should be created for every phase of the sales funnel, and strong marketing teams are constantly cranking out content to build up their library. But beyond creating content for their own uses, marketers need to provide sales teams with well-crafted talking points to tell an engaging story.
Let’s say a sales team decides to experiment with whiteboarding as their preferred presentation style due to its effectiveness in retaining viewer engagement. Because the salesperson can’t rely on attractive slides created by the marketing team, they have to rely on their ability to tell the story through visuals. Without a clear and apparent story to convey, any presentation will fall flat if it doesn’t engage buyers in a meaningful way.
Another tactic in which marketers can assist sales teams is by providing as much information on competitors as they can. This information is extremely helpful for salespeople when they can anticipate questions about their competitors provided they have a bit of intel at their disposal.
Teamwork is the key to achieving high levels of sales and marketing alignment. By encouraging and incorporating a more collaborative environment, these two teams can reach their goals with more efficiency by working together.
Consider having a regularly scheduled meeting with your sales and marketing teams. Incorporate team exercises like brainstorming sessions to come up with new content creation initiatives or invite key marketing team members to join the weekly sales meetings.
Sales and marketing alignment works, and it’s far easier to implement provided everyone believes in it.