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The Why, What, and How of Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment can be loosely defined as when marketing and sales teams share goals and collaborate to achieve revenue.

Customers today have high expectations for design, products, services, and the entire buying experience. As a result, they tend to exercise caution and carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the organisations with whom they do business.

For both large and small enterprises, this can be a challenge to navigate and is imperative that both sales and marketing are aligned to help provide a friction-less buyer journey

Sales and marketing alignment can be loosely defined as when marketing and sales teams share goals and collaborate to achieve revenue. When marketing and sales teams work together on a single revenue cycle, marketing ROI, sales productivity, and, most importantly, top-line growth all improve. 

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However, there is still a mismatch between these two teams, with a recurring issue of content chaos in which time and money are squandered generating vast amounts of content that has no clear objective or use, and no single source of truth on where the content can be found.

This uneasy relationship between the two departments can affect the bottom line and cause productivity inefficiencies that could cost corporations over $1 trillion every year.

So how can this be solved to achieve Sales and Marketing alignment? 

Functional alignment takes precedence over coexistence.

As it stands, it’s no longer enough for the marketing and sales departments to simply coexist. Instead, they need to work together, sharing insights that add value to each other and their organisation. It’s imperative that these two teams are properly aligned and collaborate effectively in order to drive ROI for the business. Both teams face barriers to efficient working.

When sales fall short of expectations, marketing assumes it was a result of poor execution of an otherwise outstanding roll-out strategy. In turn, the sales departments assume that marketers are out of touch with what customers are genuinely thinking and aren’t providing them with the right content.

Marketers typically generate collateral and content for sales, and while the sales team closes leads, marketers are left in the dark about what worked and what didn’t. As a result, there’s no way of truly knowing what marketing assets are doing well and where time and budget could be better spent. Just 65% of content developed by marketing is ever used by sales, most of it is wasted because it’s not deemed useful. 

This lack of cohesion has a negative impact on business performance. We’ve seen both teams stumble (and the organisation suffer) because they are out of sync with each other. In contrast, there is no doubt that when sales and marketing work well together, businesses see significant improvements in key performance measures.  In fact, according to Forrester, companies that align sales and marketing teams achieve 24% faster growth rates and 27% faster profit growth.

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In order to be most effective, generate more leads and close more deals sales and marketing must have a symbiotic relationship. Sales enablement facilitates this process by delivering the correct content to the right people at the right time and providing invaluable insights to learn from along the way.

Marketers require a revenue share.

Having a seat at the revenue table and knowing how their content and campaigns contribute to a deal and revenue allows marketers to obtain valuable insight into one of their most powerful channels – their go-to-market (GTM)/sales team.

The critical task required for sales teams to predict leads, pipelines and revenue with confidence should not be handled exclusively by them. Instead, both departments should have a place at the revenue table to be able to discuss ways in which marketing and sales can work together and align their efforts to drive ROI. 

 

This ideal alignment can be easily achieved through sales enablement. These solutions not only give both the sales and marketing teams full visibility over assets and the revenue they drive but also help to bridge the gap between content creation and sales calls.

Sales enablement is much more than a marketing tool.

A sales enablement platform driven by AI serves as your sales reps’ single source of truth. 

It is able to connect marketing and sales with phenomenal synchronization capabilities, allowing them to archive or replace obsolete data as needed and distribute accurate material with demonstrable effectiveness, thanks to AI-powered analytics. As a result, the current practice of working in silos will be removed, allowing for a more fluid relationship between marketing, sales, and customers.

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It is impossible to overestimate the importance of investing in this technology for Sales and Marketing alignment.

Sales enablement technology will give you a previously unforeseen competitive advantage, whether it is through shortening sales cycles or supporting a more efficient and successful sales process. You can be assured that your sales force will receive extensive training that can be put into practice.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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