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How to Align Your Sales & Marketing Teams

By Rica Bouso

Does your business suffer from a marketing-sales divide? You’re not alone. While marketing and sales should work in concert for the good of the business, they each hold different goals, workflows, and metrics. If we could only align these, we could drastically enhance our businesses growth and performance.

1) Define goals

But isn't everyone committed to improving the bottom-line? You’re right. The issue is that marketing often focuses on long-term revenue growth, nurturing prospects and building strategic partnerships. While sales typically concentrate on shorter-term revenue targets. As a result, both teams come up with different strategies to tackle the same overarching goal.

To align with a common objective, we need to have a common vocabulary. What do you exactly mean by lead? How do you qualify a lead? You might be surprised how marketing and sales tend to view the same terms differently. Now, that you have a common language, you can look at the company’s overall vision and translate it into short-term objectives and long-term goals.

2) Implement a Service-Level Agreement (SLA)

Once you have identified your goals, both teams can now craft a strategy or a general roadmap for success. At this point, marketing and sales must outline their respective roles and responsibilities.

They should co-develop the lead handoff workflow from marketing to sales to ensure that leads aren't needlessly lost (Like plugging a leaky bucket). Both marketing and sale seal their agreement through an SLA, this is a document that keeps marketing and sales on track and ensures both sides are accountable to their side of the equation.

3) Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Marketing and sales can’t afford to neglect each other. The only sure way to ensure alignment is through regular communication. Schedule monthly meetings to review progress in achieving the goals, adjust strategies as necessary, and discuss concerns from both departments. 

4) Use a CRM

Utilizing the CRM is an excellent platform for marketing-sales alignment. It centralizes customer data that both teams can access. With information-sharing now more seamless, confusion and miscommunication will decrease as marketing people, and sales executives can review notes from one another. They can also ask clarifications and provide recommendations all under one roof.

5) Develop a content library

Whether you’re from sales or marketing, content is important. Aside from collaborating about the content strategy in producing content materials, it is just as critical that both teams know where to find them. There must be a content library that marketing and sales teams can access. Files must be organized, and there has to be a clear file uploading process, so they know that the content in the library is approved and updated.

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