I’ve always been a huge advocate of collaboration. There is simply nothing better than smart people coming together to achieve greater success than they could apart. This is how strong businesses are built. Specifically, aligning sales and marketing departments is a no brainer.
Is it best to align sales and marketing?
Today I came across A Guide to Sales and Marketing Alignment by Salesforce and Pardot. This handy little guide cites a study conducted by Hugh MacFarlane, Founder and CEO of MathMarketing. MacFarlane surveyed 1,400 professionals in 84 countries to discover that business aligning sales and marketing efforts:
- Grow 5.4 points faster than their less-aligned counterparts when compared with businesses in the same industry.
- Lose 36% fewer customers to competitors.
There’s more in the study if you want to see other results. In these two results alone, I think the results are in, don’t you? Silos in business operations have been slowing down business growth for years. With today’s metrics, you can’t deny it.
So what are you going to do about it?
Whether your sales and marketing teams consist of one person each team or hundreds of staff, you need to create a clean and mutually beneficial relationship between them. There are multiple elements to this.
- This is a cultural shift. Change is best accepted when it comes with transparency and appreciation for all. Explain your reasons for change throughout the various stages and be VERY open to comments from those in the trenches doing the work.
- Bring on the right technology to measure your results. If you’re going to shift the way your business functions, make sure you are collecting the right metrics in order to validate your decision and fine tune operations going forward. Two great tools to consider if you haven’t already are Salesforce.com and Pardot. I’ve worked with these SaaSs and they deliver great value.
- Create Marketing campaigns that feed directly into Sales. Once strangers turn into prospects, merge Marketing and Sales efforts. Then once Sales closes the deal, switch the new client to a retention marketing strategy.
- Give Sales FULL visibility into Marketing campaigns. Sales outreach should integrate recent marketing messages. The relationship should carry forward. This gives the prospect the impression that working with you as a client will be as seamless. Alignment is important to your brand and closing the sale.