From Discord To Harmony: Achieving Sales & Marketing Alignment

Published: October 27, 2023

1denAs marketers, we’re always attracted to the magic of tactics and know-hows. One tactic might appeal to the hand-raisers, but another is solely good for brand awareness. While someone might think a certain software is terrible, another user will say it’s excellent. Last decade, ABM was a trend; nowadays, revenue marketing is a rising star, and so forth.

No matter how many exceptions we come across, we tend to stick to these ‘rules,’ as they help us navigate the complex world of the work we encounter every day.

But here’s the million-dollar question: What’s the tactic to align ourselves with the sales teams? Marketers universally acknowledge that this perfect sync is the secret handshake to the growth club. But — and it’s a big but — there’s no magic spell for this. It’s going to take a team huddle, a game plan and everyone pulling together to make it happen.

Here are a few good starting points.

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Know The 3 Ingredients Of Sales & Marketing Alignment

It doesn’t matter what tools you’re wielding or what market you’re after, there are three things that bind marketing and sales together:

1. Shared Audiences & Goals

Magic happens when marketing engages the same people that sales wants to talk to. Getting to that point requires a frank discussion about who your company wants to sell to and who it doesn’t, and what should be the revenue outcomes. (This might require marketing and sales to swallow their pride).

2. Common Focus On The Buying Group

The more specific both teams can be about the buying groups (and group members) they’re after, the easier it will be to choose the corresponding strategies, tactics and daily activities that help reach these cohorts.

3. Contact-Level Intent

Take it a level deeper with your who. What do the numbers say about a contact that engages with dozens of ads in a campaign versus the contact that’s dead cold? Who is statistically more likely to convert? And based on the numbers, are those the leads we’re prioritizing in the pipeline?

Check Yourself Against The Alignment Checklist

Whether you’re pretty confident your process is on track or you have some soul searching to do, take a spin through this checklist to be sure:

Huddle Up With Sales About Your Ideal Customer Profile

Agree on how you’ll share the audience, too. This way, you’re all pitching to the same crowd.

Loop In All The Key People At A Target Account

According to most available data, the average size of the buying group is growing across the board.

Avoid Overwhelming Sales With Every Possible Lead

A passing glance isn’t good enough to become a lead. Scored a lead who’s all into your content? Sweet! Just remember that you’re pitching to the whole account, not just one decision-maker.

Make Sure Marketing Supports Sales In Outbound Efforts

If you’ve got an outbound program going, why not make it as effective as possible by supplementing it with marketing aircover?

Don’t Focus Solely On Opening New Opportunities

For outbound-prioritized accounts, keep engaging the entire buying group. For inbound, expand any identified interest from one person to the whole team. Don’t heap the entire job of engaging the buying group onto sales. As a marketer, you have a toolbox full of methods to assist.

Be Real About What A Botched Hand-Off Really Means

Bad handoffs aren’t the fault of a bad program; they’re symptoms of misalignment.

Turn Ads Into Your Sales Multiplier

Speaking of how marketing can better engage the buying group, a few specific strategies really stick out from the crowd. First, run ad campaigns tailored specifically for individual buyers and buyer cohorts. It’s the essence of a symbiotic relationship when marketing crafts its ad strategy for the same people that sales reps are trying or want to engage with. The result is a resonant, amplified message that permeates the buyer’s awareness.

A major part of this strategy is identifying intent at the contact level. Once you have these signals, the prospecting process becomes significantly more streamlined. You know who to call and what to say when you have intent data tied to a specific name.

And here’s the cherry on top: Being able to link your marketing insights back to contact-level data feels like having a cheat sheet to measure your exact influence on revenue.

By putting these tips into action, you’re not just going to see your bottom line perk up; you’re going to experience a transformation as big as switching from black-and-white TV to color — that’s what real alignment looks like.

Den Kozlov is the VP of Growth for person-based advertising platform Influ2.


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