Marketing and Sales alignment is the biggest puzzle experts have been trying to solve for decades. Mainly because it holds the potential to drastically improve growth and revenue for the businesses.
But aligning the two comes with challenges because Marketing and Sales have different goals and expectations.
Sales is a fast paced activity and its impact is almost immediate to the business. Whereas, Marketing is often a long game that does the groundwork for branding and customer experience. When it comes to leads, Marketing is more focused on establishing lead scoring and nurture campaigns for MQLs.
As a lead advances through the buyer’s journey, it is crucial to have seamless transition of leads from marketing to sales. For this, businesses do need to create their marketing and sales alignment model, and it takes time.
So, here are a few tips and strategies that should help you in the process of sales and marketing alignment.
1. Work in unison for lead scoring activity
When you rank leads, you must take several factors into consideration which would tell you the interest level of your leads in your content or product.
Often times, these factors are not communicated to or asked by the marketing team which brings ‘bad leads’ in the pipeline.
Sales & marketing folks should sit together and see what all factors and lead activities should influence your lead scoring.
Also, it is to be noted that with time the number of leads transferred to sales should suppress.
Before implementing lead scoring, marketing use to send all leads to sales irrespective of score and engagement value, which as a result forces sales to spend their time working on non-productive leads.
2. Lead nurturing process should not be overlooked
Every lead in your CRM is not sales ready. Sales team should acknowledge the importance of lead nurturing, for it directly benefits their KPIs as well.
If you give a product demo to a lead, who has been consuming content on your blog, reading whitepapers and case studies, it is relatively easier for the sales team to close the deal.
Making sure to have a strong lead nurturing process will also help your marketing and sales team in knowing the lead’s history and their placement in the buyer’s journey.
3. Let your marketing team be a part of the sales process
Knowing an ideal customer is always instrumental in making and executing successful marketing and sales campaigns.
The best way to go about it is to let your marketing team be present in the sales calls.
This will help your marketing team to get to know your pitch for a different customers profile and this will help them in creating relevant messaging and content.
4. Make use of lead routing
The involvement of sales team need not start only when they get MQLs from the marketing team. It can be as soon as a website visitor lands on your website.
Lead routing makes it possible for marketing teams to assign qualified leads to SDRs based on a number of qualification factors.
Let’s see how lead routing can benefit both sales and marketing teams. Imagine, a prospect of one of your target accounts visits your website and spends some time on the webpage.
With tools like Insent.ai, you can get access to marketing data on the visitor from your CRM and Marketing Automation in a single screen.
Such insight is helpful because it helps the team to qualify the visitor and sales reps can start the super personalized conversation.
Once the lead is qualified, the platform will route the conversation to the most relevant sales rep available for conversation.
This process is quite fast as compared to traditional handoff of the leads through emails where all the conversations are asynchronous.
5. Track your leads through different lifecycle stages
It is crucial to see where leads are stuck in the funnel so that you can address the friction and work on the areas that drives the most value.
For this, you should track your leads through different lifecycle stages. The common ones are
- Marketing qualified lead
- Sales qualified lead
You can also do more detailed level of tracking with systems like SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall. It introduces unconventional stages like ‘sales accepted lead’ that specifically developed to track outbound efforts.