THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO B2B SALES AND MARKETING ALIGNMENT
Let’s face it. Aligning your B2B sales and marketing strategies isn’t easy.
With two different teams, who seemingly have different measures for success and different ways of getting there, sales and marketing alignment may seem just about impossible.
However, with 50% - 70% of the buying decisions made BEFORE they even talk to a company and their Sales team, and an average of 6.8 stakeholders involved in purchasing decisions within a business, you’ve got a lot of people to sell to before you can actually make a sale. Sales and marketing teams that can work together within a business are going to see much better results than those who can’t (208% better, according to Hubspot).
By aligning your B2B sales and marketing strategies, your teams can work together in a partnership that generates and nurtures leads, develops brand loyalty, and boosts your sales revenue.
If B2B sales and marketing alignment is so hard...why bother?
They may have different ways of getting there, but your teams have the exact same goal: to make you more money. So why wouldn’t you want them working together?
It’s estimated that an astounding $1 trillion a year is lost to wasted marketing efforts and decreased sales productivity, and with 79% of generated leads never converting, it’s clear where all that money is going.
The biggest culprit is a failure to nurture leads.
So how do you develop a seamless pipeline that not only generates leads, but converts into sales?
You stop thinking of sales and marketing as separate entities, and start thinking of them as a single, unified team. And you can use this guide to help you do it.
How will you achieve and measure success?
Sales & Marketing need to SHARE ONE COMMON goal. Most likely a revenue goal. From there they can have separate measures of success, so they can track performance and know when they’ve achieved it.
Aligning KPIs and targets makes it easier to determine what sales processes will help you achieve your business goals.
KPIs are often left for the sales teams to measure, but they can also prove invaluable to your marketing team in showing whether or not a campaign or marketing strategy is working. By having a clear understanding of how you’re measuring your success, your B2B marketing team can make data-driven decisions and develop content and campaigns that boost sales and improve your results.
Agreeing on how you’re going to measure your success ensures that your whole team is clear on what they’re trying to achieve. It also helps you make sure that everyone is aiming at the same target.Ideally, try to get your team to work together on this Service Level Agreement where they can lay out goals, deliverables, accountabilities, communication channels and more!
Sales and marketing alignment for creating buyer personas
Buyer personas help you represent the interests, values and lifestyles of the people who matter most to your brand.
Once you know who you’re selling to, the how becomes much easier.
Your teams need to collaborate when developing buyer personas, so that they have the same concept of who their customer is. Otherwise they may end up trying to sell to different audiences.
Shared buyer personas allow you to develop strong, personalised pathways that lead your customers from the awareness stage of the buying cycle, right through to purchasing, and then back again to become repeat customers.
But a seamless customer journey requires seamless collaboration.
Collaborative content creation for consistent brand messaging
What are you trying to achieve in your content marketing strategy?
Without a clear idea of your goals, or the steps you’ll take to achieve them, you might end up with a lot of great content that… loses itself along away.
By setting clear goals and developing a firm content marketing strategy that the whole team can follow, you can develop content that generates demand and converts into sales. A cohesive content marketing strategy only works when everyone in your team understands what everyone else is trying to achieve.
Collaboration takes the strengths of your sales and your marketing teams, and combines them for the best results. Your sales team can extract the insights that help drive your marketing efforts, while your marketing team takes those insights and converts them into high quality content and campaigns that close more leads and drive sales.
Content creation is an excellent way to attract, engage and nurture leads for your B2B business. By turning your content marketing strategy into a collaborative process, you can lead your customers gently through each step in the buying cycle.
Sales enablement is a team effort
Sales enablement is a lot easier when your teams are working together, sharing information and offering input.
While sales enablement is quite often left in the hands of sales teams, your B2B marketing team will be able to provide a lot of valuable feedback that could help boost sales as well.
Marketing a business requires a lot of research and insights. And if your marketing team isn’t sharing their findings with your sales team, a lot of that research will go to waste, resulting in lost revenue and a wasted budget for you.
For the greatest ROI, your business should establish an atmosphere of collaboration, where information-sharing is encouraged and input welcomed.
Develop lead scoring criteria
Lead scoring allows you to rank leads according to their sales-readiness.
By working together to determine your team’s lead scoring criteria, you’ll not only know when a lead is ready to be converted into a sale, but how to get them there.
A collaborative lead scoring criteria will help your sales team understand when a customer is ready to buy, while also helping your marketing team reach out to your leads with the right content at the right time to help guide them one step closer to sales-readiness.
The teams that can align their lead scoring criteria will know just what to do and when to do it to convert a lead into a customer.
Understand the technological needs of your B2B marketing and sales team
Technology is what can tie your whole digital marketing and sales strategy together.
By establishing one cohesive tech stack, and choosing a CRM that serves everyone’s needs, your teams can work together while viewing your customers through the same portal.
Both teams have very different needs, but by taking the time to sit down and understand what they are, you can develop a tech stack that maintains workplace satisfaction while boosting efficiency and productivity.
A cohesive tech stack and a mutual understanding of each other’s processes will allow your teams to work together seamlessly, while helping develop stronger bonds and discouraging an ‘us vs them’ mentality.
Account-based marketing for B2B sales and marketing alignment
Projects are a great team-building exercise, and there’s nothing better than an account-based marketing project to develop strong working relationships.
With a shared purpose and common goals, your teams will be able to laser-focus on a key account to grow your revenue, and achieve goals as a singular and cohesive unit.
Account-based marketing requires a close working arrangement, and encourages the sharing of information and insights to meet established goals. By understanding their customer’s motivations and needs, everyone will need to work together to produce personalised content and communication channels. As a team, they can work out how to engage with the account in the right place at the right time to turn the chosen prospect into a customer, or higher source of revenue.
A sense of ‘group’ achievement will prove to your teams just how much they can gain from collaboration.
A cohesive unit honed for a successful business
Your team is made up of a range of different yet complimentary skills. To get the best out of both, you need to stop treating them as separate entities, and instead see them as a single, multi-skilled team.
A business that establishes an atmosphere of collaboration and information-sharing, ensures that the 'best person for the job’ is always the one doing the job, while reducing resource-wastage. This will lead to a better ROI for you.
- Collaboration means a better ROI
- Establish common goals and KPIs.
- Share information and results for data-driven decisions that benefit everyone.
- Discuss technology and CRM needs to develop a tech stack that suits everyone.
- Account-based marketing offers a great ‘project’ to develop strong working relationships within your team.
A digital marketing agency can help with B2B sales and marketing alignment
A digital marketing and sales agency is where sales and marketing come together to create cohesive B2B customer journeys. Your agency will not only be your key partner in growing your brand and your revenue, they will also help you align your marketing and sales teams for the best ROI.
You need an agile digital marketing and sales agency that can adapt to the rapidly changing market of a digital world, while also understanding the needs of your B2B marketing team and your sales team.
From conceptual development and marketing strategies, through to implementation and data-review, we can provide the guidance you need to meet your KPIs and targets, and turn your goals into achievements.
Contact us today to find out how a digital marketing and sales agency can help your teams align their efforts to achieve your goals.