The year is 2020 and the entire world is turned upside down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Entire industries such as hospitality are struggling to stay afloat, the unemployment rates are reaching historical highs and there doesn’t seem to be an ending any time soon. As a business owner, you’re probably wondering how to stay afloat and retain your existing customers and win as many new ones as possible.
There are a few ways that you can do this in these challenging times and one of them is to align your marketing and sales teams. It’s beneficial at all times, but in the midst of a crisis, it’s more important than ever.
Regular meetings improve collaboration
Do you have team meetings for your sales and marketing teams? No matter if you attend them in person or through a Zoom call, you should always strive to have these meetings together. In our case, the sales team attends the marketing meetings (even if it’s without participation) and vice versa.
The main goal is to keep both teams aware of what the other one is up to. The marketing team can get informed about the latest sales quotas, the problems the sales team is facing as well as their biggest wins. On the other hand, the sales team can learn what kind of content the marketing team is producing and what kind of leads they are sending to the sales team.
Did you know that 60% of all B2B content ends up unused? One of the major reasons is the disconnect between sales and marketing. Marketing doesn’t know what kind of customers sales has to deal with and sales doesn’t know what kind of content marketing is creating to help them and it’s a Catch 22 that hurts your business’ bottom line. Get both teams to attend each others’ meetings and watch your sales performance soar.
Set common goals
Every team in your company should have its own set of KPIs to follow closely and sales and marketing are no different. The problem is, they measure different metrics. Sales is focused on the revenue while marketing is focused on softer metrics such as website visitors, impressions and ultimately conversion rates.
If you want to get more out of your sales/marketing collaboration, make sure to set some KPIs that both teams are responsible for. The conversion rate is a good example. Depending on your product and industry, it will be common that marketing is in charge of the top of the sales funnel, while it’s up to the sales team to close the deal. By making the conversion rate a common KPI for both teams, both teams will have an interest in helping each other out to improve this metric.
Show a clearer marketing ROI
Working in marketing departments for the bigger part of the last decade, I noticed one thing coming from management constantly: they need clearer marketing ROI. Few managers are going to believe that a blog post will turn into a sale and in general, the marketing team has to go the extra mile to show the return on investment of their work.
When the marketing and sales teams are aligned, you can tie the marketing activities to specific sales outcomes. Depending on the complexity of your sales cycle, you’ll be able to tie marketing activities to sales outcomes. That way, you will see a clearer marketing ROI and your sales team will be more accountable for the leads that come from the marketing team.
You can get better at lead nurturing
No matter what you sell, the process of a marketing lead turning straight into a sale rarely happens. There is a whole range of touchpoints that need to happen before a marketing lead turns into a customer. In fact, as much as 79% of marketing leads never turn into a sale. This is not because the product is not good or because marketing is sending the wrong kinds of leads.
However, the problem goes further. Because sales teams are not used to getting good leads from the marketing department, they will put them to the side. In fact, sales teams on average ignore 80% of marketing leads.
Alignment between the two teams can be achieved by setting up better lead nurture methods. From emails to calls, both teams can work together and find ways to keep prospects engaged, instead of losing good leads because of a lack of cooperation.
Simplify the way you work
The average company has a considerable tech stack. In fact, your marketing and sales departments have a wide range of tools that they’re using. You need a CRM, a call center app, an email marketing app, a prospecting tool, a proposal software tool, live chat software, etc. The fact of the matter is, both teams can use the same tools for some of their processes, saving you time and money.
In our case, we realized that tools like Ringcentral solved a lot of our problems. From live chat to nurturing, emails and CRM integration, it does so much of our work that both marketing and sales find it invaluable for their work and they now use a common dashboard for both. It not only saves us time and keeps us aligned, but we also save money by not buying 5 different tools at once.
In a time where everyone is struggling to keep their business afloat, the need for tightly-knit collaboration is bigger than ever before. While we may be further from each other because of quarantines and remote work, we should aim to collaborate more, especially between our sales and marketing departments. The savings in time and money are not to be taken lightly, especially in these challenging times.
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