Sales and Marketing Alignment, for real

social media and marketing strategy alignment

OK, I’ll admit it. I’ve worked in marketing for nearly 10 years and I’ve never experienced real sales and marketing alignment until now. Sure, I’ve worked with sales leadership, communicated clearly [and often] and even attended sales meetings and training; but, really… we were never working together. I remember conversations with sales leadership saying they “need more leads” and even accusations from sales representatives that I was personally withholding leads from them. I know I’m not alone here when I say, the sales team was a big pain and a group of people I wanted to avoid at all costs.

What’s the benefit of not working with sales? Nothing. Why would I intentionally withhold leads from reps? I wouldn’t. Common sense tells us that marketers don’t get paid unless the sales team closes deals. We’re all working towards the same thing — growing the business — yet, we seem to be working on two separate strategies (often going in different directions).

So how can sales and marketing get on the same page once and for all and work together? Here are three ways Right On Interactive works with B2B organizations to align sales and marketing teams… and ultimately increase revenue.

Single Customer View

The first step in aligning sales and marketing is to provide both groups with a clear picture of the customer. This has historically been a difficult task for marketers because they often have multiple tools and systems in place that don’t share data, so they are looking at multiple client views within multiple platforms. Talk about confusing! In order for sales and marketing to have a truly clear picture of their customers, they must have access to view all sales and marketing interactions that a contact has had with your organization, on every channel, in one place. This includes a record of every email received (whether sent by a sales rep or from marketing), every web page visited, every social interaction and all of the information stored in your CRM (i.e., phone calls, face-to-face meetings, inbound messages, etc.). With this insight, sales and marketing teams can define and identify the “ideal customer” and create campaigns around mutual goals.

Right On Interactive provides this single customer view by connecting the CRM to all marketing channels, including social media. This single customer view is critical to success and it’s the first step in aligning sales and marketing.

Marketing Visibility

OK, marketers… nod your head in agreement if your sales team thinks you don’t do anything to help them achieve their goals. This is usually because sales has no visibility into marketing’s overall influence. The easiest way to solve this challenge is to provide sales with visibility into their leads and into their prospects’ interactions with marketing assets (i.e., downloads, website views, social media interaction, etc.).

For sales to really understand the impact of marketing interactions, they need to be notified when they happen. Right On Interactive provides Hot Lead reports as well as daily Anonymous and Identified Visitor reports to provide this transparency and insight into who is engaging with your company.

Sales Support Campaigns

Most sales reps have a lot on their plate. One way marketing can help is by offering them support in the form of campaigns. Here are some examples of campaign ideas Right On Interactive has successfully helped clients execute to improve marketing metrics and revenue, as well as the sales team’s opinion of marketing and overall marketing effectiveness.

  • Lost Deal Campaign: Marketing can assist sales in staying up-to-date on lost sales through this automated campaign sent from sales reps to contacts in an effort to remain engaged even when the contact is working with a competitor.
  • Cold-Lead Drip Campaign: Many leads aren’t quite ready to talk to sales, even though they may have great profile and engagement scores. They’re not bad leads, but they require more time. Marketing can help sales by providing a campaign to these leads intended to educate and warm them up for a conversation with a sales rep.
  • Competitive Drip Campaign: Many leads sent to sales from marketing may be disqualified upfront because they are working with a competing organization. These can still be good leads, but sales reps tend to let them grow cold. This campaign essentially treats this group of leads as cold leads, and provides them with a customized drip.
  • Thought Leadership Campaign: Perhaps one of the easiest ways to help sales is by providing them with a simple process for handling leads who ask to be followed up with later. Let’s fact it, there are always a group of leads who say no for the time being, but ask to be kept in mind for future opportunities. It’s imperative to keep these leads engaged and in the loop because something you’ve shared with them previously has resonated with them. Give them more of what they are looking for!

To learn more about sales and marketing alignment with Right On Interactive, check out his video!

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Lauren Littlefield

Lifecycle Marketing Consultant at Right On Interactive
With over ten years of experience in technology, marketing, public relations and higher education, Lauren joined the Right On team in April 2013. She is a 2013 graduate of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy (Ind.), and a board member of Girls on the Run of Central Indiana. She has previously served as the vice president, programming and the secretary of the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Lauren earned her BA in Communication from Hanover College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, IndyCar and the Indianapolis Colts.

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