4 Strategies For Sales and Marketing Alignment
Is it just me, or does it seem that getting in the door, getting the deal to close, or and even the idea of customer loyalty are things that are hard to come by? Sales today is, to say the least, challenging.
As a sales strategist, I travel around the world working with sales teams and sales leaders. The biggest challenge I see, the biggest obstacles sales professionals are facing are not the typical challenges we think about. Obstacles like technology, competition or even, dare I say, the price war.
No the biggest obstacle, the biggest challenge most sales professionals today are facing is that most of you are using sales strategies that are out-of-date and designed for a very different type of customer and a very different type of economy.
Everything about this economy has changed, and if you want to succeed then you need to embrace that most things about your sales strategy needs to change too. Beginning with embracing the idea that sales and marketing are no longer separate departments or separate strategies. Success today is about sales and marketing alignment.
Think about this, while you have been reading this article, browsing the internet or dropping your kids off at school, your prospects have already started the selling process. That’s right, they have started without you.
Today’s buyers start deciding whom they are going to do business with before they ever talk to a sales professional. They search the internet, read google reviews, ask their friends and their family. In essence, today’s buyers have so much information at their finger tips, and in their sphere of influence that they make decisions before we ever call on them.
So if our name, if our product, if our company is not popping up, rolling off people’s tongues and standing out on google reviews then we have missed our opportunity. We are behind the eight ball, and we have made our chance to actually close the sale so much harder. Closing deals today is about understanding that to be effective marketing and sales needs to align.
4 Strategies To Sales and Marketing Alignment
- Create Ownership – if you want your marketing and sales teams to align, then you need it to be their idea not yours. There has always been some level of friction between marketing and sales, a natural rub. So if you want them to play on the same team and work together, then you need to engage them in the process. Leaders need to set the expectation, then ask the teams how it needs to happen. People support what they help create, and for marketing and sales to work together you need their support.
- Connect Goals – the fastest way to create collaboration and cooperation is to get your marketing and sales team focused in the same direction, and focused on the same things. Connecting the goals of these teams, tying their goals together is a sure-fire way to get these teams to open communication and begin to work together.
- Integrate The Strategy – take it one step-further and align your sales and marketing strategy. Once you have created ownership, gotten your sales and marketing teams engaged, then you are perfectly positioned to create an integrated strategy. A plan of action where the behaviors and actions of your sales team and marketing department are completely working together.
- Role Review – one of the reasons marketing and sales struggle to work together, is while they may work towards the same goal they go about it differently. They have different roles and responsibilities, and to fully integrate these teams they need a better understanding of how each contributes to the overall goal. Getting your sales team to walk a mile in the shoes of your marketing department and vice versa will go a long way to integrate your marketing and sales strategy.
The key to success in today’s highly competitive, and constantly shifting economy is to perfectly align your sales and marketing strategies.
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