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Puppies and parks.
Beach days and ice cream.
just a few things obviously Go together – But what if I put sales and marketing on that list together? Do you still think they worked better as a pair?
More likely, you haven't considered your sales and marketing to be the “peanut butter and jelly” of your company. But sales and marketing alignment is more important than you think.
As Taina Palombo-Price, global product marketing leader at LinkedIn, says, “What marketing does is prepare the sales organization to do the part of the job that is theirs. You can’t do one without the other.”
Here, let's explore Palombo-Price's tips for developing stronger sales and marketing alignment for your organization in 2024.
But first – why does sales and marketing alignment matter, anyway?
Simply put, sales and marketing alignment matters, because while it may seem like they are two separate organizations focusing on different goals, both teams are looking to go into the same market for your business. Comes under the speed of.
“You're still a team, even if you're under two leaders, because you're moving toward the same goal — or you should be,” Taina Palombo-Price told me.
Nowadays, buyers expect a cohesive, seamless buyer experience – which is an impossible feat if your sales and marketing teams aren't aligned.
Additionally, strong sales and marketing alignment is critical to your business's profits. In fact, sales professionals who say they are engaged with their marketing team are 106% more likely to say they are outperforming their sales goals this year.
But developing sales and marketing alignment – or creating a stronger, more cohesive process in 2024 – may be difficult to achieve. Now let's look at some tips from Palombo-Price.
How to Create Strong Sales and Marketing Alignment, According to LinkedIn's Global Product Marketing Leader
1. Create goals that your sales and marketing teams can share.
Often, marketing teams are targeted at top-of-the-funnel metrics like traffic, leads, or brand awareness. But their work usually ends after generating a new contact or lead for sales.
On the other hand, the goal of sales is to close deals and increase revenue.
Palombo-Price told me that this separation of goals is often one of the biggest obstacles to successful alignment between teams.
“If KPIs are disaggregated rather than integrated, it means people are working to meet the goals for which they get their pay. But the places where I’ve seen sales and marketing alignment work most effectively is when those goals are tied together and teams are looking at revenue metrics together in both sales and marketing,” she. She says.
“And then you start to think about it as a funnel that's actually connected, versus a set of disparate tasks that drive a set of KPIs,” says Palombo-Price.
To facilitate strong alignment, it is important as a business leader that you take the time to align both organizations under a common metric such as revenue. Each organization may set different KPIs under that one metric, but by linking each KPI to a unified goal, both teams can begin to speak the same language when it comes to alignment and performance.
2. Ask your marketing and sales team to create a buyer persona.
Your marketers have a keen pulse on the consumer – they've done extensive research, they've connected with prospects via social media and email, and they've conducted focus groups.
But, more than likely, your marketers haven't spoken directly to these prospects. They may not fully understand your prospects' biggest pain points, or the challenges they currently face with your product or service. can't solve. These insights can only be obtained from your sales team.
Ultimately, to get a complete picture of your consumer, it's important that each team helps create buyer personas. For example, perhaps your marketing team creates an initial buyer persona through research and brainstorming sessions – but then you gather input from salespeople to revise and refine that persona.
Getting initial input from salespeople, as well as asking for final approval on buyer personas, is important to ensure each team is working together with the same consumer in mind.
3. Make sure marketers know which Type How many leads do sales reps require in any given quarter?
I'll admit – as a marketer, I never imagined that sales reps might be looking for different types of leads in any given quarter based on their current pipeline.
But it is understandable.
As Palombo-Price explains, “Sales teams don’t always need the same kind of targeted accuracy in conversations that they want. If their pipeline is full, they are doing a lot of high-level negotiations and have limited need to close big deals in the year. They only want to talk to the buyer who is deep in the market – who is ready to buy something. And so their limits are very different than in the moment where you're trying to expand and grow.”
She adds, “It's all about the right type of leads at the right time and at the right velocity.”
Which leads me to my next point and solution to this challenge – regular check-ins between sales and marketing.
4. Set up regular check-ins between BDR/SDR and marketing teams.
One of the most important roles when it comes to sales and marketing alignment is the BDR (Business Development Representative) or SDR (Sales Development Representative).
BDR/SDRs focus solely on prospecting and qualifying leads, and pushing them further down the sales funnel – which is why they are a vital part of sales and marketing alignment.
Palombo-Price told me she encourages bi-weekly or monthly check-ins between the BDR/SDR and whoever handles lead generation on the marketing side.
As she says, “It's important to go into a room and look at, 'What is driving marketing?'” How does it go through the stages of the funnel? How does it work against lead scoring and that ideal persona from which to make sales? Want to talk?”
She encourages both sales and marketing teams to sit together and constantly monitor how their lead scoring strategy is going in terms of qualifying leads for sales, and how they can continue to refine it.
5. Use those check-ins as an opportunity to educate both parties.
Once you've organized a bi-weekly or monthly check-in between sales and marketing, you'll want to make sure both parties are open-minded and eager to learn from the other. If each team plans to blame the other if there are unqualified leads or things don't translate into a closed deal, these meetings will quickly turn sour.
As Palombo-Price says, “Instead of just saying, 'These leads are all garbage,' come to the table and say, 'Hey, we had 15 conversations this week, and six of them were completely off target. ' And then watch it together.
She adds, “Because if you're not educated both ways, marketing can't target better. And sales is assuming that the ideal customer profile (ICP) they are pursuing will always be correct. But we know that group buy-in makes change.”
Ultimately, there should be a joint evaluation in which both teams are willing to examine the aspects of the process that are successful – and the aspects that are not.
6. Leave the tasks at the door.
When I asked Palombo-Price what the number one tip she would give to any business leader in terms of sales and marketing alignment, her advice was simple: Leave the tasks at the door.
“It’s a funnel,” she says. It's not really two teams – it's one team in a business that is trying to sell a product or service. And I think those lines of demarcation make it really challenging to see how early-day brand work impacts close rates for salespeople.
She adds, “The intention is to help some of them get through the lines so that the impact of the work can be seen on both sides. This is our solution. There are a number of ways that you can do this by looking at spreadsheets together in a way that drives that alignment so that you start following those concepts before you even think about how you can take advantage of those functionalities. Will pick up.
7. Track every interaction your customer has with your company.
Nowadays, this is one of the most important strategies that you need to implement. This eliminates friction for the customer, and it also helps your sales reps close more deals.
For example, consider if you're talking to a sales representative for the first time and they already know where you work, how long you've been there, what email newsletters you subscribe to, And how would you feel if you networked with which company? Events you participated in. If you talk to a sales rep who has never heard of you before, you'll be more impressed, right?
It's important that you find a way to keep track of every interaction your customer has with your company – a CRM is incredibly useful for this. You might also want to check out HubSpot's CRM integration with LinkedIn, which enables LinkedIn Sales Navigator to match leads and account data from LinkedIn with Contacts and Companies objects in HubSpot. (This integration is in beta right now, but you can sign up to receive updates on its launch date.)
Ultimately, understanding the entire end-to-end buyer's journey – and which aspects should be owned by marketing, and which by sales – and creating a culture that encourages transparent and clear communication between sales and marketing. is, will be critical to your organization's success in 2024. and beyond.