Often, companies miss their number because Marketing and Sales are not aligned. As a Marketing leader are you aligned with your sales counterparts? Are you driving towards the same goals?

Misalignment between Marketing and Sales is most often one of the main reason’s companies miss the number. As a Marketing leader ask yourself the following two questions:

 

  1. Did the company hit its number last year?
  2. How aligned are you to sales?

     

Download the Sales and Marketing Alignment Tool to leverage a simple checklist to evaluate if you are aligned with your sales counterparts, a scoring system to assess next steps based on your responses, and simple questions that you should be asking of you and your sales counterparts.

 

Are You Working With or Against Sales?

 

If you answered no to the first question. The answer to the second question is most likely the same, no. You are not alone in answering no to these questions. Misalignment between Marketing and Sales has been and continues to be a significant challenge for many businesses. The answer to start fixing this problem is not rocket science. It is two simple things, that are very challenging to execute.

 

  • The First: Alignment and clarity on how to support one another
  • The Second: Open communication and feedback

     

     

Alignment and Clarity on How to Support One Another

 

The practices that you have in place are only as good as the alignment you have with sales and the rest of the business. You can have world class practices and teams in place to drive things such as: lead gen, ABM, field marketing, etc. but if they are not aligned to support sales. You are working against the business and not with it. How would you answer the following questions?

 

  1. Do I know what attributes the sales organization prefers in leads?
  2. What accounts are the sales teams focusing on?
  3. What are the attributes and characteristics of these accounts?
  4. How often does sales use marketing provided tools?
  5. Are the tools I’m providing addressing the needs of the sales team?
  6. Have you asked sales what they think about the tools you provide them?
  7. Do I know what the sales team is focusing on this quarter or this year?
  8. What are their KPI’s and objectives?

     

Often, we as marketing leaders think we know the answers to these questions. We tell ourselves we are aligned with sales. We are giving sales what they need. Sales is just not executing on it. However, if we take a step back from the daily grind and be honest with ourselves. We may not be as aligned as what we think.

 

Exercise Recommendation: Schedule a one-hour meeting with your sales counterpart. Write the above questions on a whiteboard. Spend 15 minutes answering them from your perspective. Then have your sales counterpart spend 15 minutes answering them from their perspective. The last 30 minutes should be spent on discussing the differences. There will be differences.

 

   

Open Communication and Feedback

 

We are in meetings with our sales counterparts weekly. We talk strategy with them. This is what marketing is focusing on. This is what sales is focusing on. This is what the company is focusing on. This is how we are each playing our part, etc. The conversations very rarely get into how we execute together. It never gets below 10,000 feet.

 

Ask yourself the following questions:

 

  1. How often do I talk execution with my sales leader counterpart?
  2. How often does sales ask for my help?
  3. Do my sales counterparts provide feedback on the tools or leads I provide them?
  4. Do I ask for sales input before I execute different initiatives?
  5. At any time can a sales rep or manager share feedback with marketing managers?

     

The communication we have with sales should be execution focused. How do we help execute together to drive growth? The recommended exercise above is a perfect example of how we should be communicating with our sales counterparts. The exercise gets below 10,000 feet and will help drive alignment on executing together. These kinds of execution discussions should be happening monthly if not bi-weekly.

 

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To learn how effective your current marketing strategy is, and where you may need to focus more attention, click here to take SBI’s Revenue Growth Diagnostic. This self-assessment helps CMOs:

 

  1. Understand the strength of their current brand strategy
  2. Determine whether they are communicating with the right buyers through the right channels
  3. Facilitate discussions with the Executive Leadership team on the importance and value of creating a strong compelling brand and message

     

Download the Sales and Marketing Alignment Tool to leverage a simple checklist to evaluate if you are aligned with your sales counterparts, a scoring system to assess next steps based on your responses, and simple questions that you should be asking of you and your sales counterparts.

 

 

Additional Resources

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kyle Bushey

Helping clients understand customer trends and insights that maximize revenue growth.

Kyle’s diverse background in sales, finance and entrepreneurship position him to understand the challenges that senior management face. His experience in account management, product launch and finance, allow him to provide strategic and tactical support across multiple levels and functions within an organization. Wile educated and trained in finance, Kyle spent multiple years in field sales and account management learning first hand how to hit his number. This deep understanding of sales and finance combined with SBI’s Revenue Growth Methodology brings immediate value to clients.

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