Sales & Marketing Alignment: Strategy vs. Tactics
If there is anyone who hasn't weighed in by now on the concept of sales and marketing alignment, it's hard to imagine who it could be.
Getting everyone on the same page, in the same boat, on the same planet, holding hands and having a beer together, is, apparently, a goal upon which we all agree and a topic that generates no end of strategies for how to reach it.
Can there possibly be anything left to say? If not, then why isn't your sales & marketing aligned?
The idea of sales and marketing professionals locked in endless disagreement over how to grow a business seems a little dated at this point. We can't really talk anymore about how one pursues results that are easily measured while the other operates in a cloud of theory. The cloud is our second office now and the metrics of modern B2B marketing are as nailed down as any sales quota. Technology has also brought crossover in our interactions with customers, who are likely to engage with our digital marketing long before their first encounter with a sales representative.
However, we hear a lot how salespeople are still cold-calling, sending out their own email campaigns and so embarrassed by their website that they don't want prospects to look at it. What is marketing doing?
Built-in Sales & Marketing Alignment
If it was ever really unclear that a company's sales and marketing forces ought to be working from the same playbook, the digital world has surely made it as obvious as the internet in your pocket.
At Innovaxis, sales and marketing alignment is built into what we do. We start every relationship with an assessment of what's working and what's not. We don't have a 10-point plan for synchronizing our efforts with those of the sales team. It's in the blueprint for everything we do for our B2B clients, from conducting our own market research to plotting the direction of a content marketing campaign to scrutinizing layers of analytics for insights into the customer decision-making path.
We're deep into using data to bring customers to the table and to start a conversation that the sales team can drive to conversion – and 10 to 20% sales growth. But it would be foolish to go into such a conversation without a thorough understanding of what those in the field believe is driving sales – or holding them back. It's more than just additional insight.
When true alignment is built into the process, each success makes a path for the next one. At the same time, our market research can reveal new paths, as well as blind spots and obstacles. It ensures that both sales and marketing strategies are grounded in the reality of what the customer wants and needs. It gives our efforts the focus and credibility that drives results for our clients and helps their sales teams reach their full potential.