4 Steps for Successfully Aligning Sales and Marketing

John Bonini

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4 Steps for Successfully Aligning Sales and Marketing Blog Feature

Published on February 19th, 2013

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4 Steps for Successfully Aligning Sales and MarketingThe following is an excerpt from IMPACT's ebook, "26 Ways to Generate More Inbound Customers in 2013." For more expert tips on strengthening your overall campaign, be sure to check out the full ebook.

One of the following two scenarios has become all to common among many businesses:

  1. The sales team is frustrated due to the large number of unqualified leads they're calling. Isn't marketing doing their job attracting the right people?

  2. The marketing team is frustrated because they're generating a lot of leads, yet sales doesn't seem to be closing many. Isn't sales doing their job?

Watching sales and marketing interact can be likened to the cartoon Tom & Jerry...they're always chasing each other around. This is good for no one, and it's a massive waste of time for everyone.

More than anyone else, sales and marketing need to be on the same page. It's imperative. Together, they should be defining what a qualified lead is for the company so that marketing can more effectively market to them, and sales has a more qualified pool of prospects to work with.

According to a HubSpot study, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment grew their annual revenue by 20% in 2010.

Aligning your sales and marketing teams is paramount in your ability to generate more high-quality, sales-ready leads.

Aligning Sales and Marketing in Four Steps:

  1. Set up closed-loop reporting – All of your marketing initiatives have a cost. Each blog post, ebook, and page your eventual customers visit had a cost to produce. In order to ensure you’re executing a profitable campaign, it’s critical to identify your cost-per lead in order to more effectively allocate your resources.

  2. Define quality lead – In order for the sales team to close more sales, they need more qualified leads. In order for marketing to create the content necessary to generate qualified leads, they need to know what these leads are interested in. Both teams should be involved in the definition of qualified leads and your company buyer personas.

  3. Define levels of your sales funnel – It’s important for both the marketing and sales teams to fully understand the levels of the company sales funnel, and the marketing and sales initiatives that should follow.

  4. Implement lead scoring – Your sales team should be marking all leads as either qualified, or unqualified in a CRM like Salesforce. Doing so gives the entire sales team an agenda moving forward on what leads to move on.

Ensuring sales and marketing alignment will give your marketing team a more targeted direction and deliver more high-quality leads to your sales team. After all, the last thing you want is your sales team wasting their time on the phone with unqualified leads.

Says Peter Caputa, Director of Channel Sales and Marketing at HubSpot:

“The key step to generating qualified leads is to fully define your buyer personas,” says Caputa. “Then, create content that will resonate with them at each step of their buying process. If you find that you’re unable to connect 1:1 with your leads at the right rate, leads unsubscribe from your email lists at a high rate, or you’re always attracting a low level influencer, you’re not creating the right content. Step back, define personas and map your content and editorial calendar to the personas and their buying stages.”

Continue reading the full ebook...

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