Your top e-commerce agencies understand that, when it comes to increasing your return on investment (ROI), the sales and marketing teams need to be working together to drive leads and enhance the customer experience. There are so many risks facing any organisation that siloes these functions – but so many benefits for companies that have implemented such alignment from the get-go.
How do sales and marketing differ?
Both sales and marketing are business-enhancing functions that seek to attract new customers, build relations and then boost profits.
- Sales: These are all activities focused on selling your business solution.
- Marketing: This is all the activities focused on getting people interested in the first place.
What can you do to align sales and marketing?
It’s time for businesses to stop looking at sales and marketing as separate functions, or worse – sales vs marketing. The two have to work in sync to effectively direct the customers from a point of interest through to the point of sale. Here’s a look at how this can be achieved.
Streamline the customer experience
The most effective companies are those in which all the departments work together to achieve the ultimate goal – securing a sale. This requires the sales and marketing teams to be on the same page with regard to brand messaging and securing brand loyalty from start to finish. One way to achieve this streamlined experience is the use of customer relationship management (CRM) software. This aligns sales and marketing by providing a complete overview of the customer and bridging any gaps.
Uniform performance indicators
Your sales and marketing teams need to be assessed using the same key performance indicators (KPIs) so that they’re working in sync. Traditionally, a sales team would be assessed according to the number of new accounts, contract renewals or new deals. Conversely, marketing teams are assessed by the level of brand awareness and lead quantity. To improve the synergy of operations, your sales and marketing team need to collaborate on metrics that align with their vision.
Create Service Level Agreements
You don’t want to cause any friction. But sometimes a contractual obligation between the various teams is needed to ensure everyone remains focused on achieving their KPIs. A service level agreement (SLA) basically outlines the responsibilities of each department with checks and balances in place for better accountability.
Consistency in marketing messages
You need to decide on a single channel of communication so that there is no unintended miscommunication between the sales and marketing departments. Whether it’s a communication software, email or other, a centralised communication system makes for much more consistency in the marketing message. You can’t have a situation where sales and marketing are using different terminology. This will just confuse the customer and drive them away. Alignment in your marketing messages allows for alignment in sales.
Know your customer profile
Another key area of alignment in terms of sales and marketing is actually understanding who the target audience is. This requires the two teams to sit together and discuss the ideal customer persona; what they are looking for, and the challenges in trying to reach these individuals. It can often be a case of convincing the sales team that the customer persona is important. It’s not just a case of targeting anyone with cash, as this is a significant waste of time, resources and energy. Once the customer profile has been established, sales and marketing can align their approach to targeting and dealing with the customer.
Listen to the customers
The Voice of the Customer (VoC) data is all the information related to customer research, feedback and other customer-related information which can be gathered through effective business intelligence or CRM software. The sales and marketing team can align their roles by working through this VoC data to decide what it is that customers actually want, rather than trying to force a product or service on them.
Risks of not aligning sales and marketing?
You still might not feel that aligning sales and marketing is that important, but it will be to your brand’s detriment in the long run. A cohesive workforce is more productive and more successful. On the other hand, a fractured workforce is highly risky.
Leads not pursued
Where sales and marketing aren’t aligned, you risk losing out on valuable leads. The marketing team is tasked with generating leads. If these aren’t being pursued quickly by the sales team, though, then you’re losing out on massive opportunities for conversion.
Marketing teams require momentum to keep interest in product launches and campaigns. However, if buyers aren’t biting, then they need to work with the sales team and find out why. This allows them to adapt the strategy and secure those sales.
No strong indication of ROI
Marketing and sales teams need to prove their worth by demonstrating ROI. But this can’t be done without sales and marketing alignment. A cohesive organisation boosts profits and can clearly indicate ROI through each step of the process.