3 Ways to Improve Sales & Marketing Alignment

back seat passenger in a car looking out at the road and scenic dessert views with blue sky

Getting sales and marketing on the same page isn’t easy. It takes
buy-in from both teams and a lot of work to get marketing and development leaders on the same page. It requires investment and direction from senior leadership.  

But, what happens after you’ve laid the initial groundwork to create that alignment? How do ensure that all the hard work you’ve done until this point isn’t completely abandoned a year from now?

How to Continually Improve Sales & Marketing Alignment

When it comes to maintaining sales and marketing alignment, the biggest factor is communication. Both teams must make sure they are communicating with and enabling the other to do their jobs.

What does this look like in real time? Here are a few tips:

  • Understand the communication preferences of the other person. This sounds really simple, but it’s one of the most important keys for effective communication. If marketing is going to equip sales with real-time updates of who is on your website, make sure the information is presented in ways that are easy to understand and act upon. If you’re going to share time-sensitive information with your sales team, make sure it’s through a channel they check frequently.
  • Have a one-stop shop for all marketing information and sales tools. Creating a single document or microsite that your sales team can use to access sales tools and stay informed about marketing campaigns is another key. You want to make sure you showcase the information in places where sales can easily access it in their cars before a meeting.
  • Determine the right cadence for regular updates. How often should your sales teams be informed with marketing insights? How often should sales teams download what they’re learning to marketing teams? Finding the right cadence to address these questions is important. It could be a weekly stand-up meeting or bi-weekly email that prioritizes what campaigns sales should focus on.

Alignment between sales and marketing is like a road trip caravan. Both teams should stay in their individual cars but constantly stay connected about the directions they’re heading. The two-way communication between marketing and sales teams ensures you’re doing everything that you can to make sure both teams reach the intended destination.

How to Align Sales & Marketing in Just 30 Minutes a Week

Let’s face it: Aligning your sales and marketing teams isn’t easy. For many businesses, there are big obstacles to overcome—from
breaking down the silos between the two departments to getting everyone to agree on the ideal customer for your business.

While business leaders understand the importance of marketing and sales alignment, most businesses can’t stop everything they’re doing to make sure marketing and sales are on the same page. Leaders are left asking, “How do we improve marketing and sales alignment as we go?”

How to Align Marketing & Sales in Just 30 Minutes a Week

One solution I often recommend is to establish a weekly 30-minute standing meeting between key stakeholders. These stand-up meetings don’t have to be complicated. In fact, each meeting agenda can be built by addressing three simple questions:

  • What progress have we made since the last meeting?
    • What insights can sales team members provide that are valuable for the marketing team?
    • What is the marketing team working on that would be helpful for sales team members to know?
  • What is the plan going forward?
    • Are you gaining traction on sales conversations? What can the marketing team do to support those conversations?
    • What parts of your strategy need to be tweaked? What new ideas should you consider implementing?
  • Blockages
    • What information do you need from the other team to do your job well?
    • Where are you getting stuck? What potential problems do you see?

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to spend time focusing on what matters the most for your business. If you have a major event coming up, you could focus the stand-up meeting on how you’ll set up meetings at the show. It’s OK to be flexible on the topics covered, as long as everyone has a clear sense of next steps.

Sales and marketing stand-up meetings are one of the most important things a company can do to create alignment and foster face-to-face collaboration between the two teams. Don’t let it become a simple review of the existing marketing programs and schedule. Instead, use the time to collaborate and problem-solve together.