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.

3 Ways Internal Sales Teams & External Marketing Agencies Can Thrive Together

office working
Marketing should exist to be a strategic asset for business development. That includes equipping the sales team with the information and tools they need to be successful. But, creating the kind of collaboration that’s necessary for a thriving partnership isn’t always easy—especially between an outside marketing agency and an internal sales team. Oftentimes, a marketing agency works directly with one person on projects, either a business development leader or a marketing manager. Most of the work that’s being done by the agency isn’t directly connected to the day-to-day activities of the sales team. As a result, the sales team often wonders what the marketing agency is doing…and the marketing agency is wondering why the sales team isn’t taking advantage of all the work they’re doing. How Internal Sales Teams & External Marketing Agencies Can Thrive Together So, how do you create a type of culture where an external marketing agency can thrive with your entire sales team? Here are a few keys I’ve learned over the past few years…
  1. Make Sure Your Sales Team Feels Supported by the Work the Agency is Doing
Having a partnership where your sales team knows and trusts your marketing agency is key to an effective partnership. When sales and marketing agencies work together, there’s a certain amount of marketing that needs to be done for reps within the organization. While most marketing agencies work on specific projects or marketing campaigns, one way they can provide value to the sales team is by doing all of the heavy lifting for the “marketing work” that sales reps should do. This includes getting your agency to help with things like email scripts, sample social media content, and buyer personas that your sales team can use to be more effective and efficient.  
  1. Find Ways to Keep the Communication Lines Flowing
It’s critical for a marketing agency to communicate on a regular basis with relevant, important information that can help sales with customers and potential deals. Find ways for your sales team to connect with your marketing agency, whether it’s setting up monthly or quarterly meetings, weekly phone calls, etc. This provides an opportunity for your marketing agency to make sure sales is aware of all the activity that’s going on. It also provides your marketing agency with an opportunity to identify the biggest obstacles your sales team is facing so they can help create solutions for them.
  1. Inspire Both Teams with Success Stories
Celebration is another important key to collaboration. Highlight the success your sales team is having with your marketing agency. Let your sales team know about the projects and key learnings your marketing agency has discovered through their work. Finding times to celebrate the collaborative wins between your external agency and the internal sales team is key to ensuring the two teams are locking arms rather than pointing fingers.