How to align your Sales and Marketing teams

Sales and marketing alignment

Many companies today have sales and marketing teams working separately, as they are thought to have different goals. In their webinar, Sean Leonard, CEO of ActiveDEMAND, and Ben van Sprundel, Marketing Director of noCRM, go through the importance of Sales and Marketing alignment, to boost efficiency, and ultimately, increase company profits. 

noCRM works primarily with small businesses and sales teams with the aim of increasing sales. Unlike our competitors, noCRM offers an easy, affordable, and non-technical CRM to sales teams. We focus on simplicity and efficiency.

What are the problems with marketing and sales misalignment?

Misalignment is very common in companies – according to a study, nearly half of sales and marketing teams interviewed stated that they didn’t feel they were well aligned. 

In general, marketing teams are focused on getting the most leads, and sales work on converting the most leads possible into closed sales. This creates a dual challenge for the company, with little overlap.

The problem with this approach is that it becomes hard for sales to capitalize on all leads, as the sales team has a different priority than the marketing team. It leads to a loss of revenue and poorer customer experience, as the sales and marketing teams do not have a coherent approach.

Also, a misaligned approach means that both teams are wasting time and effort on leads that will not convert into closed sales.

The importance of sales and marketing alignment

With companies of over 200 employees, alignment is said to be their third-biggest priority. Companies that have focused on alignment, notably by having sales and marketing work within the same department, have on average 32% higher revenue, 36% higher customer retention rates, as well as 27% faster growth rates.

Company reputation is also improved with alignment, with a recorded higher brand awareness and higher average deal size.

These numbers show the vital importance of alignment, as it clearly improves profitability and reputation.

Why now?

Consumer habits are radically changing, and old sales techniques are becoming increasingly ineffective.

Online commerce is becoming the unchallenged norm, with a recorded 92% of buyers starting their journey with information search, rather than contact with a salesperson. Buyers also prefer an independent approach, with 53% thinking that their own research is better than talking to a salesperson.

Also, a staggering 90% of people won’t answer cold calls, pointing to the importance of shifting your sales and marketing approach.

With these changes, sales are becoming part of a larger marketing funnel, coming at the end of the process.

Alignment starts with people

The alignment will only be successful if the sales and marketing teams understand one another. Each team should be aware of what the other is doing, and the challenges that they are facing.

Some ways to encourage alignment are:

  • Meetings: managers from sales teams should have regular meetings to get on the same page.
  • Win/loss reviews: the sales team goes through their top 3 wins and losses with the marketing team, so that the latter can understand the sales team’s challenges and strengths. 
  • Buddy system: a salesperson is teamed up with someone from the marketing team, so that they can share problems and come up with a solution together.

All in all, it is fundamental to encourage a collaborative approach: sales and marketing should be measured as a joint project, in which each team is working towards a common goal.

Agree on a company’s buyer persona

When both teams are working together, they should be agreeing on a buyer persona, the imagined ideal client. 

The teams should define the buyer persona together and find the problem that their company would solve. By working together, the teams will be cohesive.

After a buyer persona has been developed, engaging with real-life customers will help refine the persona. After all, they might not have the problems your teams imagined they would.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

KPIs are usually measured separately for the marketing and sales team. KPIs should be measured together, however, as the ultimate goal of both teams is to make money for the company.

There should be a collaborative approach to generating revenue, in which it is the marketing’s role to make it easier for the sales team to sell to clients.

Importance of Data Loops

Collecting data remains fundamental in the marketing-to-sales funnel. There are three types of data available to your teams:

  • Research: speculative data, used to define buyer personas. After a buyer persona has been defined, your teams can conduct market research to improve their personas.
  • Behaviourial data: a study of consumer habits, observing people on ad platforms and social platforms.
  • Direct information: factual data, with direct contact with prospects (answering and asking questions), sales teams can collect the most reliable and up-to-date information.

All three forms of data should be connected, forming a data loop. Indeed, factual data should be used to improve buyer personas.

Aligning sales and marketing tools

In general, marketing can work to help the sales team. If the sales team has too many leads, marketing can add friction to fewer leads to the sales team. These leads will be more invested in the product, so will have a higher potential. If, on the other hand, the sales team doesn’t have enough leads, marketing will remove friction so that there are more leads.

The most important, then, is a flexible and collaborative approach between marketing and sales. 

Once the sales and marketing teams are working together, their tools can be used to further increase collaboration. Often, sales are not great with technical software, whereas marketing teams are. 

Accelerating buyer journeys – ActiveDEMAND and noCRM

In collaboration, ActiveDEMAND and noCRM serve to accelerate consumers down the marketing funnel. ActiveDEMAND is used by marketing teams on people to accelerate their buyer journeys. ActiveDEMAND and noCRM help the two teams work together.

What is ActiveDEMAND?

ActiveDEMAND is a full-stack marketing platform that tracks buyer journeys in real-time. Using a webinar as an example, here’s how the software works:

  1. Marketing engagement: from different platforms (emails, social media etc.) people will arrive on ActiveDEMAND’s landing page for the webinar.
  2. Registration: people will register for the webinar, taking them to a confirmation page.
  3. If the member does not already have an account, ActiveDEMAND will offer them to sign up.
  4. Reminders: leading up to the webinar, ActiveDEMAND has an automated system of reminders.
  5. Webinar: for those who do attend, ActiveDEMAND offers people to take surveys, for example.

ActiveDEMAND focuses on marketing automation, seeking to reduce labor when creating promotions. At each step in the automated process, ActiveDEMAND can see the status of a user in real-time

The software thus offers a clear overview of a buyer’s journey. 

Integration of ActiveDEMAND with noCRM

ActiveDEMAND’s workflow is then connected to sales. For example, if someone has attended a webinar, sales will come in contact with them. 

The salesperson uses noCRM’s platform for this. This software is especially good for salespeople. as it is easy to use and requires little technical prowess.

ActiveDEMAND is integrated in noCRM, with insights on active sales. The integration tells a salesperson if a buyer is active on a website, and lists their search history on the website. 

Moreover, past calls of a buyer are logged by ActiveDEMAND, which a salesperson can easily access on noCRM’s platform. ActiveDEMAND can thus be used to help sales set up meetings with prospects.

This integration offers an easy way for marketing to give data to sales. It also gives an option for marketing to help sales set up meetings.

Marketing alignment focuses on a collaborative approach between marketing and sales to improve efficiency and boost business. Firstly, on a human level, marketing and sales need to be working together towards a common goal, so that they are aware of the challenges each team is facing. Secondly, ActiveDEMAND and noCRM have software to increase alignment.

Watch our full webinar on sales and marketing alignment

Frequently asked questions

Does the sales team work alone?

No, sales are increasingly becoming a part of a larger marketing process.

What is sales and marketing alignment?

Alignment is the push for collaborative work between sales and marketing, to increase efficiency and revenue.

What is ActiveDEMAND?

A fullstack marketing platform that tracks buyer journeys in real time in the aim of accelerating the buyer journey.