For many sales leaders Sales and Marketing Alignment might look like a tall order that may have marginal impact on the business. We, however, have an overwhelming amount of data that suggest that alignment is one of the effective strategies in impacting revenue growth.
In a previous post I shared a study that showed us that aligned business showed significant improvement on 6 key business metrics:
- Growth in number of qualified leads
- Increase in lead conversation rates
- Growth in new account acquisition
- Growth in customer retention rates
- Growth in average account billing size (Increase in order size)
- Revenue growth
Even with a forward-thinking sales executive, the question still remains - what should I be asking from my marketing colleagues as we move toward alignment. In any organization if you want salespeople to make a significant change in their behavior you are going to have to sell them on how it is going to help them sell more effectively. Thus, the sales leader must be able to clearly articulate exactly how completing alignment activities will help them achieve quota.
What the CMO CAN bring to the table
In a March 2015 study authored by Laura Ramos at Forrester Research, B2B CMOs where asked what was the most important thing they could do to help sales succeed. I think this is a really poignant question as it helps sales executives know what exactly marketing can offer them and empowers them to explore how their marketing teams can offer the same benefits. The top five based on the study were as follows:
- Increase the productivity of customer/opportunity acquisition.
- Target the right accounts and help sales pursue them.
- Develop the right content to increase brand awareness
- Supply sales with tools to frame conversations in customers terms
- Bring customers together to explore topics and educate them.
Get your wishlist together
This list can be a starting point for a sales leader as he/she evaluates the proposal of aligning with marketing. Even with an overwhelming amount of evidence of the benefits of better alignment, leaders must still keep in mind that part of their job will be changing the hearts and minds of many who have a done it a certain way for a long time. If we focus on the opportunity of alignment we can more easily get our colleagues on board and motivate them to want to collaborate with each other.