Create a Sales & Marketing Strategy That Works

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Understanding Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment, it's the business version of summer beach days and your toes in the sand. It's one of those things that simply does better when working together.

And in today's rapidly moving business environment, it has become imperative for sales and marketing teams to function efficiently and harmoniously. The age of working in isolation is long gone (bye-bye silos), and it is no longer productive as an approach. Companies must foster collaboration and cooperation between these crucial departments to stay competitive and boost profits. This blog post delves into the advantages of aligning sales and marketing and provides practical suggestions for creating a robust partnership that drives business success.

Marketing plays a crucial role in enabling the sales team to achieve business success. By aligning their efforts and working together, marketing can provide valuable support and resources to the sales team, and a shared CRM and CMS will help you do that.

Clear communication and analytics reporting are essential in this collaboration, ensuring that both teams are on the same page and working towards shared goals and visibility.

Marketing can provide sales with consistent messaging and a unified brand experience, which enhances the customer experience and builds trust. Additionally, marketing can optimize lead generation and conversion rates, empowering the sales team to target the right audience and close deals more efficiently.

By fostering strong communication channels, defining shared goals and metrics, developing buyer personas, implementing a closed-loop feedback system, and encouraging joint campaign planning, marketing can enable the sales team to drive revenue growth. This ongoing journey of sales and marketing alignment requires continuous learning and improvement, as well as embracing technology and data integration. With the right strategies in place, marketing can empower the sales team to achieve their goals and contribute to the overall success of the business.

Defining Sales and Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment refers to the close collaboration and synchronization of efforts between the sales and marketing teams to achieve common business goals. HubSpot calls this "smarketing". A successful partnership requires the following:

  • Clear communication
  • Shared and complimentary goals
  • Streamlined processes
  • Thorough understanding of each team member's role and responsibilities

Ultimately, both teams are working toward the same goal: revenue growth

The Importance of Cross-Functional Alignment

Enhanced Efficiency: Sales and marketing alignment eliminates redundancy, reduces wasted efforts, and effectively allocates resources. It streamlines the customer journey, providing a seamless experience and accelerating the sales cycle.

Improved Customer Experience: When sales and marketing teams align, they can deliver consistent messaging and a unified brand experience across all touchpoints. This cohesive approach builds trust, enhances customer satisfaction, and increases loyalty.

Increased Revenue Generation: By aligning sales and marketing efforts, organizations can optimize lead generation, conversion rates, and customer retention. This alignment empowers teams to target the right audience, nurture prospects effectively, and close deals more efficiently.

According to Gartner research, sales and marketing teams working together to support one another are "three times MORE likely to exceed customer acquisition goals."

With economic concerns top of mind and slowed growth across many industries in the last year or so, sales and marketing leaders invest more in ensuring they can work collaboratively to drive business outcomes. But, sometimes, only some people invited to the table want to be at the table, so how do you persuade and drive change?

Strategies for Developing Sales and Marketing Alignment

Foster Strong Communication Channels

Open and regular communication is the foundation of successful sales and marketing alignment. Establish shared communication platforms, such as weekly meetings, shared project management tools, and collaborative documentation. Encourage feedback, brainstorming, and idea sharing to foster a culture of collaboration.

Define Shared Goals and Metrics

To measure success, aligning sales and marketing requires establishing shared objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). Develop a service level agreement (SLA) that outlines lead definitions, targets, and expected outcomes. Regularly review and refine these metrics to ensure they continue to align with business objectives.

You might be wondering about how to develop an SLA with shared KPIs. With a few details, it can be relatively easy to put together:

  1. What is the company revenue goal?
  2. How many sales and what type of sales are needed to achieve that goal?
  3. What are your conversion rates for each stage of the buyer's journey?

Then, calculate the number of sales (Closed-Won Deals) needed to meet the revenue goal, the number of high-quality leads, and then marketing's KPI will be the total revenue for that number of leads.

Pro tip: Don't focus on perfection when it comes to KPIs. It's not meant to be — you'll be meeting regularly to optimize and discuss learnings, and over time, it will improve.


Develop Buyer Personas and Ideal Customer Profiles

Collaborate on creating comprehensive buyer personas and ideal customer profiles encompassing sales and marketing perspectives, using your knowledge and verifiable data and research. 

HubSpot defines the Buyer Persona as your semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers based on data and research. This shared understanding enables both teams to tailor their strategies, messaging, and campaigns to resonate with target audiences effectively. It makes sense to make some assumptions about your personas if you already understand who they are and know a bit about their demographic and psychographic information.

But, making many assumptions about your Ideal Client Profile is not recommended. You'll want to research a few things as you build this out:

  • Industry
  • Company Size
  • Annual Revenue
  • Geography
  • Limitations


Implement a Closed-Loop Feedback System

Create a closed-loop feedback system that allows sales and marketing teams to share insights and data. A few ways to do that are:

  • Automated systems and CRM data
  • Round-table discussions
  • Closed-lost customer surveys

With automation, you can make creating and maintaining a feedback loop simpler. As long as the joint team has shared definitions of lifecycle stages, lead statuses, unqualified and closed-lost reasons, and a well-planned and consistent sales pipeline, it will be easy to create a feedback loop.

Sales can provide valuable feedback on lead quality, customer pain points, and objections, while marketing can use this information to refine messaging, content, and lead generation strategies.

Marketing can learn from the data that sales inputs on the contact record with reporting and analytics, plus those round table discussions. The team could also regularly modify their lead scoring based on the feedback.

Regular feedback sessions and joint reviews help identify areas for improvement and drive continuous growth. Some companies create a judicial branch, usually made up of cross-functional leadership, to manage this collaborative work.

The result? A sales team hitting their goals, a marketing team hitting theirs, and stakeholders happy with revenue goals achieved.

Encourage Joint Campaign Planning

Involve both sales and marketing teams in the planning and execution of campaigns. It may be too much to have the whole team but bring together a few of your most successful sales team members with your marketing team members responsible for implementation. This collaborative approach ensures that marketing materials align with the sales team's needs and resonate with the target audience. Regularly review campaign performance and adjust strategies as necessary.

Overcoming Challenges in Sales and Marketing Alignment

Bridging the Gap between Departments

Break down barriers and foster a sense of shared purpose between sales and marketing teams. Encourage cross-departmental meetings, joint training sessions, and team-building activities to promote mutual understanding and create a collaborative atmosphere.

Embrace Technology and Data Integration

Utilize technology solutions, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and marketing automation tools, to facilitate data sharing and streamline processes. Integrating data and analytics from both teams provides valuable insights for informed decision-making and performance evaluation.

There are tools within your CRM and CMS that can help make sure your teams are delivering timely and consistent messaging that we KNOW (from data) is effective. The HubSpot Sales Plugin lets you include — quickly and easily:

  • Templates (emails with personalization and placeholders for quick email sends)
  • Snippets (Commonly used phrases or data points) that you can insert in an email
  • Meetings links

Are you looking for a good CRM to support marketing and sales? We can help. Complete this form to schedule your inquiry.

Continuous Learning and Improvement

Encourage a growth mindset within sales and marketing teams. Encourage ongoing education, training, and professional development opportunities to keep up with industry trends and emerging best practices. Invest in workshops or external resources that promote alignment and collaboration skills. HubSpot's Academy is incredibly valuable for learning the tool and the skills needed (plus, you don't have to be a HubSpot user or account owner to access it).

Enjoy Revenue Growth with Sales & Marketing Alignment

Sales and marketing alignment is not a one-time effort but an ongoing journey. Organizations can unlock the full potential of their sales and marketing functions by prioritizing collaboration, communication, and shared goals.

The benefits are clear: increased efficiency, improved customer experience, and enhanced revenue generation. 

By implementing the strategies outlined in this blog post and overcoming common challenges, businesses can build a strong foundation for sales and marketing alignment, leading to sustainable growth and long-term success.

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