How Can an Inbound Marketing Company Help with Sales and Marketing Alignment
Historically, there?s always been a sort of sibling rivalry between sales and marketing. Today, as business has shifted towards the inbound marketing company model, this rivalry has grown and?if left unchecked can act like a weight on your business, slowing growth and impacting morale.?The problem lies in the mistrust between your teams. Sales thinks marketing is not producing enough high quality leads, while marketing believes sales is not working those leads diligently enough.
The lubricant for sales and marketing friction lies in alignment. Creating alignment requires a strategy that treats both teams as a single revenue-generating department. The key to alignment success relies on hard data, open communication, and defining key points in your process.? Then creating?a clear outline for each teams expected performance.
Moving Toward Alignment
The first step to alignment is opening the lines of communication and encouraging data sharing. Today, it?s possible to monitor data streams in near real-time. You can see where leads are generated, how they move through your website and lead funnel and where they convert.
By using a marketing automation package with a customer relation management (CRM) component (HubSpot has a great package!) both teams can have access to the hard data needed to begin to define key elements of your process. This data, along with your sales team?s insight into your typical customer can allow marketing to identify and build target market personas.? These personas are fictional constructs of your ideal customer and allow much better targeting by your marketing team. These personas also deepen your sales team?s understanding of exactly who they are selling to.
Define Your Lead / Sales Funnel
For true alignment, any systems you put in place need to be open to both sales and marketing. This starts with data, but should extend to defining terminology and process. By creating a shared definition for conversions and leads (defining both marketing qualified leads and sales ready leads) both teams will be on the same page when communicating with each other.
Once you?ve established terminology, define your lead /sales process. Have a clear direction for each stage, for example:
- Visitors act on CTAs, enter contact info and become leads.
- Leads are tracked to determine origin. Marketing driven leads are classed as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
- MQLs are passed to sales
- Opportunities are ranked and defined by sales and?
- Closed to become customers.
The important step?is defining MQLs. This is the handoff between marketing and sales. By clearly defining terminology and process it?s possible to establish lead and sales qualification standards.
Implement A Service Level Agreement (SLA)
The SLA is a formal agreement between your sales and marketing teams. The objective is to make a commitment for shared goals for revenue growth within a specified time frame.? It?s a two way process. For example, marketing commits to provide sales a specific quantity of MQLs per month. Sales, commits to follow-up these leads in a timely manner and make a specific number of attempts before the lead is dropped.
With planning and communication, it?s possible for any inbound marketing company to lubricate the process between sales and marketing and eliminate any rivalry by creating an environment focused on shared responsibility for growth. If you?re not sure how to get started, or would like more information on how your inbound marketing company rates visit the Marketing Matters Inbound website for a free Inbound Marketing Assessment. We?ll take a look at your site, give it a grade and give you insight on how to improve your business and create the perfect sales and marketing alignment!
Marketing Matters Inbound?is an inbound marketing firm specializing in online conversions, content?strategy, PPC campaigns and traditional media placement. Our experience in?B2B digital?marketing?and?traditional media?allows us to deliver results through a strategic media mix. We believe in?aligning and merging marketing and sales/operations for optimal return on your marketing investment.