In a 2011 Harvard Business Review study, it was discovered that 87 percent of the words sales and marketing people use to describe one another are negative. Ouch, people... Can’t we all just get along?
Sadly, not much has changed. Marketing points the finger at sales for not being able to close leads. Sales points a finger right back, claiming their leads are low quality — and the vicious cycle spins on...
Why all the fighting?
In actuality, both sales and marketing share the exact same goals:
- Generate high-quality sales qualified leads (SQLs)
- Shorten the sales cycle
- Close more deals
But like any relationship gone south, the disconnect between sales and marketing has everything to do with lack of communication. And that’s where sales alignment consulting can help.
Sales alignment consulting assesses sales and marketing processes and rebuilds them so that both teams work better together. Among several tools used to achieve and maintain this new healthy camaraderie, sales alignment will result in a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
A Service Level Agreement is an agreement between sales and marketing that uses a common language to outline goals and responsibilities that are specific to marketing and sales, as well as the metrics that will be used to measure progress and meet those goals. The SLA is an important outcome of sales alignment consulting because it ensures that members of both teams are help accountable. It also creates transparency between the two departments and how they will deliver on their responsibilities.
It’s also worth noting that, for sales and marketing alignment to work, both teams must agree on a single customer view and definitions (e.g. what does a sales qualified lead look like?) — the likes of which will be outlined in the SLA.
The other critical piece to the sales and marketing alignment puzzle is a closed loop reporting system, which sales alignment consulting will help you realize. A closed loop reporting system will allow information to flow between both teams and support the transparency we mentioned above. At its most basic level, this system involves:
- A CRM solution
- Marketing Automation software
- Complete integration between the two
Of course, there’s much more to this system than the pieces and parts. But when implemented correctly and fully adopted by both teams, key information gets shared between sales and marketing that will improve lead quality, prove the value of marketing efforts, shorten the sales cycle and result in greater overall efficiency and productivity.
Ready to get your two MVP departments playing better together? Check out sales alignment consulting for your teams and encourage a collaborative effort that will drive home some serious results for your business.