Here’s the important number right up front: businesses that prioritize sales and marketing alignment close sales 67 percent more effectively. Getting sales and marketing departments to work together isn’t a new problem, and it’s not always an easy one to solve. Marketers spend a lot of time and money to generate leads, then hand them off to the sales department. When the sales department can’t convert those leads, marketers might feel that their efforts are going to waste.
In turn, the sales team often feels resentful that they’re expected to convert leads that aren’t of good quality. They do the best with the leads they’re given, but they’re not miracle workers. And to bring the conundrum full circle, the sales team usually doesn’t have the means to tell marketers what kind of leads they’d prefer to receive, given what they know about which leads tend to be likeliest to convert.
The solution is communication — between leadership, between team members, and between both departments and executives. If marketers have clear expectations of the type of leads they need to generate and salespeople have clear expectations of what they’re supposed to do to pursue those leads, everything will run a lot more smoothly.
Not convinced? Here are a few more statistics about the benefits of proper sales-marketing alignment that should help you out.
50 Percent of Sales Time is Wasted
In this case, we’re defining “wasted time” as time spent on leads that aren’t likely to convert. Having your salespeople call or email leads who can’t benefit from your product is a waste of their salaries. It’s also a hit to morale — salespeople start to notice patterns, and they know that the lead is likely to be a dead-end before they make the call. They don’t want to waste their time any more than you do.
To avoid this waste, have your sales team and marketing team sit down together and establish a lead scoring system. Lead scoring simply assigns points for various characteristics of a lead — their job title, the size of their company, their location, their revenue, or anything else that’s relevant to your product. If the marketing team knows what the sales team is looking for, they’ll be able to target those people more accurately in their campaigns.
95 Percent of Buyers Were Given Content Along Their Journey
No one likes aggressive sales tactics. If your prospects land on your site and are instantly met with pushy CTAs and prices, they won’t stick around. Instead, they’re going to go through a process of discovering your product, learning about it, deciding whether it can meet their needs, weighing the pros and cons, and deciding to make a purchase.
At every point of the journey, there’s a possibility that buyers will encounter friction points that make them hesitant to continue. Carefully crafted content can reassure and inform them that they’re on the right track, helping salespeople nurture leads into becoming customers. Without appropriate content for your buyers, you’re leaving money on the table.
65 Percent of Salespeople Say They Don’t Have The Content They Need
This is the other side of the statistic we just mentioned. Yes, it’s the salespeople’s responsibility to provide the right content to prospects to encourage them to make a sale. But it’s a content marketer’s responsibility to create that content in the first place. And almost two-thirds of salespeople say they don’t have the content they need to get their prospects over the hump.
Again, communication is key. If salespeople are constantly running into buyers who aren’t convinced that your product will save them money, your marketers should build a landing page that lays out pricing upfront and over time. If prospects are often confused by a certain feature, create a blog post that explains it. Creating content to address real problems, not hypothetical ones, will grease the wheels for future sales.
71 Percent of Buyers Start With an Unbranded Search
Buyers don’t want to jump right into a sales pitch, they want to start with research. That’s why content marketing is so important — giving people the information they genuinely want, when and where they want it.
Where sales-marketing alignment comes in is the handoff. There will be a point when your prospects make contact with a real, human salesperson, and that salesperson needs to have a good grasp on what the prospect has consumed in order to make that handoff as seamless as possible.
The Bottom Line
The biggest statistic to take away from this is the one we put in the title — sales and marketing alignment can help businesses close sales 67 percent more effectively. That’s two thirds less wasted time and money by the sales team, the marketing team, and everyone in between.
The fact of the matter is that no company will ever be completely efficient. There will always be cracks in the processes and procedures that power your business. But sales and marketing are the lifeblood of the business, bringing in the customers that keep the lights on. There’s no excuse for them not to be on the same page.