Why Aligning Sales & Marketing Gets Big Wins in Customer Experience
by Robin Tinker, on Jan, 11, 2016
Decision makers know that sales and marketing teams are the go-to source for acquiring and maintaining customer relationships, and they can accomplish more by working together. While that sounds like it would be a gimme, in many cases it's quite the opposite.
Successfully aligning sales and marketing can be somewhat of a unicorn in business. We have all heard of it, but few have seen it with their own eyes. In the customer focused reality, it is a pivotal point if companies want to provide a memorable and compelling customer experience.
Sales and marketing alignment is challenging for several reasons. Lack of communication and cohesion between departments can evolve into an adversarial relationship that hinders productivity and ultimately fails to offer a unified, helpful front for the customer.
The path to alignment is littered with stumbling blocks that make it easy for efforts from both sides to break down. The "working in silos" environment doesn't build an experience focused on customer support and satisfaction, it hinders a company's growth and stability.
SiriusDecisions' VP and Group Director Megan Heuer provided more insight on this topic at the recent #FlipMyFunnel Account-based Marketing event in Chicago. She says, "both sales and marketing should be looking at something else altogether if revenue growth is coming up short. Your pipeline’s silent killer is the quality of customer experience."
Even though it seems elusive to achieve, the positive effects of sales and marketing alignment are huge, which is why companies continue striving to create an aligned environment between the teams. According to a survey by CMO Council, "38% of CMOs said aligning, and integrating sales and marketing was a top priority."
More and more companies realize the importance of having sales and marketing teams work together for the good of long-term business viability. Teams that put effort into better alignment reap a variety of advantages that directly impact the customer experience and the company's performance in the marketplace.
Four rewarding benefits of aligning marketing and sales:
1. Greater productivity. When teams try to accomplish the same goals in different ways, tasks are bound to intersect and cause extra work for both sides. A well-planned, cohesive strategy where all parties understand their roles AND the roles of everyone else cuts down on double work, confusion, and wasted time. It's a plus when the customers and prospects aren't contacted multiple times about the same thing by different people.
2. An increase in ROI. A company needs to be able to end up with more money after the initial financial outlay of marketing and sales budgets. Aligned marketing and sales teams can work toward the company initiatives together, share effective ideas, and reach their targets faster than if each works alone. Sirius Decisions found that:
"B2B organizations with tightly aligned Sales and Marketing operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth."
This finding paints a dramatic picture of how alignment positively impacts the bottom line. A 27% faster growth in profit could be the difference in a company flourishing, or closing its doors! When goals are reached, and ROI is high, teams reap the rewards.
3. A better opportunity to close the lead conversion loop. One of the biggest fails, when marketing and sales are not aligned, is the loss of leads. When marketing doesn't properly qualify leads, sales loses trust in marketing, and when sales doesn't value marketing's leads, they slip through the cracks.
Aligned teams can salvage a good portion of these leads and convert them to customers. This directly impacts the company's bottom line and maximizes the chance of the lead receiving the needed information and proper support.
4. An enhanced customer experience. The biggest winner of sales and marketing alignment should be the customer. If marketing and sales are on the same page, at every turn, every interaction with the company, the customer receives a unified experience.
On the other hand, if the two teams are disjointed, the customer experience suffers tremendously. Creating a positive customer experience is no one person, or even one team's, responsibility. From initial outbound and inbound campaigns, to email marketing, to sales contact, the customer will feel more connected to the company's brand and product if he or she experiences alignment.
Do you have a story, advice, or a personal experience with the path to marketing and sales alignment, and it's effect on the customer experience? We want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or tweet us @modusengagement.