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Experts Discuss Unifying Sales and Marketing at Walker Sands Event

Alex Yeadon

Both sales and marketing teams want the same thing: to generate revenue for their company. But lack of communication and misalignment on processes can lead to siloed teams that fail to maximize ROI.

Not only that, but divided teams can cause a lack of trust, leading to redundancies and inconsistencies. For example, sales might start creating their own content that’s not on brand, rather than using what marketing provides. On the flip side, marketing may be creating content that isn’t useful in helping the sales team move prospects through the funnel. Worst case scenario, the two teams trip over each other with duplicate or mistimed communication to prospects, making your company look unorganized.

Unfortunately, these issues are not rare occurrences; our 2019 State of Martech report found that 56% of respondents think their sales and marketing teams are siloed. On August 27, we hosted marketing and sales leaders in our Chicago office to discuss solutions for this issue. Walker Sands experts, Emily FitzPatrick of Showpad and local professionals gathered at our “Unifying the Sales and Marketing Divide” event to explore successful tactics for aligning the two teams. Through a series of three fireside chats, we uncovered actionable takeaways to overcome this challenge.

Align on Goals and Processes

Will Barthel, our VP of Business Development, and Katie Donabedian, our account director, sat down to discuss the importance of getting the teams on the same page when it comes to goals. Both agree that communicating early and often goes a long way in unifying sales and marketing. Here are their top tips:

  • Track metrics to reach a common goal: Sales and marketing should unify behind a common revenue-based goal, and then decide together what metrics they should track to get there. To help with this, ask and answer questions such as: Where does our company need to be? What’s our current pipeline velocity? Average close rate? Once metrics and goals are solidified, set up regular check-ins for the two teams to review progress.
  • Identify account types together: Once your goals are set, you need to figure out who you’re targeting. Define an ideal client profile by looking at things like industry, company size, revenue and need, and make sure both teams are on the same page for what an ideal prospect looks like.
  • Decide what qualified means: Break down the funnel and communicate on how leads are expected to move through it. When does an MQL become an SQL? When are things passed off to sales? Who is responsible for what? Make sure both teams are able to answer those questions to avoid losing momentum and looking disorganized to a prospect.

Create Campaigns Together

Next, Courtney Beasley, our VP of Marketing, and Daniel Laloggia, our Director of Digital Operations, discussed how working together on smart campaigns can bridge the gap between the two departments. Their advice included:

  • Break down the buyer journey: In marketing, it’s important to deliver high-quality content that’s worth a prospect's attention and contact information. Taking a close look at the buyer journey can help both sales and marketing understand how prospects will flow through awareness, consideration and decision, and will help marketing provide content that addresses each stage.
  • Brainstorm as a group: While marketers have more of a reputation as creatives, that doesn’t mean sales teams don’t have unique ideas to contribute. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm campaign or content ideas together. Not only might you come up with something out of the box, but your sales team can bring their valuable perspective from interacting with prospects.
  • Build your list together: Once you have your campaign idea, it’s important to agree on a list of companies that fit your previously-created account profile. By doing this, you ensure that you’re reaching the right people, which will continue to build trust between the two departments, in addition to maximizing the impact of strategies such as retargeting.

Optimize Your Tech Stack

To close out the evening, Emily FitzPatrick, the sales enablement and training manager at Showpad, and Brooke Bartos, our marketing automation manager, discussed how tech can help bring everything together. They suggested focusing on the following:

  • Integrate your MA and CRM: It’s essential that your marketing and sales tech stack be integrated and optimized to ensure quality data and timely communication with prospects. Take a close look at your sync times to make sure your tech is communicating quickly and efficiently.
  • Agree on lead scoring: Think back to your personas and figure out what demographics and actions should positively or negatively affect lead score. Then, work with your sales team to determine when and how they want to be alerted once a lead hits a certain score. And remember – lead scoring is a process that takes time and refinement, so keep communication open between the two teams on what’s working and what’s not.
  • Take advantage of sales enablement tech: Not only can integrating sales enablement into your tech stack help ensure sales is actively using marketing’s content, but it can also make the learning curve for sellers more effective and timebound. Marketing should provide sellers with content early, so they come into training conversations feeling empowered. Then, when talking to prospects, sales enablement tech will help the sellers find the right thing at the right time.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our “Unifying the Sales and Marketing Divide” event. Your questions and unique perspectives made it a great learning experience for all.

By making sure your sales and marketing teams are aligned on the above things through open communication, you can build trust between the two departments and work together toward a common goal. Get in touch to learn more about how Walker Sands can help you bridge the divide between your teams.