How to stay on top of sales and marketing alignment
Sales and marketing alignment is talked about a lot by sales enablement leaders, but it’s the perfect example of something that is easier said than done. Too often, sales leaders get stuck on buzzwords like “alignment” and “sales enablement” and never get down to actually fixing the problems those buzzwords are meant to address.
It’s one thing to sit your sales and marketing teams down and say “start working together” and another to actually outline the expectations and practical ways to make that collaboration happen.
Our Sales and Marketing Alignment Starter Guide goes into the details of creating strong sales and marketing alignment, but today I’d like to talk a bit more about how to create and maintain sales and marketing alignment, making it easy for your sales and marketing managers to stick with an alignment strategy.
Who is responsible for sales enablement?
If you’re like most companies, that answer doesn’t have a clear answer.
Adobe’s State of Sales Enablement report showed that although 91% of sales and marketing managers in the U.S. believe that their companies' sales enablement strategies are on the right track, only 30% are actually implementing the sales enablement solutions they deem important.
Companies may talk about ways to improve processes and increase alignment, but when it comes to execution, they’re dropping the ball.
Your sales and marketing managers have a lot on their plates, and helping a different department isn’t one of them.
If you want to improve sales and marketing alignment and have that improvement actually stick over time, you have to do three things:
- You have to give them a baseline for expectations and goals.
If your managers don’t know what’s expected of them, they’re each going to pursue their own idea of what “alignment” is.
- You have to give them a clear and easy process for achieving those expectations.
If you’re expecting them to spend half their day “aligning” with the other department, good luck. It has to be simple and part of an established workflow.
- You have to show them the value of working together.
The best way to get someone to do something is to make them want to do it. Your managers want to hit their goals. If they believe sales and marketing alignment will help them do that (and it will), they’ll be onboard.
What are the sales enablement expectations for sales and marketing managers, anyway?
The answer to that question will differ for every organization, but there are some areas that hold true across the board. We could just give you a long list of sales enablement actions for sales and marketing managers to perform on a regular basis, but the odds are likely that your managers wouldn’t read it, let alone put it into practice.
Instead, we created a handy infographic as a way to give sales and marketing a quick reference to the everyday processes they should be pursuing in order to achieve ultimate alignment.