There’s a lot of talk in the B2B sales and marketing community about “alignment.” It’s constantly brought up in the most reputable LinkedIn groups, and it’s a prominent topic tag on all the best industry blogs. Every business wants a piece of that alignment pie … and who can blame them? No one wants to be unaligned in their sales and marketing efforts.
But just because there’s a lot of talk about a topic doesn’t mean there’s a lot of understanding. So what does “sales and marketing alignment” really mean? And why is it so important to your sales enablement and marketing success?
Let’s talk about understand it.
Sales And Marketing Alignment: What’s The Deal?
What everyone knows about sales and marketing alignment:
- It comprises shared goals, consistent strategies and accepted success metrics that improve functionality, productivity, marketing ROI and growth.
What you need to know about sales and marketing alignment:
- It requires getting your sales team and your marketing team working as one unified force of collaboration to create and propagate content that’s 1) ultra informative and 2) ultra personalized to each buyer persona.
Sales And Marketing Alignment: What’s The Challenge?
Words are great, but in this case, it’s the numbers that hit it home:
- More than 75% of sales reps say they “never” or only “occasionally” use what they get from their marketing department.
- 60-70% of content produced by B2B marketing organizations goes unused.
- 58% of a vendor’s marketing content is not relevant to potential buyers, and this disconnect reduces the vendor’s chance of closing a sale by 45%.
International Data Group
- 30% of organizations feel disconnected from the changing needs and expectations of their prospects and customers.
Now for the words that back up those numbers:
Sales doesn’t want to use your marketing content.
“I can’t use it. It just won’t resonate with buyers.”
“I find myself creating my own materials just to address my buyers’ specific needs.”
“We need buyer-centric content! Content that’s personalized for each buyer persona.”
But, there’s also a flip side to the story:
Marketing can’t keep up.
“We already can’t keep up with content demand, from both digital marketing campaigns and our own sales team.”
“How are we supposed to create versions of our content for every buyer persona, not to mention keep it all updated?”
You want lots of content. But you also want this content to be high quality and precision targeted, meaning it’s got loads of powerful, actionable information and creates an exceptional experience for each buyer persona.
All of your marketing content in every chapter of the buying process – awareness-level tip sheets, consideration-phase whitepapers, decision-stage presentations – needs to be buyer-centric enough for two very important things to happen:
- Your sales team wants to use them.
- Your buyers find them useful.
Sales And Marketing Alignment: Here’s The Answer.
If your content’s lacking in persona personalization, it’s going to sit in virtual cobwebs on sales portals and website shelves. And that’s not doing anyone any good.
It’s time to get creative. It’s time to create a new force.
The Revenue Department: sales and marketing alignment made easy.
One team, one goal. Less frustration, more collaboration.
- Sales and marketing departments unite under the common objective of revenue generation.
- Sales reps connect your buyers’ pain points with your company’s remarkable solutions.
- It’s not just the marketing department that gets in the content game. Sales, too, consistently leverages highly tailored content during the sales process to keep the buyer thinking about and warming up to your company.
- Marketing has visibility into all content that’s sent out to buyers and how the buyer responds, so they’re able to assess buyer acceptance and campaign success.
- Sales executes powerful lead nurturing campaigns in conjunction with other content marketing tactics in order to keep leads primed.*
Sales And Marketing Alignment: Everyone Wins.
Creating that unified Revenue Department and delivering high-powered, hyper-personalized marketing content is easier said than done. But with the right sales and marketing technology and best practices for alignment, revenue becomes reality.
And when you effectively smooth those seams between your sales and marketing teams, they do more (and do better) with less struggle and stress:
- MARKETING GETS FREEDOM from that night-and-weekend grind on the content-churning machine.
- SALES GETS FLEXIBILITY to connect the value dots for their buyers, even those trickier personas with super-specific pain points and preferences.
Next Up: Sales Presentations That Hit Home With Power And Precision.
Lackluster presentations? Sales team in a slump? It might be your technology that’s at fault, or maybe the problem stems from ineffective messaging. But it’s safe to say that both are to blame. In a market dominated by automation software and dictated by the knowledge-hungry B2B buyer, technology and content must not be (and cannot be) separated.
Stay tuned for our next post on taking control of your messaging, demonstrations and sales enablement with content management software.