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How sales and marketing alignment can increase lead generation

How sales and marketing alignment can increase lead generation

Sales and marketing teams don’t always see eye to eye and this phenomenon is as old as the hills. On one hand, sales may complain about the volume and quality of the leads marketing delivers. And on the other hand, marketing might take offense at the ratio of leads sales qualifies and generates value from.

Another commonly mentioned issue is content creation. Sales might find the content produced by marketing is not relevant enough. Marketing, however, might be starved of good ideas by sales as to what kind of content would be helpful.

Shared sales and marketing budgets can also cause arguments, such as disagreeing on where and how the budget should be spent and what counts as a good return on investment. The blame game can go back and forth without a resolution.

Sales and Marketing misalignment

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound survey, the main goal for marketing teams is to convert contacts and leads into customers. Driving more traffic, increasing revenue from customers and improving ROI from marketing channels are also high priorities.

HubSpot_State_of_Inbound_survey

For sales teams, the most important goals are to close more deals improve the sales funnel, and shorten the sales cycle.

Sales_and_marketing_alignment

Although sales and marketing are working towards the common goal of growing revenue, they have different goal prioritization and motivations. If these goals are not aligned, it can result in a major lead generation crisis, missed revenue targets and ultimately the failure of the business.

How to achieve sales and marketing alignment?

The solution for misaligned sales and marketing teams is simple, though, it will not appear effortless at first glance. The answer is scheduling weekly sales & marketing meetings.

LeanData’s survey showed that 36% of the surveyed marketing and sales Teams don’t meet up on a regular basis. No wonder 51% of marketers are not satisfied with the level of communication between the teams and 38% of salespeople are unaware of marketing’s goals.

“36% of the surveyed marketing and sales Teams don’t meet up on a regular basis. No wonder 51% of marketers are not satisfied with the level of communication between the teams and 38% of salespeople are unaware of marketing’s goals.”

According to LeanData survey

Scheduling regular sales and marketing meetings will help a great deal with getting ‘Team Revenue’ on the same page and unearth hidden problems in the funnel. Such meetings will also empower you to build a scalable lead generation strategy.

Here’s how to get started and tips to achieve great Sales and Marketing alignment:

1. Schedule regular meetings

It’s all about creating good habits and sticking to them. Just like going to the gym, you won’t turn everything around with one catch-up each quarter. 

Find a time that is mutually suitable for all attendees and block out that time slot in your calendars. Set it to repeat so it can truly become a habit and you can make sure that everybody will show up. This is even more important with larger teams that are more difficult to coordinate with.

2. Create a meeting agenda

Having a template for the meetings will keep catchups short, organized and to the point, so you can avoid lengthy brainstorming sessions, being sidetracked and wasting time. The first couple of meetings may be a bit longer as you will probably have a lot to cover. But once you are up to speed and follow the agenda you’ll be able to cover everything in 20 minutes. 

Here’s a Sales and Marketing meeting template that works well for our teams and can be a great starting point for you:

Title

Date

Quick links

(Insert documents, folders, reports that you often need for easier access and don’t forget to link back to last week’s meeting)

– Last week’s meeting

– Weekly Meeting folder

– Sales content folder

– Marketing budget tracker

– Lead tracker

Actions from last week

(Copy-paste actions that were raised during last week’s meeting and give a quick progress update e.g. done, stuck, need help from XYZ)

Agenda

Budget – how much is spent on sales activity, where is it allocated to and how the ROI looks

Lead volume and quality – how many of the MQLs turned into SQLs over the last week, how is SQL quality and where the leads come from

Content – what content needs to be created or reviewed

(Temporary items e.g. review gathering campaigns, new joint projects, important information to be passed on)

Actions

(Actions assigned to an attendee. The actions will need to be done or made progress on by the next meeting and the assignee needs to be responsible for them)

Events

(Relevant events to sponsor to go to for professional growth)

Reading & Listening

(Insightful books, blog articles, and podcasts)

3. Be transparent

During these meetings you will need to be very transparent, otherwise, they won’t bare fruit. If you discovered a problem you need to raise and discuss it. 

It is okay to make mistakes, not know the answers to questions or be so snowed under that you can’t make progress on projects, but it is not okay to hide issues.

4. Contribute, don’t blame

Sales and marketing meetings work best when all parties contribute. Instead of looking for somebody to blame for low lead volume, quality or poor close rate, find out why it is and how to solve it.

Assign responsibilities to each team member so everybody is responsible for the growth. The meeting agenda will need to be updated each week, reports have to be generated, ideas gathered and educational resources collected. Thus everybody will have something to contribute.

There are many other ways sales and marketing can work together to create great strategies and grow the business. Weekly meetings are a simple starting point and will bear fruit in many ways.

The effect on lead generation

Sales and marketing alignment has multiple positive effects on lead generation as well-synchronized sales and marketing departments can carry out impactful activities touching multiple parts of the marketing and sales cycle.

For instance, optimized sales and marketing alignment can lead to a 39% increase in year-over-year revenue growth, 38% sales win rates and a mind-blowing 208% marketing revenue. 

How is this possible? Through:

  • Better budget allocation: choosing suitable channels and campaigns to run is more successful when two teams with different knowledge of the buyers make a decision together.
  • More effective lead magnets: strategic landing page design and thought-through lead magnets can drive better quality MQLs that convert into SQLs.
  • Relevant content: engaging content can help capture leads, nurture them and shorten the sales cycle, as well as help, create a great onboarding experience and help with retention.
  • Consistent brand messaging and awareness that overarches teams and seniority levels.
  • Strategic partnerships: built by attending and sponsoring events and building great relationships from the very beginning of the funnel.

Conclusion

Sales and marketing alignment should be a primary goal in every company as it can have a major effect on revenue growth and it doesn’t take that much effort. You could start by setting up an initial meeting with your manager or the fellow Head of Department to touch base. Or you could simply share this post with your teams to start the discussion.

Anna Kocsis

Anna Kocsis

Anna is the Head of Marketing at 10to8, an online booking system that makes appointments happen. She loves a good coffee paired with an insightful podcast on SaaS marketing.

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