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By: Kiyana Neil on September 30th, 2022

Customers Suffer When Marketing & Sales Aren’t Aligned. Here’s How To Fix It!

There are over 44 million Google search results for “marketing and sales alignment.” Alignment is clearly an important topic for marketers and salespeople alike. In this article, I share a simple, easy acronym to help these teams realign and stay aligned.

As a Marketing Manager, I have a wide range of responsibilities that include:

  • Driving brand awareness efforts to capture the attention of prospective customers
  • Developing content strategy and supporting assets that engage and convert
  • Executing innovative demand generation programs that increase lead generation
  • Guiding leads through the marketing funnel
  • Ensuring that our tech stack is operating effectively
  • Reporting on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts and how we’re supporting revenue generation

Given the day, the list could go on… And while I could try to do all of this work in a “marketing bubble,” it works more efficiently and effectively when I engage and collaborate with our sales team.

During one of our recent weekly marketing and sales meetings, my colleague in sales shared how much he enjoyed working with our marketing team and how unique this working relationship was for him.

It made me think about how many teams are struggling to connect and are experiencing negative effects like confusing customers and prospects, missing out on goals, or even leaving revenue on the table. Hence, it inspired this blog.

What can true collaboration between marketing and sales look like? I break it down into a simple acronym: T. A. L. K.

Take time with sales

One of the first things we did when we started growing our sales team was schedule regular, weekly meetings to stay connected. During this time, we review progress on current projects and get and provide updates on prospects while also addressing any needs or gaps in our existing processes.

By defining an appointed time to engage with the core stakeholders on both teams, you ensure that the lines of communication are always open. Determine how often you need to meet (weekly or biweekly) and how long the meetings will be. Make sure you have enough time to tackle the critical items but not too much time where you might find yourself getting off track.

Ask for what you need

Once you decide on a time that works for both teams, set the ground rules. This time should allow your marketing and sales teams to convey their needs, desires, concerns, etc., in an open, honest, and direct way. In a meeting as critical as this, no ego can be involved.

Make sure you’re clear in your requests. Your goal is to eliminate any opportunities for miscommunication. Outside of your meeting times, you should also create a flow for requests and needs as they arise. For example, we have a marketing and sales Teams channel dedicated to providing quick updates or getting more immediate answers or feedback when needed.

Your meetings can be highly productive if you make your requests as plain and straightforward as possible.

Listen to understand, not just to respond

This is the most crucial step in this process. Each team has its own goals and KPIs, and with that comes frustrations, anxieties, and worries. For us marketers, this may sound like:

My last campaign wasn’t a success; how will I meet my lead gen goals? Q3 is almost here, and I still need to execute my remaining Q2 initiatives; will I have enough time? We haven’t met our revenue targets yet; how can we ramp things up with only a few months left in the year?

For our fellow sales team members, this may sound a little like:

My emails don’t seem to be converting; how do I fix my messaging? None of my target prospects are responding to my calls; how do I get them to engage? We also haven’t met our revenue targets yet; how can we ramp things up with only a few months left in the year?

Listen intently to what’s being asked and allow each team to ask for clarification or present different perspectives.

On the surface, a request for additional sales-facing materials on an existing product or service may seem frustrating. But listening to understand could illustrate a gap in what marketing has created to address a particular customer or prospect’s needs.

Patience is key here!

Keep the train moving forward

Feelings of angst or frustration are expected when it seems like you’re running in circles with your sales teams. But, don’t let slow progress or lack of immediate success stop you from moving forward and continuing to work towards your goals.

Each time you engage with sales, you have the opportunity to learn from past mistakes to improve your communication and outcomes, and ultimately, you’re 67% more likely to close deals and drive revenue.

The ideal marketing and sales relationship

So, what does an ideal marketing and sales relationship look like? There isn’t one. You have to do what works for you and your teams. We know there is no one size fits all approach to marketing and sales alignment, but we can try to get pretty close by simply TALKing.

If you’re looking for more resources to help strengthen your alignment between marketing and sales, check out some of our top content pieces below: