5 Steps to Align Your Sales & Marketing Strategies
Sales & marketing alignment is the process of connecting two vital aspects of your business in order to maintain a sustainable system to generate, nurture, and close leads.
In business, marketing is defined as being able to promote products and services as well as attract customers using strategic methods, on and/or offline. We believe that it is marketing’s job to aid and support sales through strategy, messaging, and tracking.
And sales, to put it bluntly, is the ability to seal the deal.
In theory, sales & marketing are two halves of the same whole, working closely together throughout the customer journey. But often, companies miss the big picture and aligning the two, particularly when there are multiple teams within a business, can prove tricky.
Benefits of Sales & Marketing Alignment
Aligning your sales and marketing efforts is proven to:
- Increase sales
- Simplify workflows
- Optimize digital leads
- Improve conversion rates
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Your digital strategy should encompass both your marketing and sales efforts.
Now, more than ever, having a comprehensive digital strategy is essential to the growth of your business. With these 5 actionable steps, you’ll be able to not only update your current strategy but also optimize your sales & marketing workflows for the future.
Define Your Company Goals
Where do you see your company 30 days from now? What about in 60 days? Or 90? There was probably a well-thought-out plan put together for 2020 and now, whether your business has felt it or not, things have shifted and your goals need to shift, too.
Putting the alignment of your sales and marketing efforts at the top of your To-Do list is going to help you reach those goals.
Alignment solves a multitude of issues…
- A clear understanding of your customer journey
- Ability to identify areas of opportunity for increasing sales and revenue
- A better understanding of what qualifies as a “qualified sales leads”
- Ownership over each step in a customer’s journey
- Cohesive customer experience
- Data sharing
- …and so many more!
All of the above can be solved by tightening the relationship between sales & marketing.
Action item: Develop new goals for your business in the changing landscape. Be sure that alignment is one of them. Remember to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals:
Whatever your business goals are, the most important thing to remember is that you need a solid roadmap in place to reach them.
Craft Your Alignment Strategy
What are the moments that matter?
As you begin to strategize, you’ll want to pay close attention to both this question and any answers that pop up.
Defining these moments is important because it gives you a baseline for an alignment strategy.
For example, if you want to focus on email campaigns to reach out to customers (marketing), how will you capture & follow up with any leads your receive (sales)?
If your interest lies in social media, at what point does a follower become a qualified prospect?
These transitions, the hand-offs from marketing to sales in your customer journey, are crucial. Prospective customers should be able to move seamlessly from marketing to sales teams without much of a hassle.
Action item: Review your current marketing strategy & identify the moments that matter for your business. If you don’t have any, create some! The key here is to find where you’re lacking & change course.
Coordinate Your Content
In order to fully align your sales & marketing teams, everyone needs to be on the same page. Having a shared space in your project management tool of choice helps keep everyone up-to-date on strategies you’re using for your business.
Communication is key, here. It’s not enough to just CC someone on an email or add a team member to a Trello board. Schedule time to keep each other in the loop with regular meetings, in-person or online.
Action item: Create a shared sales & marketing folder (or board if you use Trello, or project if you use Basecamp, etc.) for your staff with all of your assets. Include an editorial calendar covering both departments. Important things to include are:
- Social media posts
- Advertising campaigns
- Product/service launches
- Email campaign schedule
Automate Your Marketing Systems
Business automation is a great way to implement updates to your new sales & marketing strategy without wasting a lot of time & effort on small details.
Tools like Zapier can help connect all of your systems & processes and automate full workflows for your entire team. Here are a few smart Zaps to implement:
Email Subscription → CRM
- Transition prospective clients with ease by automatically adding them to a CRM as soon as they subscribe to an email list.
Social Follows → Google Spreadsheet
- Capture leads by tracking followers on social media. You can also filter for possible partnerships by adding only those with a certain number of followers.
Social Mentions → Slack Notification
- Alternatively, you can also track your brand mentions in real-time – opening up new opportunities for engagement & follow-up.
Advertising Leads → Email List
- Identify leads for different marketing efforts such as advertising in order to move them further down your sales funnels.
Action item: Find opportunities in your sales & marketing funnel for automation. If you need assistance or are unsure where to start, a digital partner who specializes in marketing automation solutions like Smart Girl Digital can help!
Fortune in Coordinated Follow-Up
“Building and maintaining relationships with your prospects and customers is crucial to your success in business. When you consistently show customers you value them, it creates loyal customers who are more than happy to refer others to your business. The key is NOT to use relationships as a marketing strategy but rather to build strong, lifelong relationships with your customers.”Michael & Brenda Sanchez, Authors at LifesRealCurrency.com
Once you’ve created your alignment strategy & have begun to automate your sales & marketing processes it’s time to take it a step further. Follow-up!
Often overlooked but incredibly important, coordinated, meaningful follow-up can turn prospects into customers, and customers into brand advocates.
Business automation, in and of itself, can seem impersonal and cold without proper follow-up. No customer, no person, wants to feel as if they’re just another dollar sign – being mindlessly moved through a funnel but not actually spoken to or heard as a consumer.
Think of it as less of an “either/or” with relationship marketing and more of an “in addition to”.
A follow-up email or phone call is fine, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box here! There are solutions to help you automate follow-up that delivers cards and gifts to your prospects and clients in the mail.
If you’re having trouble coming up with creative ideas, try to put yourself in the prospect or customers’ shoes.
Have you ever received a great follow-up after a purchase?
If not, what do you wish you could receive?
Action item: Discover how you can leverage business automation to create a more thoughtful sales & marketing experience for your customers. Automation is just the first step!
Looking to Align Your Sales & Marketing Strategies? Let’s Chat!
Click below to schedule a free 15-minute discovery call with Smart Girl Digital. We can discuss how to align your business, step-by-step.