Sales and marketing are like two peas in a pod, well at least they should be. These two departments can be a powerful duo when it comes to acquiring and maintaining your customer relationships, boosting your revenues and keeping your business thriving. But in reality, most businesses run these two functions without any alignment at all.
According to Chak Ng – growth expert and managing director of Alchemise Consulting, this is a common mistake that could be costing your business, both in performance and customer experience.
Understanding the Marketing and Sales Relationship
Let’s look at these two functions in a bit more detail.
- Marketing has a heavy focus on the wider, strategic picture. It exists to build brand awareness, brand loyalty, position your business to outperform the competitors and ensures customers know about you and can continue to find you for the years to come.
- Sales focus on the immediate results, the short-term sales targets, bringing in cash flow, building solid relationships and mastering the face to face customer conversation that gives your customers the extra push they need to get over the line.
It’s almost like Marketing is from Mars and Sales is from Venus.
While these two sound like the perfect couple for bringing in customers, the reality is that in most businesses they aren’t getting along or aligned in the slightest. Usually, these two functions are suffering a lack of communication, lack of interaction and lack of synergised direction. It’s not to say there is a rivalry between these two, often it can be to do with the corporate structure using the traditional marketing sales funnel or time pressures.
But the statistics don’t lie. Research shows those Companies who have cemented the glue between their marketing and sales department generate on average 208% more marketing revenue than those who have misalignment. [TWEET THIS STAT]
The Marketing and Sales Funnel
So if you’ve been sold by the statistics and are ready to streamline your marketing and sales functions, you will first need to understand the Marketing and Sales Funnel.
‘The digital and online world has changed the way prospective buyers engage with your brand to be more personalised and direct. Hence the marketing funnel has deepened and so has most of the buying cycle before sales engage. Meaning sales now engage much later in the sales process.’ – Chak Ng, Managing Director of Alchemise Consulting
So the rise of digital, increasing level of competition and changing customer preferences, means brands can no longer rely on customers organically coming through the door and seeing the sales team to stay alive.
These days ‘things find us’ and often follow us around, whether it be displayed in your Facebook newsfeed, direct email, watching a video or on a website.
The traditional sales and marketing funnel (left) VS the modern sales and marketing funnel (right)
Take a look at this diagram. Marketing is now needed more than ever to bring awareness, nurture interest, inform people at consideration stage and tailor messaging to influence consumer intent. Sales functions are now predominantly reaching the consumer at the evaluation and purchase stage. So in order to keep your customer’s journey as smooth as possible, all these stages need to be smoothly integrated and working towards a common goal.
Consequently, misalignment of these functions means;
- Marketing may fail to create relevant content, lacking the intimate buyer information that sales insights may bring. If the content is not targeted and meeting the needs of the customer then there is a risk of generating fewer leads.
- Misalignment means sales teams are wasting time on unproductive prospecting and, due to their different goals and targets, are often ignoring the leads handed down by marketing.
The alignment benefits to you
- Improves conversion rate – this is due to a more formalised lead nurturing, passed from marketers to sales.
- Better productivity– aligning these two functions also removes duplication of roles.
- Strategic direction– Keeping everyone on the same page allows clarity on strategic objectives and everyone’s role in achieving it.
- Revenue growth– Companies who had alignment with sales and marketing on average 208% more than companies misaligned.
- Boost customer retention– Alignment results in an average of 36% higher customer retention.
- Improved ROI – Your budget spend will be better utilised and help your business use its resources with efficiency.
The alignment benefits for your customers
- Delight – When alignment occurs, Marketers are better able to understand the customer with insights from sales, aiding in tailoring content production.
- Improved customer experience – With alignment comes consistency and this will improve your customer’s experience with your brand.
4 Tips for alignment
If you think your team is ready for alignment, it’s important to realise this may take time. Depending on your team dynamics, it might be an instant spark or otherwise a slower organic burn. We asked Chak Ng about his tips on getting started. This is what he shared:
- The starting point is around shared visibility, communication, education, common goals and alignment between sales and marketing functions
- When goal setting, the marketing pipeline should be tied to lead generation activity and sales quotas
- Alignment should be inclusive of organisational goals
- Compensation is based on shared sales and marketing targets
Ready to take action?
The numbers are a pretty compelling reason to bring sales and marketing together around the goal setting table.
More about Alchemise Consulting’s Chak Ng:
Chak Ng is a partner and extension of the Thirst Creative team. His expertise in creating cost-effective and shared risk strategies for business growth. This is essential when clients require alignment between sales and marketing to reach their objectives.
‘With over 17 years of experience in both business development and sales management, Chak takes an outside the box approach to business consulting by focusing on applying powerful sales strategies. A director of Alchemise Consulting and operating across the Asia Pacific regions, Chak is the expert in growing business profits.’
This is a great opportunity to sit with an expert and dive into your business, step through your goals, understand your sales targets and determine the best course of action for your business.
Contact us at Thirst Creative today and get ready to align your sales and marketing processes to achieve more.