We all know what marketing is, how it works, and what its advantages are, but what is sales enablement and how can it be aligned with marketing? While the term itself is rather vague and can be difficult to define, in simple terms it refers to the systems, tools, and strategies that are established to improve the overall execution of sales tasks.
We all know sales needs marketing to function efficiently and vice versa. And according to SiriusDecisions, sales and marketing alignment produces 19% more growth… so why is alignment often overlooked? And how can businesses align their marketing and sales strategies optimally for B2B digital selling? It’s important to understand as much as possible about sales and marketing alignment before coming up with a strategy, such as terms and the best tactics to use.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind before you start aligning your marketing and sales enablement teams and coming up with strategies:
Thankfully, there is an umbrella term for marketing and sales alignment known as “smarketing”, which can be useful to take note of. Making sure marketing and sales are working together, rather than alongside each other is vital to achieving successful alignment for your business. According to HubSpot, companies generate 208% more marketing revenue when their sales and marketing teams are aligned.
If you’re considering alignment for marketing and sales enablement then you must ensure both teams are working in combination, otherwise alignment won’t work efficiently. If you’re serious about improving your company’s ROI and lead generation strategies, then marketing and sales alignment is the best action for you to take if you haven’t already.
Mutual goals and targets
In order for marketing and sales alignment to work, the marketing and sales teams within your business must have the same end goals. If both marketing and sales are working towards the same targets and goals, they are likely to be reached much faster and more efficiently. Goals such as ROI targets and content marketing strategies should be frequently discussed in order to ensure successful alignment. When coming up with targets, it’s also a good idea to get to know the people you’re working with. This will make communication and interaction across both teams a whole lot easier!
Inbound marketing and inbound sales
While inbound marketing seems like an obvious choice for most B2B and B2C marketing teams, it’s also important that sales teams opt for inbound sales as opposed to outbound. Both teams should use inbound strategies in order to generate the most revenue. Just as they should have mutual goals, they should also have mutual inbound strategies. Outbound doesn’t work as well as it used to as people no longer respond to cold outreach, including cold calling. Focus your marketing and sales teams on inbound strategies to achieve ROI and lead generation quickly and efficiently.
Members from both teams should be active on social media, not just the marketing team. This will help with alignment as mutual connections will drive lead generation and conversion. Social selling and digital selling require the active use of social media in order to work, so actually use social media platforms for proper social and digital selling!
Content marketing and sales enablement should be aligned so that sales teams can use the content as a selling tool for your business. Online content should be used by both marketing and sales in order for “smarketing” to work. Create an area in Google Drive where both marketing and sales can input their ideas collectively. Make sure all members are able to add any insights or ideas they may have into every document. Have regular brainstorming sessions during your meetings so that everyone can showcase their ideas face-to-face.
Make the content engaging for both sales and marketing so that potential customers, leads, and existing customers are more likely to want to invest in your product or service and remain invested. It’s not just up to the marketing team to come up with the content. Working together is what’s effective when it comes to marketing and sales alignment, so make sure there’s sufficient interaction between both teams, which brings me onto the last, and probably the most important part of this alignment…
As I’ve just said, this is the most important thing when it comes to marketing and sales alignment, not just between marketing and sales, but between any teams that wish to align. Having regular meetings between the marketing and sales teams is so important, otherwise how can you know what goals you want to achieve and when? Communication is key when it comes to alignment, so make your meetings weekly at the very least. Communicate any data you’ve gathered, analyzed, or reviewed to both teams. Constant daily communication is also helpful in order to make sure everyone on both teams is on the right track. And not just the right track… the same track!
The key to aligning marketing and sales enablement is interaction, communication, and mutual strategies and goals. It makes sense to think about aligning as the bringing of two separate teams together in order to create a harmonious alignment that’s efficient and successful in achieving their mutual goals. So keep that in mind whenever your marketing or sales teams come up with any marketing or sales tactics. As long as both teams are constantly communicating, aligning marketing and sales enablement will be easy!