B2B businesses today rely on departmental alignment for success, especially between sales and marketing. Disconnected operations and objectives between these teams mean that you’re not likely to hit key business objectives.
You’re likely thinking about how to get these teams working together in lockstep. Here are 3 ideas and actions that you can take to better align your B2B sales and marketing departments:
Aligning your B2B sales and marketing teams
1. Identify & use a single data source
Imagine approaching data jointly, analyzing and optimizing it together starting from the very first customer interaction all the way through to recurring revenue.
Sounds surreal? To achieve real alignment between teams regardless of regional nuances, your marketing, sales, and customer experience teams must all share the same view of the same data. It’s should be apples to apples, although you can of course still build custom dashboards to allow each team to splice the details as they see fit for their regions.
This is key because you want (need!) everyone on the same page. Leveraging a single data source ensures that your organization is optimally aligned to target your prospects and customers via marketing and sales efforts.
- Reality check: Your marketing leads will only improve in quality when the marketing team has true visibility into the accounts being closed and understands how they moved through the funnel (or didn’t).
- Possible roadblock: Your tech stack. Accessing and working from a single source of data for all teams can prove to be a struggle for organizations that do not have seamless technology integration and security across all their platforms.
2. Create a perpetual feedback loop between sales and marketing
When the team at Hyphen works with another organization, our teams’ attitudes and aptitudes are of great importance and serve as the foundation for earning trust. The key is to listen to understand and then to act. Don’t discredit feedback such as “the leads aren’t qualified enough.”
We do our best to understand what’s being asked and identify a way forward. Then, we take action. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. What’s important is to always do something about it in order to show that you are listening and understanding what the other teams are facing.
The important element here is your organizational culture and whether the leadership team has what it takes to bring all the teams together.
Spotting misalignment: If you’re interested in learning how to spot misalignment between sales and marketing teams, read this article, which includes strategies on how to get everyone on the same page, including:
- Audit existing content to enable revenue generation
- Ask marketing team members to shadow sales calls
- Hold regular brainstorming sessions with sales and marketing team members
- Arm your sales team with information on their prospects ahead of their sales calls
3. Implement & practice account-based marketing (ABM) methods
In the US, UK, and EU, account-based marketing (ABM) has been widely implemented over the past 5–8 years.
ABM helps sales market to high-value accounts, treating them as a market of one or a market of few. It delivers truly personalized content through a blend of online, real-life, and in-person sales-led channels to help them win deals.
This approach involves a great deal of account analysis and leans heavily on continual collaboration between marketing and sales. In fact, for all intents and purposes, they become one. There is also a significant amount of upfront work required to segment and prioritize accounts, personalize content, and prepare multichannel activations.
Done right, ABM works very well, but of course it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Scaling AMB isn’t simple, but you’ve got to start somewhere!
It’s time (for your marketing & sales teams) to cozy up
Forget the ‘new normal.’ We’re moving into an era of the ‘never normal’ where every area of an organization is being reimagined.
Your clients are also changing their behaviours. Some will lean in to making digital connections while others will double down on in-person relationships. To meet this dynamic new customer base where they are, sales and marketing will need to be more aligned than ever before.
For B2B organizations, there is a push to ditch the conservative mindset and embrace multi-dimensional marketing. We know that potential clients are conducting much of their buying journey anonymously online. By the time an in-person interaction occurs, they have formed opinions and likely have a preferred vendor in mind. It’s all too easy to lose opportunities.
At Hyphen, we’re inspired by the opportunity to impact business outcomes through better organizational alignment. We recognize that it isn’t easy, but then again, we’ve never been the ones to shy away from a challenge.