• Emily Malone

10 Steps to aligning Marketing and Sales

Why can’t marketing be an arm of sales?

– Alan Johnson, ‘Peep Show’, season 4 episode 2.

For those familiar with the above quote, you’ll know that Mark couldn’t solve Johnson’s business riddle. Luckily here at oe:gen — we have!

OK, enough mooning, let’s strap on the nosebag and eat some serious sales and marketing (or, smarketing) alignment with the following 10 steps. 

1. Create a common vocabulary

A starting point should be to break down the language barrier between marketing and sales. All members of both the marketing and sales teams should sprechen sie same terminology. Is it an explore call or a discovery call? A content management system or a content optimization system. One way of ensuring there is a clear understand of ‘smarketing’ vocabulary is to create a piece of internal content which is sent to all marketing and sales employees, this could be a dictionary type pdf. For smaller teams this may not be necessary. 2. Create a ‘Smarketing’ funnel

How many top of the funnel leads are needed per month to convert into one new customer? This should be clearly defined from the outset of marketing and sales alignment. Those at the start of the marketing process should know exactly what is expected of them in terms of lead generation, and those closing deals should know exactly how many of these leads they are expected to close.

3. Define responsibilities

“Did you follow up with that lead?” “No, I was waiting for you to enrich it”. If you have attempted to align marketing and sales before without defining responsibilities, you are probably familiar with this type of discussion. Make sure to clearly define who is responsible for which part of the smarketing funnel – write it down, carve it into stone like you’re Ed Miliband, tattoo it onto your lower back like it’s the early 00’s. Just don’t let those precious leads go to waste. 4. Align and integrate your software

If marketing and sales already use the same CRM system then this stage will be much easier (ideally Salesforce/Pardot or Hubspot). At oe:gen we use both Hubspot & Salesforce (because we can’t decide which we like more). The integration between these two pieces of software is seamless.

5. Identify and agree on an ideal client profile and buyer personas

Ensure that all members of marketing and sales have a clear unanimous focus (CUF?) on exactly who you’re trying to market and sell your product/service to. This includes ‘ideal client profile’ and ‘buyer personas’.

The Ideal client profile should define what the ideal company you want to sell to looks like on paper. Buyer personas are what the type of people who work at the ideal clients look like on paper. Key metrics for ideal client profile are: Company Size, Revenue, Industry, Number of Employees, Location.

Buyer personas are more holistic, but you should still try to keep them relatively simple. “HR Manager Mary is 47 years old, lives in a semi-detached 20th century build, watches Corrie, has a cat called Jethro and is a size 4 shoe” is unnecessary.

6. Set clear revenue goals

Eyes on the prize. Historically, sales people have been more revenue-focused than marketing. But now that you’re aligning the two departments, it’s time for marketing to drink the Kool Aid too. To get marketing excited by the prospect of hitting revenue goals, make sure that there’s a system in place to notify marketing when a lead is closed. It shouldn’t just be the sales team member which closed the deal that rejoices at a closed deal. By committing to aligning marketing and sales, you’re committing to team effort and team results. And marketing can join the sales team in their Moët bath at the end of the year party. 7. Set-up notifications and automated internal emails.

If you’re using Hubspot or Salesforce this will be a piece of pissaladiere (google it, it’s delicious). Automatic notifications to the relevant team member when a lead reaches a certain stage of the lifecycle ensures a degree of accountability to that person to continue bringing the lead along the sales cycle.

Automated emails with read-receipts tracked through a Hubspot CRM will add to this accountability, whilst keeping everything nice and organized. No lead shall be lost, forgotten about or unactioned if this step is set up thoroughly.

8. Sit together and/or meet regularly

Oooooh smarketing friends! If your office space allows and they’re not already together, move your marketing and sales departments to the same space. This will allow an on the job understanding of the other departments, challenges, frustrations, trials, tribulations and how many sugars they take in their tea.

If this isn’t possible, make sure to meet regularly to talk about what’s going on, as lovely as applications like Trello, Slack and the 21st century phenomenom – ‘email’ are, face-to-face interaction is vital to aligning marketing and sales successfully.

9. Define a lead handover procedure and minimum requirement.

What are the first and final steps each member of the team takes when dealing with their stage of the lead’s lifecycle? Clearly define what the minimum amount of information required and actions taken by the lead are for it to pass onto the next stage of the lifecycle.

Also define whose responsibility it is to pass the lead on to the team member who handles the next stage. You may choose to either automate this, or do it with your bare lips, tongue and eyes like the human being that you are.

10. Get matching tattoos

Ok, this step isn’t mandatory, but 10 steps sounds better than 9!

If you’re looking to align your marketing and sales, take a look at our free sales and marketing process diagram by hitting the download button below. If you’re looking to integrate Salesforce and Hubspot — drop us a message in the form at the bottom of the page. We’d love to help.