Sales And Marketing Alignment For Improved Business Effectiveness

Written by Sally Ofuonyebi

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Organizations are constantly looking for strategies to increase leads, customer satisfaction and revenue.

An effective way to achieve this is through sales and marketing alignment.

 The new reality is that sales and marketing are continuously and increasingly integrated. Marketing needs to know more about sales, sales needs to know more about marketing and we all need to know more about our customers. 
Jill Rowley

When your marketing team is enabling sales, it becomes easier to achieve target goals.

In this guide, we will investigate the benefits and challenges of sales and marketing alignment. We will also discuss some of the best strategies and share success stories:

What is sales and marketing alignment?

Sales and marketing alignment, also called smarketing, refers sales and marketing team collaboration within a business to achieve common goals.

True alignment involves unified communication and mutual support between the two functions. Both teams cooperate to create cohesive and customer-centered strategies that drive revenue growth and improve customer experience.

Research by Freshworks showed 72% of leaders believe that by aligning their sales and marketing functions, they can boost brand performance.

Brands like Superoffice are already seeing the benefits of alignment on their bottom line with a 34% increase in revenue following integration.

Consequences of sales and marketing misalignment

Now we have defined sales and marketing alignment, let’s discuss some of the issues that arise when these teams work as separate functions.

Wasted resources

When sales and marketing teams operate independently, resources like time, materials and budget may go to waste.

One key sign of sales and marketing misalignment is frustration from your sales team about the quality of leads. If sales are disqualifying a large percentage of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) then misalignment is likely to be an issue.

Conversely, if marketing collateral is not being used by sales or target market engagement rates are low, this also indicates a problem.

In today’s competitive landscape, marketing campaigns should be informed by feedback from the sales team.  Some of the challenges sales teams face during outreach may provide insights for creating conversion-driven marketing campaigns.

Lack of cooperation can lead to ineffective messaging and misallocation of budget.

Erosion of consumer trust

Misalignment amongst revenue teams may lead to inconsistent messaging. Differing promotional copy, blog posts, product descriptions and sales pitches may erode consumer trust.

This negatively affects the overall customer experience.

Missed opportunities 

Dubious prospects buy nothing. In fact, 62% of people are not loyal to the brand if it does not provide an experience tailored to their needs.

Sales and marketing misalignment may cause your business to miss out on a lot of opportunities. You are less likely to be aware of the points on the buying journey where your leads drop off.

Conflicting messaging also disrupts your customer experience. This means your company risks losing valuable opportunities to connect with consumers. The loss of these opportunities can impact return on investment (ROI), customer retention rate and brand trust.

Decreased sales and revenue

Most concerning of all, in the HubSpot 2023 Sales Trend Report, 52% of leaders say low revenue is the biggest impact of misaligned sales and marketing functions.

Inconsistent messaging, missed opportunities and ineffective campaigns lengthen the sales cycle. Little wonder why 40-70%+ of qualified leads are still not ready to buy.

If your revenue functions are not in sync, the biggest impact is likely to be on your business’s bottom line.

Graphic on the impact of sales and marketing misalignment
Source: HubSpot 2023 Sales Trend Report

Overcoming common challenges to sales and marketing alignment

Aligning revenue strategy is not without its challenges, some of the most common include,

Misalignment in goal setting and metrics

When sales and marketing teams are trying to reach differing goals, it becomes hard to track progress and achieve overall business objectives.

Instead of different measurement approaches, work together to develop shared metrics. This way, it becomes easy to detect broken processes or where leads drop off on the buyer journey.

By working towards common objectives valuable growth opportunities are less likely to be missed.

Lack of communication and collaboration

When there’s little or no communication between the two teams, getting tangible results can be more difficult.

Communication gaps lead to misaligned messaging, ineffective lead handoffs and long sales cycles. Regular cross-functional team meetings and project collaboration dashboards are just two ways to improve understanding between teams.

Inadequate data-sharing and integration

According to LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2022, 45% of salespeople say incomplete data is their biggest challenge.

Siloed data and poor integration systems can frustrate teams’ efforts and hurt a brand’s productivity.

Bar chart of the challenges of sales and marketing alignment
Source: Revenue Marketing Alliance

Benefits of sales and marketing alignment

Companies who align their marketing and sales teams for improved effectiveness enjoy a number of benefits including:

Better understanding of target audiences

Utilizing sales and marketing data when creating buyer personas ensures a more accurate picture of the person or business likely to purchase your product.  Aligned personas help both departments understand target audiences’ challenges, goals and objections at every stage of the customer journey. This helps deliver consistent and personalized messaging and experiences throughout the sales cycle.

Customer journey mapping for aligning sales and marketing teams.
Source: Super Office

Improved customer experience

Today, 56% of consumers will become repeat buyers if they enjoy personalized experiences.

Sales marketing alignment removes the artificial division that can exist between…

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