This article on the 4 Easy Steps to Align Sales – Marketing addresses an important issue. If you see a tug of war between the Sales vs Marketing teams in your organisation, know that you are not alone!
In fact, it’s all too common: as much as 53% of sales professionals are not pleased with marketing’s support, a survey by LeanData showed. And may I add Marketing’s perspective: nothing is more wasteful than Sales not accepting the lead you worked hard for generating!
The problem: lack of alignment.
There’s however enough reason to ensure an ‘ perfect as possible’ alignment between Sales and Marketing: “B2B businesses that align their revenue engine grow 12 to 15x faster than their peers and are 34% more profitable” according to SiriusDecisions.
4 Easy Steps to Align Sales – Marketing
STEP 1: Agree on what the Ideal Prospect looks like.
Sales Account Execs have their own views on what their best customers look like. However, these views are to be complemented with actual market research facts regarding buying persona, attributes, purchasing motives, buying behaviour and the likes.
In addition, what’s an ideal sale must be defined as well. Is that: Quick win or Customer for life?
An easily converted prospect is great for quick-win sales. Helps with making this quarter’s sales quota. But what an organisation is really after is a target market that delivers predictable sales. That defines loyal clients as ideal clients. 10 predictable repeat sales are better than 1-off hit, right?! You’re looking to build long- term relationships.
As an organisation and its service market evolves, this ideal customer profile will have to be revisited from time to time.
A marketing automation platform like Pardot has features like ‘prospect grading’ to specify which prospect characteristics are ideal vs. not on target. Prospects are scored based on factors like industry, locale, company size, job title and more as grading parameters.
Setting up prospect grading is an easy, helpful step to infuse sales insights into marketing initiatives, with tremendous results.
STEP 2: Define (exactly) what a sales-ready lead is. Finding a prospect with the right demographics (i.e. prospect grade) is one thing. Having that person ready to part with her cash, is another.
A marketing automation platform like Pardot enables you to score a lead’s every action taken in your realm: visit key website pages, fill out a form, click CTA buttons in landing pages.
To what extend is the prospect progressed in his/her purchasing journey to be ready to talk to a Sales rep. That person might have downloaded an industry white paper, participated in a free webinar, and visited the pricing page on your website.
This ‘lead scoring’ system adds up the points. Now, your sales and marketing teams must decide when that lead is ready to be handed over to a sales rep for conversion. At this point, the lead will be called an SQL — sales qualified lead.
In sum: lead scoring another easy method for efficient alignment between Sales and Marketing.
STEP 3: Link Your Marketing Automation System to Your CRM System.
In the case of Pardot and Marketing Cloud, there are many ways & degrees to which you could build linkages and integration with the Salesforce CRM.
Integration can be a simple prospect sync, to triggered email sends upon customer field state changes in your CRM, to task for your sales team when a prospect reaches a certain number of points. Configuring Salesforce Pardot Connected Campaigns is another way to integrate. Different type of integration require more or less configuration.
What’s best for you sales and marketing alignment depends on the nature and mission of your organisation.
STEP 4: Track the Sales and Marketing Metrics that Matter.
The proof IS the pudding. What do I mean? Being able to prove that your marketing works is the sweet spot.
What is so powerful about marketing automation tools? It is that you can actually track your marketing campaign results along the various stages in your pipeline. And most importantly, that you can begin to link the actual revenue you have realised with each marketing campaign that you have running.
Having a Marketing ROI in hand is, of course, very powerful. But also, consistently, filling the pipeline in the earlier stages is very powerful. It’s important for sales planning, but also for things like cashflow management or production planning.
A marketing automation platform like Pardot empowers an organisation to make 4 Easy Steps to Align Sales – Marketing, And that’s worth pursuing.
Successful sales and marketing alignment is not achieved overnight. Optimising is the name of the game.
Learn more if it’s for you
If you are interested in a Pardot* / Salesforce sales and marketing alignment chat or demo, feel free to contact us via the button below.
Or, first read more about our other insights in Salesforce CRM integration with Pardot. In our Seven Reasons Why Pardot (particularly for mid-sized B2B). Sales and Marketing alignment is one of them.
(*Update: Pardot is renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement as of April 5, 2022.)