Surprise! Alignment Increases Revenue
March 14, 2016 6:20:06 AM | By Matt Benati
If you want to increase your business’s productivity and revenue, it may be as simple as aligning your sales and marketing teams. The concept is simple. The execution, however, requires a bit of elbow grease.
The Problem Most Sales/Marketing Teams Face
Simply put, the two departments have different goals and often misunderstand each other’s roles. B2B sales teams focus on accounts. These teams know that it takes more than getting on the radar of individual leads to close deals. They don’t want just any leads, they need leads within their target accounts. In most cases, they’ll engage 5, 10 or even 15 people within each account before a purchasing decision is made. Clearly account intelligence is critical for success, which is why the sales team needs marketing to penetrate target accounts.
Unfortunately, many marketing teams focus on individual leads and measure their success on website visits, forms submitted and social media engagement. Their monthly goals aren’t specific to accounts, but hinge on enticing the largest number of people as possible to join their mailing list and engage with their content. So, even if the marketing department hits its monthly quota of leads, it’s likely that the majority of the leads are useless to the sales team. Sales and marketing alignment can correct this negative outcome.
In order for sales and marketing to be on the same page, it’s vital they have the same definitions for some basic things like:
- What is a contact?
- What is a qualified lead?
- What is an opportunity?
- What are the sales stages?
If the marketing department defines a qualified lead as anybody who doesn’t opt-out of their email list and occasionally clicks through to the site, but sales defines a qualified lead as one that matches up with a specific account they’re targeting (or fits the characteristics of accounts they typically target,) it’s easy to see how the two departments can get out of sync without even realizing it.
As a result, the marketing department may be celebrating success, while the sales department is frustrated that their database is filled with “noise” rather than the targeted, account-based leads they were hoping to be able to leverage.
What’s the Solution? Alignment
Here’s the thing: alignment is not a new strategy, rather it’s something that has been extensively studied. For example, according to HubSpot, sales and marketing teams that are well aligned experienced a revenue growth of 20% annually, versus a decline of 4% in companies who are poorly aligned.
The bottom line is: increased revenue is correlated directly to sales and marketing teams that are aligned.
Where the Elbow Grease Comes in
Getting the two teams on the same page is easier said than done, but by no means impossible with the right strategies and management buy-in.
The alignment process can be broken down into three steps. (For detailed information on this process, check back soon for a more in-depth piece on sales and marketing alignment!)
Step 1 – Alignment Planning
- Agree on definitions (contacts, leads, opportunities, revenue pipeline, sales stages, etc)
- Agree on the goal of working accounts versus leads
- Agree on metrics that align and provide accountability
- Agree on incentives that drive productivity, accountability, and alignment
- Agree on the process for handing off qualified leads and support this with an SLA
Step 2 – Alignment Execution
- Collaborate to create sales and marketing playbooks
- Deliver against playbooks
- Measure productivity and maintain a metrics dashboard
- Quick-hit weekly meetings to review dashboard, knock down barriers, and provide continuous feedback between sales and marketing teams
Step 3 – Alignment Course Corrections
- Review playbook and metrics against results to determine what works and what doesn’t
- Find root causes of problem
- Identify and agree on solutions
- Modify processes and people according to agreed upon solutions
How LeadGnome Can Help
Once you get your sales and marketing teams on the same page, you’re poised for growth! The next hurdle is not only maintaining your CRM, but growing it.
While it probably comes as no surprise that auto responses to your email campaigns contain valuable information, manually mining and storing that data is a tedious, error-prone process that results in most marketing departments barely scratching the surface of this untapped goldmine.
LeadGnome is the solution. It’s an account based marketing web service that mines valuable account and lead information from emails to fuel your company’s sales acceleration. Here are a few specific ways we can help:
LeadGnome enhances and maintains existing leads within target accounts. LeadGnome transforms email addresses into more complete contacts by identifying and gathering missing lead record data, like phone numbers and titles. Having this information allows sales teams to identify key influencers and tailor their messages accordingly.
LeadGnome delivers lead-to-account matching. A critical component of account based marketing, lead to account matching results in no orphaned leads and increased account intelligence by identifying top influencers and decision makers within an organization. CEB Global estimates an average of 5.4 people have a role in B2B buying decisions, so having the right leads in your CRM means more targeted messaging and more closed deals.
LeadGnome reduces data entry. One of the most attractive features is the speed and accuracy with which LeadGnome mines sales intelligence from campaign reply emails. This gives your sales team more timely data (such as when a lead will return to the office), which in turn enables better connect rates. It also frees both your sales and marketing teams to focus on more meaningful tasks. A recent report by Docurated revealed that a salesperson spends as much as 20% of their time, every day, on administrative and CRM tasks. You can gain as much as 1 day per week when you use LeadGnome.
If you’re working to better align your sales and marketing teams, see how LeadGnome can help. Start your free trial today!