How to align sales and marketing to increase customer value
Sales teams want this. Marketing teams want that. Like cats and dogs. Discord between sales and marketing departments is a familiar story. Different tactics and different goals often keep both teams apart.
That makes no sense.
In this article, I’ll go through a few strategies to align sales and marketing teams and, as a consequence, increase customer value.
Integrate your sales and marketing software for data alignment
This is as obvious as it gets. You only create strong alignment between your sales and marketing teams by promoting frequent and direct communication between the two. No, this doesn’t mean extra meetings in the calendar. It means sharing a solid data foundation.
Data alignment throughout the used systems like CRM and marketing automation can be the glue that keeps your sales and marketing teams together. When different sales and marketing tools can “talk” to each other, data can automatically be synced between them. As a result, the same data pool will inform both marketing and sales processes.
Today, anyone can access a tremendous amount of information that goes beyond basic firmographics. It’s how you use the data—and the insights you can draw from it, what makes a difference. Quality beats quantity almost every time.
When software is integrated, both teams have a complete picture of the customer journey, from visitor to customer, at all times. This brings several benefits:
- Sales teams can better anticipate buyer pain points and proactively share content targeted to each potential buyer based on their current situation.
- Similarly, marketers can see what content works at the bottom of the funnel, and act quickly to fill any gaps or generate more of the content that drives results.
- Salespeople can access data about prospects’ business and online behaviour in one place and more easily discover and understand potential patterns.
- Both teams can collaborate to fix problems and do more of what yields positive results.
Consider, for example, marketing automation and email marketing tactics. When sales and marketing have a shared, holistic view of the customer journey, they can better tailor their messaging to prospect’s needs and behaviour, instead of sending several disconnected messages.
How to build the right sales and marketing tech stack
Technology decisions shouldn't be made in silos, and systems shouldn't only serve an individual department's needs and goals. Every department in the business must cooperate to jointly engineer holistic sales and marketing architecture.
At the minimum, you want to integrate your CRM platform and your marketing automation tool. This way, you can build reach profiles of your customers and prospects that include both contact data and behavioural data.
Don't stop there. Add sales intelligence software to the mix and establish a data enrichment process. It will allow you to append real-time company information to ensure sales and marketing teams provide the right customer journey to the right company.
Real-time company information lays the ground for sales and marketing collaboration by:
- Helping sales and marketing define a shared ideal customer profile (more on this right down below).
- Offering a deeper understanding of the entirety of the sales funnel, allowing marketing to improve their lead nurturing activities and helping sales be more relevant in their outreach by tracking the right sales triggers.
3 methods to increase customer value with sales and marketing alignment
Once you’ve built a strong data foundation and your sales and marketing are working in sync, you’ll be in a good position to be more relevant in every step of the sales process and win happier customers.
1. Create a shared description of your ideal customer profile
Start by getting everybody onto the same page. A necessity for strong sales and marketing collaboration is a shared description of their ideal customer profile. Such defining will reveal the accounts that your teams should ideally target—your happiest customers and the ones who stay with you the most.
A robust ideal customer profile should be based on real-time company information. The more data points you have, the more accurate your ideal customer profile will be, and you’ll minimise the risk of missing many of the less obvious indicators of best-fit accounts.
Knowing a company’s tech stack, their general web presence, and other technographic can make all the difference when creating a top-notch ideal customer profile (by the way, here’s a template to get you started).
2. Improve the overall customer experience by tailoring your outreach
Today's sales and marketing boil down to the relevance of customer interactions. Buyers want real-time experiences and expect highly-personalised content and interactions. Tailor your sales and marketing messages to be relevant for every prospect, increase upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
3. Keep messaging consistent
Sales and marketing alignment guarantees that your prospects are treated with consistent messages across every touchpoint. Focus on essential questions such as what problems do you solve for your customer and how do you specifically solve those problems. When you align your teams on the problems you’re solving, you’ll deliver messages (whether they come from sales or marketing) focused on the critical challenge that your product or services solve.
All in all, sales and marketing alignment improves your customers’ experiences. This leads to happier customers and increased customer value.
When both departments work in sync, salespeople become more relevant in every touchpoint, improving their hit-rate in every step of the sales process. At the same, marketing can get a better understanding of where their best leads come from and which ones are most likely to convert into paying customers.
To ensure your sales and marketing efforts focus on the right companies—and the right persons within these businesses, both teams, must share a data foundation and agree who the ideal customer is, what they care about, and their situation.
Want to create a smooth lead process that aligns sales and marketing—and delights your customers? Sign up for a FREE 14-day APSIS One trial today.
Author: Eduardo Alonso
Eduardo Alonso is Vainu’s Content Marketing Manager. A taco enthusiast
and obsessive record collector who specialises in content for B2B
companies. You can connect with Eduardo on LinkedIn.