I’m Steve Davis and I want to talk about aligning sales and marketing.
Aligning Sales and Marketing Is Key
Having sales and marketing aligned is key to accelerating your revenue growth.
I’ve gone into companies on a consulting basis, 95% of the time marketing and sales aren’t on the same page or there may even be an open warfare between the two groups. How many times have you heard sales say “your marketing leads suck?” How many times have you heard marketing say “I send great sales leads over to the sales department and they just fall into a black hole”? That’s just a symptom of another underlying problem.
When I’ve gone into these companies, what I’ve found, and what studies have shown, is that the average salesperson spends 40 to 60 hours a month doing their own sales material. And that 85% of all marketing material is unused by the sales department.
Salespeople Need to Sell
I’d rather have my salespeople spend time selling and not doing literature or promotional pieces. So the key is, why do they do that?
A study was done by IDC showing that an extra 10 minutes of selling a week, per sales rep, is worth about $57,000 a year in revenue to the average company. So when they’re spending 40 to 60 hours a month doing sales material, that’s a lot of revenue on the table! So why is that the case? How do you get around it?
Companies that are better aligned grow about 5% faster on a year-over-year basis. They’re 38% better at closing business, and they have 36% less customer churn when sales and marketing are aligned. The problem is really basic: marketing and sales have different views of the world. Marketing is asking who is Mr. Right? But sales, because they work on commission, looks for Mr. Right Now. They want to close business because that’s how they get paid. The more they close, the higher their paychecks.
Define Sales-Ready Leads
What you need to do is you need to get them on the same page, you need to put them in a room so they can start arguing and defining what a sales-ready lead is.
So this way, marketing knows that if they have a sales lead, and it meets all the criteria that sales say is a sales-ready lead, then they could hand it over. If not, then what they should do is put it into some sort of nurturing campaign, to bring that prospect along until they become a sales-ready lead.
Define the Buyer Cycle
The other important thing is defining the buyer cycle.
If you understand the buyer cycle, most sales cycles are wrong – 85% of all sales cycles are wrong and not in sync with the buyer. The reason is because sales cycles are developed from the company looking out.
You need to understand what the buyer motivation is, what the buyer is going to go through, for marketing to work with sales to develop specific materials for the buyer to help them get through each of their decision gates.Once you do that, you’re generating material that sales can actually use, as opposed to generating their own material.
Get Marketing and Sales Aligned to Finally Grow Your Company
Find out what the buyer cycle is, identify what a sales-ready lead is, get marketing and sales talking. That’s the only way that you really get sales and marketing aligned. And when they’re aligned, you’ll get into a faster growth mode. Revenue will grow faster, the company will grow faster, and everybody will be happy.