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Sales & Marketing Alignment: A Blueprint to Improve Impact & Conversion 

Modo Modo Agency

May 24, 2024

A sales rep and a marketer walk into a bar. The sales rep sits down and confidently says, “I can sell anything to anyone.” The marketer smirks and replies, “Oh yeah? Well, I persuade people to buy before you even start selling.” The bartender looks at his watch and says, “That’s great. Now how about you two persuade each other to buy a drink.”

Why is it so hard to keep two groups of people selling the same product on the same page? It isn’t. But it does require one thing sales and marketing always have in short supply: time. 

We get it. No one wants more meetings. But research shows that B2B companies with well-aligned sales and marketing teams increase brand awareness, convert and retain more customers, and generate more revenue.

Here’s a simple blueprint to help your sales and marketing teams work in harmony:

1. Start by Getting Back to Basics

Even bulletproof brand strategies need to change with the times. As your industry, customers and company evolve, reviewing your core strategies helps keep teams on the same page — and moving forward. Revisit your ideal customer persona, their biggest pain points and where your product plugs in to help. Obvious? Yes. Important? Absolutely. 

2. Audit Everything

According to several questionably sourced marketing articles, up to 70% of B2B content goes unused by sales teams because they (a.) don’t know it exists, (b.) can’t access it easily or (c.)  don’t find it relevant to their customers or processes. Can we confirm this statistic? No. But if reading it sparked even a momentrary mini freak-out, it’s probably time for a content audit. Grab your team, a coffee and all the content you can to sort out:

  • What materials really resonate with your customers
  • Which pieces need updates
  • How can existing content be repurposed in upcoming campaigns
  • Where are there gaps in your sales enablement
  • How will you share or better market these resources internally

3. Figure Out What a Qualified Lead Looks Like to Your Team

Ah, qualified leads. Easily the #1 cause of sales and marketing squabbles since the creation of KPIs. Perhaps this is because — despite all the conversation around lead gen and nurturing — less than half of companies have a formal definition of what a qualified lead actually is.Fortunately, lead scoring offers a simple fix. 

Step 1: Start by defining your ideal lead (Who are they? How did they find you? How are they engaging with your brand?)

Step 2: Assign numerical values to different attributes or actions based on how closely they match your ideal customer profile (job title, email opens, etc.)

Step 3: Figure out minimum score values and — bamthat’s your bar for a qualified lead. You’ll likely tweak the system over time, but at least now everyone’s on the same page. 

(Bonus Tip: Make sure you have a system to disqualify leads, too. Assign negative points for unopened emails or regions you don’t sell into so you know when it’s time to move on.)

4. Keep the Conversation Going

Customer insights are a goldmine for your marketing department. Make sure sales has an open channel to keep marketing updated on new challenges customers face, common points of confusion about products, messages that resonate and more. Likewise, marketing should pass on insights into offerings or content that show higher engagement to potentially inform sales’ conversations. 

Sales & Marketing Alignment Takes Time…But Pays for Itself

Achieving sales and marketing alignment ultimately comes down to each team’s commitment to listen to one another. And the belief that working together will make both teams’ jobs easier and more fruitful. By starting with these four simple steps, sales and marketing can build a strong foundation to work in harmony, maximize conversions and unite against our common enemy: the product team! (We’re just kidding. It’s actually procurement.)