How to Align Sales and Marketing


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Getting B2B Sales and Marketing Departments To Work Together to Increase Leads

Most business-to-business or B2B companies don’t want to admit this, but their sales and marketing departments are at odds. In the worse case scenarios, the company isn’t even aware of the problem. With the B2B sales and marketing teams each sending out conflicting messages, this lack of cohesion makes it difficult to generate B2B leads and sales. Getting both departments to see themselves as allies instead of rivals improves the company’s bottom line.

Tips for Bringing the Two Sides Closer

1. Remind both teams of their roles

The marketing department targets a specific market, attracts the attention of qualified leads, discusses the benefits of a product or service, and entices the lead to speak with a salesperson. The sales department networks, builds relationships, creates a case for buying, and closes the sale. Basically, marketing finds qualified leads and sales nurtures those leads. Each role is important in the sales funnel.

2. Get the two teams to communicate

The sales department has an intimate knowledge of what the customer wants and why he buys. The sales team relays this information and asks for sales tools that the customer needs to make a buying decision. The marketing department listens and creates tools the sales team wants to use. If the marketing team delivers tools the sales team doesn’t think is effective, the salespeople won’t use them. This wastes time and money.

3. Create goals together

Both the sales and the marketing team need to devise goals together. These goals can be anything from increasing the number of new customers to increasing revenue by a certain percentage in the next quarter. Once both sides agree on the goals, they are now on the same page and know what is expected. Having deadlines or milestones also help to keep the two teams on track. If one or both teams get behind, then it is important to refine the goal and the game plan. Each department maintains communication so that everyone in both departments knows what is going on.

4. Use the same messages

Marketing department have to have a clear understanding of what the product or service is and does. With this information the department devises the USP or unique selling proposition. This is what makes a product or service unique and sets it apart from the competition. The marketing department conveys this USP in the sales materials it creates for the sales team. The salespeople learn the USP and talk about it during sales calls to generate interest. With this method, there is one message about how a product or service benefits the customer. With marketing and sales in alignment, it makes it easier to increase B2B sales.

5. Go on sales calls together.

By having members of the marketing team go on sales calls with the salespeople, they learn what it takes to close a sale. This invaluable information teaches marketing personnel what customers want or need, what resonates with them and why they ultimately buy. Once armed with this new information, the marketing department creates sales materials that are more effective in helping the sales team to close sales.

By making changes in how the sales and marketing departments interact, it becomes possible for the two teams to work together. In a well-run B2B company, the sales team and the marketing team see their relationship as partners, not as adversaries. Once the two teams develop goals and communicate on a regular basis, a seamless integration takes place and the company soon notices an increase in revenue and profits.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Koka Sexton
Koka Sexton, Social Selling Evangelist and Sr. Social Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, is one of the most recognized social selling experts in the technology industry. A career in helping companies use social media for lead generation, creating new opportunities, and engaging customers. READ MORE at the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog.


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