Three Things Marketing Must Do To Achieve Marketing/Sales Alignment


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EveryonEveryone knows that having Marketing and Sales “on the same page” can improve productivity and fuel top-line growth. But what do you do if you work for an organization where the two groups aren’t aligned? Here are three simple steps Marketing can do to achieve Marketing/Sales alignment.

  1. Initiate the conversation

As Marketers, the first thing we need to do is initiate a conversation with Sales about the need for alignment. Don’t wait for Sales to initiative the conversation, as you could be waiting forever. Marketers may be reluctant to do this, because initiating the conversation opens the door for Sales to vent their frustration and displeasure with Marketing. This doesn’t have to be the case. It all depends on how you frame the conversation. Starting the conversation by saying “what do you think Marketing could do better” is not the way to start. This could lead to squabbling and the conversation could go downhill very quickly. Instead, start with the one thing you have in common – the customer. Instead ask, “what can we do to communicate better with our customers.”

  1. Admit your mistakes and don’t get defensive

One of the outcomes of poor Marketing/Sales alignment are Marketing programs that have gone wrong. We have all had them. For example, the email mail Marketing thought was spot on but Sales thought was spam or the leads we forwarded to Sales that they thought were junk. No one likes to admit when they are wrong. And when someone points out some of our shortcomings, it is easy to get defensive. But, if we truly want to start the healing process and foster a better relationship with Sales we have admit our mistakes. Why? Because if Sales and Marketing are to be aligned there must be trust, and nothing builds trust faster than admitting your mistakes. Also, people tend to respect others who can say “I was wrong.” The newfound trust and respect that goes along with admitting Marketing mistakes will go a long way to fostering an improved Sales/Marketing alignment.

  1. Get out of the office

Most Marketers spend too much time in the office and not enough time in the field making sales calls and meeting customers. We can’t always know what our customers are thinking and what challenges our salespeople are facing. We like to think we do, but we don’t. There is only one way to fix this. Get out of the office, talk to customers, talk to you salespeople, ask them questions and most importantly, listen to what they have to say. They will appreciate it and you will be a better Marketer for it.
I used these three approaches recently and I am glad I did. It helped open the door and start a conversation with the Sales team that should have happened a long time ago and has fostered a better working relationship.

What other suggestions do you have on how Marketing can improve Marketing/Sales Alignment?

David Corr
David Corr is a Marketing Director at Contech Engineered Solutions. He is an experienced marketing executive that helps organizations build awareness, generate leads, and engage their target audience. David has a rich work history that encompasses all aspects of BtoB marketing included sales, sales training, product management, marketing operations, branding, and communications. David holds Bachelor Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, and an MBA from the University of Dayton.


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