The biggest problem with Sales and Marketing alignment is that, well, sometimes there isn’t a whole lot of it. This is especially true for many modern B2B companies, and often, it’s because of metrics.
Marketing teams have a tendency to focus on what we like to call “activity metrics” — click through rates, program successes, deliverability rates, unsubscribes, leads sourced, etc. — which can be meaningful for the team as they analyze trends internally. But these types of metrics don’t help align Marketing with Sales as the two teams try to move leads through the funnel.
On September 15th, SalesFolk Founder and CEO Heather R. Morgan joined our in-house Marketing Guru Emily Salus in hosting an informative webinar that broke down the ways in which Sales and Marketing can use metrics to encourage more alignment between the teams. Here, we’ll run through the key points from that webcast, laying out some practical tips to help Marketing and Sales work better together and close more deals.
What You Should Measure
Start by asking the right questions. Sure, looking at email open rates or unsubscribes can help you make day-to-day decisions around your creative approach, but it means diddly squat to Sales. In order to collaborate well with your sales counterparts, you need to ask yourself which metrics matter the most when it comes to funnel reporting and quickly moving leads through your buyer’s journey.
Instead of measuring the number of leads generated, measure which campaigns are sourcing the leads that turn into opportunities. Instead of of measuring email click-throughs, measure where in the funnel your leads are getting stuck and what has worked best to move them through the various stages. These are examples of metrics that are relevant to both Marketing and Sales, and they’ll offer strategic insights for both teams so that everyone can meet — and even exceed — their goals.
Changing Your Approach
The number one thing to keep in mind is that Sales and Marketing should be working to drive the business together. Both teams want to see success, and that comes with helping the company — and each other — succeed.
Agree on what a qualified lead looks like or you’ll waste time and energy on all fronts. Change how you’re viewing your campaigns so that you measure in terms of opportunities and revenue instead of leads and clicks. Look at the ROI for every one of your initiatives and then report on how you’re helping the the sales team and the overall business meet its goals.
Expand your view to include the entire funnel, measure how and where your team’s efforts add value by accelerating your company’s sales cycle, and set yourself up for more productive conversations with Sales around where to ramp things up, where to pull back, and how you can help each other win more.
Aligning for Future Success
Marketing and Sales alignment is possible, realistic, and attainable because of this one thing — the shared goal of company-wide success. If you’re bringing in the right kind of leads and then helping Sales move them all the way through the funnel to close a deal, then everybody wins!
Make it a point to come together with folks from both teams to set criteria and decide what exactly you both should be measuring across the funnel. And don’t just talk about it — document it, too, so that you have something tangible to track and measure against as you grow and iterate on the process. We recommend revisiting your plan with regularly scheduled alignment meetings that take place at least once every quarter. Come to these meetings prepared to think about how the two teams can use what they’ve learned quantitatively as well as qualitatively, as Sales is in a position to clue Marketing into the conversations that are happening with prospects and customers. These are the meetings that, over time, will work to build the trust that will help you, your Sales team, and your business thrive.
And that, my friend, is exactly where you want to be.