Aligning sales, marketing, and customer success teams is key to improving your conversion rates and driving business success.
However, bringing these teams together to offer customers a seamless experience and generate revenue (referred to as revenue alignment) is easier said than done.
The leadership team not only needs to encourage marketing and sales leaders to co-create common goals but also to use the right tools to promote cross-team collaboration.
Not sure where to start? Let’s give you a rundown of the ways to break down silos between teams and encourage seamless coordination.
What is revenue alignment in B2B sales?
Revenue alignment refers to creating a high degree of collaboration between the sales, marketing, and customer success teams so they offer customers a streamlined experience from start to finish.
By using shared goals, strategies, and performance metrics to break down silos between these teams, you can:
- Attract high-quality leads and improve pipeline generation
- Nurture prospects with the most relevant approach
- And, close deals faster
Ultimately, revenue alignment helps you grow your bottom line.
4 benefits of revenue alignment for lead generation
Revenue alignment is foundational for effective lead generation — minus the resource wastage.
Essentially, it “[…] helps to eliminate disconnect between [the sales and marketing] departments, creating a streamlined approach to generate leads and convert them into paying customers,” says AIBuster’s Founder and CIO, Nazmul Hasan.
“As a result, businesses can benefit from improved customer acquisition rates, increased revenue, and enhanced customer experiences.”
To add, seamless cross-departmental collaboration boosts productivity. For example, successful revenue alignment helps to:
1. Improve lead quality
Without input from the sales team, the marketing team creates lead-generation campaigns based on assumptions of who the target buyer is.
However, as teams work together, they can exchange feedback about who the ideal buyer is and what their struggles are, helping the marketing department create effective pipeline-generation campaigns.
The result? Your lead quality improves and you beat pipeline anxiety.
2. Increase sales velocity
When teams are aligned with the common goal of driving revenue growth, they work together to attract ideal leads and move them through different stages of the sales cycle.
Not only does this increase the speed at which leads move through your funnel but it also improves your win rates and bottom line.
3. Improve employee motivation and retention
SetSail’s CMO, Peter Mollins says yet another benefit of revenue generation “is [that your] company becomes a better place to work for your best salespeople and marketers. Who wants to work on a team where you feel like you’re rowing against the tide or battling each other just to do your job?”
As teams collaborate, employees realize they can make a bigger impact by working together, rather than against each other. This improves motivation and performance, which contributes to employee retention and overall job satisfaction.
4. Enhance customer experience and retention
Disconnected teams make for poor customer experiences with your company.
For example, a lead might be ready to buy based on the marketing content they consumed but if the sales team doesn’t prioritize converting them due to a lack of coordination, it will make a bad impression on your potential customer.
At the end of the day, teams who don’t work together result in a loss of qualified leads.
On the other hand, prospects who enjoy a consistent experience with your company from the get-go are more likely to become loyal customers. Why? Because they understand that no matter who they reach out to in your company, their success will be prioritized.
In short, revenue alignment accelerates pipeline generation, improves customer experience, assists teams in setting clear priorities, and increases the close-ratio, contributing to revenue growth.
6 ways to achieve revenue alignment
“[…] the key to an effective alignment between the functions lie in transparency, accountability and agility,” notes Steve De Marco, the Chief Revenue Officer, LeanData.
To instill these practices, you’ll need to adopt some alignment-focused habits like creating shared goals, objectives, and strategies for both sales and marketing teams. And you’ll also need to improve communication between your teams so they feel comfortable and confident in exchanging information.
Follow these expert-backed strategies to get started.
1. Improve cross-department communication
Lack of effective communication is the biggest reason behind the disconnect between teams, according to 38% of respondents in a HubSpot survey.
However, “communication is key,” for revenue alignment according to Alexia Chalita, the Director of Marketing at ClinCapture.
To begin with, both the marketing and sales teams should take the time to understand each other’s concerns.
For the most part, these concerns boil down to two main complaints. Sales says the marketing team needs to bring in higher-quality leads, and the marketing department says there’s a lack of feedback from sales about their content.
The solution? SetSail’s Peter Mollins points out:
Alexia also adds, “Marketers should join pipeline meetings with the sales team and get qualitative and quantitative feedback on certain leads.”
2. Set clear priorities and performance metrics
Clear priorities emerge from setting shared goals and strategies.
“It’s [why it is] important to set common goals and agree on lead quality, target audience, and revenue targets. This helps ensure that both teams are working towards the same objectives,” says ClinCapture’s Alexia Chalita.
The sad reality though? Most teams don’t create and coordinate on shared objectives, making it the second biggest hurdle in achieving revenue alignment.
To solve this, get everyone to “[row] in the same direction by focusing on the same metrics and goals,” advises Vito Vishnepolsky, Director at Martal Group.
For example, set common goals like generating leads, closing more deals, and expanding existing accounts.
Also, “Define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that both departments should be working towards, such as revenue generated from marketing campaigns or the number of leads converted into customers,” AIBuster’s Nazmul Hasan recommends.
“This approach ensures that both departments are working towards the same goals and can measure their progress towards achieving them.”
What’s more, get all the teams to co-create lead generation campaigns.
At Martal Group, for instance, Vito shares, “For our internal team as well as for our customers, we cultivate collaboration from both departments by working together on marketing materials, campaigns, and lead management. In doing so, we have found that prospecting is more efficient, discovery calls are more productive, and lead nurturing is more impactful.”
3. Co-create marketing strategies and campaigns
Not only do teams need to share goals, but they also need to collaborate on creating the strategy they want to employ to achieve these goals.
“In my experience, the best way to achieve revenue alignment is to make sure that sales is included in every part of the process,” shares Gauri Manglik, the CEO & Co-founder of Instrumentl.
“We've found that when sales is involved in planning and strategy, sales can better understand what their customers are looking for and how their customers want to buy. We also found that once we started including sales in our planning and strategy meetings, our results improved.”
“There’s nothing like having someone from sales who knows what it’s like on the front lines and who can bring their experience into the mix. They can help us avoid making decisions based on assumptions about what our customers want or how they want to buy and instead focus on what we know about our customers’ needs and wants.”
Moreover, bring about more alignment by getting all the teams to analyze the marketing strategy’s performance. To this end, host regular cross-team meetings where marketing, sales, and customer support teams review performance and identify areas for improvement together.
4. Define and regularly revisit the target buyer personas together
Marketing and sales teams can only drive needle-moving results when they’re clear on who the target customer is.
Often, a lack of clarity and coordination on the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) results in poor quality leads and resource wastage.
It’s why Peter Mollins from SetSail recommends you “Get laser-focused on the customer. Define your ICP on a granular level and ensure everyone knows what this is cross-functionally.”
In addition to sharing available customer data, the sales team should also regularly review marketing content and share their feedback on lead quality. This will show the marketing team how well they understand the ICP and how well their marketing campaigns are driving results.
5. Use the right tools that encourage collaboration
Conflicting tools and challenges in sharing data are also among the leading reasons behind revenue misalignment.
Make sure you pick a CRM platform that gives teams access to cross-departmental data so they can use it in their day-to-day workflow.
For example, the sales teams should be able to see how prospects are interacting with marketing content. At the same time, the marketing team should be able to see how well the leads they drive are converting.
Another important tool you can use to develop revenue alignment is UserGems. It tracks customer job changes’ and target accounts — notifying you when alumni (and hopefully happy customers) change jobs or when a new position is filled at a target account.
The marketing team can then use this information to reengage past users and target people who have taken new roles.
From there, salespeople can start reaching out to prospects who are already seeing and interacting with the content marketing has been sending out.
6. Share and review data regularly
“Get the data right,” advises SetSail’s CMO, Peter Mollins. “If you don’t know what’s happening across your go-to-market motion, how can you make improvements?”
“From tracing the ROI of marketing programs to tracking sales activity, it’s essential to make sure you have full visibility into your pipeline,” Peter points out.
“Study what works, so you can do what wins. Once the data is complete, clean, and accurate, you can begin to track trends. Are certain types of leads more likely to close? Adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Are certain sales activities more likely to lead to a deal? Focus your reps on the behaviors that matter.”
Optimize pipeline generation through revenue alignment
Aligning marketing, sales, and customer support teams is a surefire recipe for improving your customers’ experience with your brand and hitting your revenue goals.
But for teams to seamlessly collaborate, it’s crucial they align on goals, objectives, and KPIs to track performance.
It’s also essential you improve cross-functional communication by organizing regular meetings where teams co-create strategy and lead generation campaigns, and review performance together.
Last but not the least, leverage sales enablement tools that make it easy for teams to share data and coordinate with each other.
We recommend using UserGems, in particular, for tracking job changes and executing a multi-touch campaign to close more deals. Mixpanel used this approach, multiplying their ROI by 14 times in 13 months only.
So what are you waiting for? Get a demo today to learn more about how UserGems can help you grow revenue.