5 Sales and marketing alignment best practices

Learn 5 expert-sourced sales and marketing alignment best practices to grow your revenue, scale your company, and keep your teams on the same page.
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Candid and clear communication is important in improving sales and marketing alignment. Sales and marketing experts Nick Bennett and Christina Nalband from Alyce share their best tips, tricks, and tactics in this guide. 

Revenue alignment is no longer a buzzword in the B2B sales industry. It's become a rallying call to ensure sales and marketing teams are going after the same goals. And going after the same goals means less pipeline anxiety and efficient growth.

So, making revenue alignment a key part of your sales and marketing workflow is a no-brainer. But the burning question is: How do you create sales and marketing alignment?

Your best bet is to take advice from the experts. 

Thankfully, Director of Evangelism and Customer Marketing at Alyce (a B2B personal gifting platform), Nick Bennett, and his sales counterpart, Christina Nalband, weighed in on our podcast (The First 100 Days) with some of the best sales and marketing alignment best practices that’ll move the needle. 

Read on as they talk about why communication is so important to marketing and sales alignment. And how they rely on open, honest communication to get things done. 

Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

5 ways to align your sales and marketing teams

Nick Bennett is one of the most well-known field marketers out there. He also has a lot of experience as a founder and brand marketer for B2B SaaS companies.

The same goes for Christina Nalband. She had a decade’s worth of experience in field marketing, where she regularly worked with sales teams before she joined Alyce as a Sales Director. 

Here are five bite-sized tips from these experts on how to generate leads, boost revenue, and scale growth with sales and marketing alignment.

5 sales and marketing alignment best practices

1. Get your marketers on sales calls

Christine added Nick to her sales team’s call because she believed marketing could create better content for the sales team. And it took the pushiness out of selling. 

This gave the sales team an opportunity to focus on why their prospects needed a gifting solution like Alyce in the first place and how they could help with the process. But adopting this practice is easier said than done. Most sales teams may not see the value in adding marketers to their sales calls. 

To help both teams understand why this is such a great tactic, outline how the arrangement will benefit each one. 

For example, have your marketing team share case studies and reference sheets. The sales team can use these bottom-of-the-funnel content pieces for sales enablement and close more deals.

Demonstrating how your teams can help each other and reach their goals is a major step in the right direction when it comes to sales and marketing alignment.

2. Define your target market

Before Alyce moved to an account-based marketing strategy, they followed a “spray and pray” business model. In other words, they’d send gifts to as many people as possible in the hopes of booking meetings with a handful of prospects. 

While this approach helped them create a pipeline, it didn’t help them to accelerate or grow it. Eventually, they moved to an account-based model and created three account tiers to define their target market. 

Within a quarter, they opened almost 60% of the 50 accounts in the first tier. Nick says this shift happened because it enabled the sales team to understand which customers were more likely to convert and direct their efforts accordingly. 

This approach is also a great way to save money and effort since it’s more efficient than having the marketing and sales teams make separate lists of accounts to target in an ABM program. 

In short, defining your target market helps sales teams understand which accounts they should prioritize and go after to ensure higher chances of conversion.

3. Eliminate silos

Companies often say they don’t have silos. But that’s usually not true. And, if revenue leaders don’t proactively work to identify and eliminate them, their sales initiatives will fail.

When it comes to attaining sales and marketing alignment, leadership should ensure that the sales and marketing teams aren’t siloed from the rest of the company. When this happens, other teams like operations and finance gauge performance and allocate budgets based on fragmented information instead of concrete data.

To prevent this, sales teams can set up ways for other departments to view their data, like a shared Salesforce dashboard.

This way, each team will have the necessary data to help them understand exactly how individual sales and marketing activities move the needle for the company. 

Just using a shared dashboard won’t eliminate silos, though. Here are some other ways you can promote healthy communication and collaboration between your teams: 

Healthy communication as a sales and marketing alignment tools
  • Use collaboration tools: Project management tools like Trello, Asana, and many others help to keep everybody in the loop and up-to-date on shared projects. 
  • Encourage consistent communication: With open communication, marketing and sales teams will have relevant resources to help them add value to conversations with clients and deliver better customer experiences. Communication tools, like Slack, make it easy for your teams to reach out to each other and have discussions. 
  • Align on goals and responsibilities: Aligning goals and responsibilities between your teams enables them to go after warm leads who are more likely to convert.

4. Schedule regular sales and marketing calls

Christina believes that if you’re not going to have regular calls with your sales or marketing teams, things will fall through the cracks, and your efforts will be misaligned. 

Regular communications like a weekly or bi-weekly stand-up will ensure that you do regular course corrections and don’t spend time and effort on activities that aren’t productive. 

Sometimes, this is easier said than done because it involves change. So there’s bound to be some friction.

But that’s not all. 

If you introduce new initiatives like meetings without helping your teams internalize the change, it will be short-lived. That’s why it’s important to lay down the vision for the change from the get-go. 

For example, explain how sales and marketing teams will benefit from the meetings and offer incentives for participation. These could be anything from providing coffee and donuts to conducting meetings over lunches paid for by the company. 

Making consistent communication a regular part of your sales and marketing teams will help in other areas such as building relationships, sharing ideas, and informal conversations.

5. Have difficult conversations

ways to improve sales and marketing alignment

When Christina joined Alyce, she reviewed all the accounts the marketing team was targeting and was surprised to find they weren’t hitting the right ones. 

Often, what happens in these situations is that one team blames the other for the mistake instead of approaching the issue from a problem-solving point of view. Instead of going down that route, Christina had a difficult conversation with Nick about the marketing team’s processes and what they were doing wrong in terms of targeting. 

Christina came away with a better understanding of the issues Nick’s team was facing (unexpected turnover, resulting in less staff), and Nick was able to chalk out what his team needed to do to get back on track. 

In short, the candid conversation opened up a new avenue for sales and marketing alignment and helped Nick and Christina figure out how they could overcome the challenges together.

Promote sales and marketing alignment in your business

Aligning your sales and marketing teams helps both teams understand which prospects they should go after and the sales and marketing activities they should focus on to multiply their revenue. 

In other words, sales and marketing alignment translates to:

  • Better targeting and greater account success
  • Visibility into the impact that sales and marketing activities have 
  • Pipeline acceleration and growth

User Gems helps you in this alignment journey by ensuring that your sales and marketing teams can:

  • Automate repeat business by informing them when your active or former champions change their jobs along with their new information
  • Power your ABM campaigns by giving marketing ownership of the contact discovery while saving SDRs time from manual searching
  • Drive efficient growth by ensuring sales and marketing go after the same buyers

With UserGems, you turn job movements and relationships into annual recurring revenue.

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