By Sam Hirbod on Oct 4, 2017 5:49:09 PM
You've heard the saying "we are all working towards the same goal", but are we really? In this blog post I'll cover the benefits of having your sales and marketing team aligned in order to succeed with your organization.
What do I mean by being aligned?
Take Agency X for example. They have a sales and marketing department lacking alignment.
The marketing department of Agency X are focusing on generating traffic and leads. They make sure the website has traffic through social media efforts, content creation, paid ads etc,
Sales are responsible for finding prospects and getting new clients. This is done by reaching out to the leads the marketing department are generating. They also use other methods such as: Cold calling, sending emails to purchased lists of potential leads, reaching out on social media etc.
By the end of each month the departments have their separate meetings where they review their progress. The marketing team hit their goals for traffic by 200 % and lead generation by 120 % thanks to their campaigns. The department cheers and carry on trying to beat target for the upcoming month.
The sales team did not hit their target, they were 60 % below. The quality of leads were poor and the response rate from prospects was low despite their efforts. They go into the upcoming month, working overtime and trying everything they can in order to hit their target. The Agency X depends on it.
A Common Scenario
This might sound like an exaggerated example but having worked with over hundreds of agencies, it's unfortunately a common scenario. As a matter of fact, I've even seen organizations within the public sector facing the exact same circumstances.
The example above can lead to dire circumstances. Sales and marketing could inevitably start blaming each other for their failed efforts. Resulting in a toxic environment with a lack of productivity facing company shutdown if not solved properly.
Remember my bullet list covering the different kinds of services you could be offering? Say that each service is run by different teams within your company. This would usually make the team solely focus on delivering success within their own area.Based on the agencies and organizations I've worked with, this usually leads to plenty of missed upselling, upscaling and investment opportunities which would have surfaced had the teams been better aligned.
Aligning Sales and Marketing
Luckily enough, solutions do exist. And by all means, I'm sure there are a lot of solutions out there regarding these scenarios but I'm still going to rant on and give you my take on how to solve this case. Why? Because I honestly think my solution is pretty easy to incorporate provided that it's put in place before the whole toxic environment scenario occurs.
Succeed with Your Agency
If agencies sales and marketing departments work towards jointly set goals with clearly defined collaboration processes, roles and responsibilities, the organization will save a lot of time. Time that could be dedicated towards solving for the customer.
Tackling these topics head on when an agency is just getting started will provide a smoother ride. If roles and responsbilities are not clearly defined and mutually understood by both departments, scenarios involving phrases such as "But I thought that was his or her responsibility" will occur. If departments have no defined collaboration process, e.g. when sales should take over a lead etc. the blame game usually commences.
In conclusion, by aligning sales and marketing, the agency woud be able to capture missed opportunities mostly due to everyone knowing their responsibility and when to do what. This reduces the level of stress which leads to a more productive working environment. This in turn increases employee satisfaction, which leads to a higher customer satisfaction. This affects the amount of repeat customers. word of mouth (new customers) etc. and ultimately the agencies growth.
So am I saying that agencies can grow by just aligning their sales and marketing? Yes. I mean HubSpot has done quite well following this procedure and as have the majority of agencies doing the same.
Need some advice on how to align your marketing and sales? That's what I'll cover next!