The Missing Piece to Your Sales and Marketing Alignment

Lauren Durfy

Relationships can be tough. Whether we’re talking about personal relationships, work relationships or relationships between teams, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. And everything can seemingly go to pieces when there’s a lack of understanding between two parties. The relationship between sales and marketing in your organization is no exception.

The relationship between sales and marketing is one of the most talked-about topics in business. But there’s a new way to look at the age-old question of bringing sales and marketing together into alignment, and it starts with your content. In this article, we’re going to take a new look at this old question: Just how do you get sales and marketing to come together to drive growth?

The Sales and Marketing Alignment Conundrum

The tension between marketing and sales is a tale as old as time in the world of B2B businesses. Organizations know that marketing and sales alignment is essential to growth, yet it can be elusive. There are many questions surrounding why some companies struggle with sales and marketing alignment, while others flourish. But the results of bringing sales and marketing together are clear.

  • Organizations with tightly aligned marketing and sales teams had 36% higher customer retention rates, they also had 38% higher sales win rates.
  • According to LinkedIn, more than 75% of B2B organizations who have aligned content marketing also achieved a high degree of sales and marketing alignment.

So building a strong relationship between the two teams is essential for strong growth. But how do you align both departments using content? Let’s take a look at some actionable examples where you can use content to help bring both your sales and marketing teams together.

Bringing Teams Together Starts with Understanding

When you’re looking for ways to bring your sales and marketing teams together, it starts with helping them better understand each other. Content can become the shared language that brings everyone together. Here are some important ways sales and marketing can become better aligned around content.

Give Credit to Content Where Credit is Due

We live much of our lives online. The sales process is highly likely to begin with a prospect researching your solution online. Before they ever interact with a salesperson, they’re probably going to research you and see whether it’s worth their time to contact a salesperson to discuss it more seriously.

Whether the prospect likes what they see or not could be the difference between the phone ringing (or not). Sales can better understand how crucial marketing is to warming up leads for them. Some 47% of B2B buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a salesperson.

Tailor Content to Customers

Salespeople tend to understand the customer better than anyone. They see customers moving through the funnel stages first hand. Creating content without insight into the customer mindset can lead to content that results in low-quality leads. Marketing needs to make sure their content is tailored to the right audience, and no one knows how to do this better than Sales.

Know Your Client’s Pains

You’ve gotta know where your customer hurts before you can sell them a way to cure the pain. All great content begins with understanding the problem you solve. Sales has a first-hand view into your customer’s pain points, and what motivates them to buy. Without open collaboration between sales and marketing, marketing probably won’t be producing the targeted top-of-funnel content needed to generate quality leads for sales.

Better Understand Your Unique Place in the Funnel

The relationship between sales and marketing can get ugly when there’s finger pointing and one side is accusing the other of not doing their job. The key here is understanding the tremendous value each team has throughout the marketing funnel.

Marketing shines when it comes to top of funnel lead generation. Sales teams may prefer lower funnel content, such as case studies, data sheets, buyer guides. But it’s important for everyone to see the importance in top of funnel content and lead nurturing. When sales and marketing work together in a complementary — not a competitive way — that’s when teams often start getting the best results.

How to Keep Sales & Marketing Aligned Every Day

Now that we’ve addressed some sales and marketing misunderstandings that can lead to misalignment, let’s look at how to make sure you stay aligned. Recognizing that content can become the cornerstone for sales and marketing alignment is just beginning. Your content is a living, breathing organism that grows and changes with your business.
It’s essential to put regular processes in place to keep sales and marketing in line:

  • Meet regularly – Make sure both your Sales and Marketing teams meet regularly. Meeting regularly helps ensure that relationships are being built. Strong relationships between your sales and marketing teams will help create an open dialogue.
  • Keep your teams updated – Give Sales updates on upcoming marketing offers and content schedules. Make sure Sales takes the time to understand and provide feedback on Marketing initiatives.
  • Listen more – Make sure marketing takes the time to get to know what Sales does. Marketing should listen to sales and discovery calls call for content ideas, plus stay up-to-date on possible competitors and changes to the market from sales.

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