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3 Ways to Improve Sales and Marketing Communication

Posted in:  Sales and Marketing Management

Not having good communication between sales and marketing teams creates friction amongst teams which can have a detrimental impact on the efficiency of your workflow.

Taking the time to improve communication between sales and marketing teams is an investment which optimises performance and provides a powerful advantage to ensuring growth for your business.

Business leaders that are looking to generate growth should prioritise alignment between sales and marketing. Of course, it’s easier said than done. Although their destination is the same, sales and marketing teams frequently disagree on how to get there, relying on different approaches, using different metrics, and speaking different languages.

Sales and marketing have traditionally worked in silos, and it can feel like both teams are fighting like cats and dogs at times. Perhaps you can relate to this dynamic in your workplace. Marketing would own the top of the funnel, while sales would own the bottom. This creates misalignment and chaos on both sides. Marketers are frustrated that their content isn’t being used effectively, and salespeople are concerned that they aren’t creating content that addresses a prospect’s pain points.

Despite this, many organisations struggle to stay aligned. Distributed workforces, fluctuating market dynamics, and office politics can make working in lockstep difficult. Regardless of the root cause, overcoming sales and marketing misalignment is necessary to securing long-term success.

Here are just some of the consequences misalignment can have on your business:

  • Poor customer data

In many cases, organisations now have a whole host of customer data to mine through, originating from a variety of sources- which can be difficult to demystify.

  • Under-utlisation of Sales Content

It’s an often quoted statistic that 70% of marketing content is unused by sales teams.’ (Neil Patel). Poor alignment is frequently a contributing factor. Typically, marketing creates, develops, and delivers sales assets with little to no input from the sellers themselves. As a result, content doesn’t meet salespeople’s needs or fails to impact deals. This frustrates teams and doesn’t deliver a true ROI on time and resources invested.

  • Clunky Lead Handoffs

Lead handoff can quickly become a source of contention between sales and marketing teams. Marketing may generate hundreds of MQLs at an event, but sales may decide to pursue recycled opportunities instead, complaining that marketing leads aren’t qualified enough.

3 Ways to Improve Sales and Marketing Communication

1. Create Shared Goals With Marketing and Sales Teams

It has certainly not been easy for marketing and sales managers to get everyone and everything to work in harmony and pull in the same direction.

In our latest report, The European State of Sales and Marketing Alignment, we revealed why having effective collaboration and communication between sales and marketing teams is essential to a business’s success. Over half (56%) of salespeople in the UK, Germany and France said one of the greatest challenges to proving impact on ROI is a lack of effective support from other departments. A dysfunctional workforce can often lead to sales and marketing teams feeling demotivated, exposing businesses to a reduction in workflow productivity, and ultimately a reduction in revenue.

Improved communication between sales and marketing enables teams to share goals, and strategise together. 

A simple way to get both teams on the same page is to create a shared scorecard. Get your sales and marketing leaders to sit down and highlight their top 3-5 goals and outcomes to spot synergies. Once you’ve defined your goals you’ll be able to set up dashboards which clearly reflect the results you’re collectively trying to achieve.

2. Have a Single Tech Stack to Unite Teams

A lack of awareness about which behaviours and assets contribute to closed deals and improved profitability is a struggle sales and marketing professionals all face. 

Without the right tools and accurate information at their fingertips, sellers can’t customise their sales propositions, making it far more difficult to increase win rates. The impact of this is that sales teams then tend to go and create their own content and marketers are left in the dark about what is and isn’t working – all of which can create a mismatched experience of messaging which impacts the overall customer experience.  Both teams then have a lack of visibility into what is driving results. 

43% of respondents agreed that one of the biggest technology challenges they face is sales and marketing teams using separate systems to view and understand prospects.

When sales and marketing teams are using multiple tools and platforms for their work, it’s no wonder tech issues were flagged as a key barrier to success and collaboration in the report. 

Equipping your business with a sales enablement tool provides sellers and marketers with a single source of truth, making the collaboration of sales and marketing as easy as possible. This provides a baseline for an efficient strategy that allows the focus to be on working smarter together.

Having a single platform for marketing content that can be accessed by both, marketing and sales teams provides real-time metrics of content performance and provides salespeople with the ability to share valuable insight with the marketing team. These insights allow both teams to clearly measure what content and messaging is performing and more importantly, what isn’t, which can help both teams to effectively refine the buyer journey workflow and improve the overall customer experience.

3.  Drive Content Adoption With Efficient Content Management

Constantly searching for content over prolonged periods of time can often feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack- leading to frustration amongst both sales and marketing teams. Sales teams can’t quickly or easily find what they’re looking for and marketing teams are frustrated that their content is unused. This simple act alone can cause teams to point fingers at each other when searching for reasons as to why their goals aren’t being met, resulting in frustration for both teams.

Without having a central space that allows sales teams to easily find content and marketing teams the flexibility to organise it effectively, content chaos will continue.

“Before Highspot, we had no idea what was being used let alone what worked best to engage buyers,” said Jackie Lynch, Content Marketing Manager at Guidebook. “Now our sellers can easily find the most updated and approved assets with the ability to create their own customised buyer experiences and marketing gets incredibly useful analytics to help us prioritise future assets or identify gaps.”

Equipping your business with the right tools, resources and guidance drives content adoption from both teams which opens the door to true cross-functional alignment.

Building a Sales and Marketing Partnership to Win

Improving the communication of your sales and marketing teams and how they work together by leveraging the capabilities of a sales enablement tool, allows organisations to work together more effectively and keep up with the fast-paced pressures to drive business growth.

Discover more tips and insights on how to improve the communication between sales and marketing for your business by reading the full European State of Sales and Marketing Alignment 2022 Report.