Sales & Marketing Alignment: Navigating the Who, What, When & How

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    Sales and marketing alignment is about teamwork and breaking down barriers. It’s shifting from “Us VS Them” to “We’re in this together.” Once you adopt this mindset, you need to establish processes and agreed ways of working. 

    By creating a clear structure for collaboration, you reduce confusion, avoid duplication, and boost efficiency. It’s like having a roadmap that guides both teams towards success, allowing you to work seamlessly, save time, and make the most of your resources. 

    Pro tip

    Aligning sales and marketing requires more than just processes and ways of working. It’s crucial to first foster a cultural shift and create an extended team mindset. Discover the key steps to take for this here:

    shared kpis
    Credit: Afif Ramdhasuma

    First, Set Joint KPIs  

    Aligning sales and marketing teams is tough. Both teams naturally have a difference in priorities which can be the main barrier to any alignment happening. One solution to this is to set and measure joint KPIs. This not only fosters alignment with shared goals, but also helps identify strengths and weaknesses in the customer journey, which is something both teams have an impact on.  

    Individual team KPIs are still important, but transparency between sales and marketing is key. It helps teams understand each other’s priorities and workloads, and how they impact joint KPIs.  

    For example, if a salesperson has a fixed number of daily calls, it can limit their ability to contribute to a marketing task focused on improving conversion rates. Sharing this information fosters collaboration and alignment between the teams. 

    Here are some KPI examples:  

    • Revenue generation: Measures the overall effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts.  
    • Lead-to-customer conversion rate: Reflects the quality of leads generated and the sales team’s closing ability.  
    • MQL to SQL Ratio: Evaluates how effectively marketing leads convert into sales opportunities.  
    • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Shows the cost of acquiring new customers, promoting cost-effective strategies.  
    • Sales Revenue by Marketing Channel: Identifies the most effective channels for generating sales.  
    blog sales marketing alignment processes
    Credits: LalAka

    Establishing Processes and Responsibilities: Who, What, How and When 

    Once you have confirmed your joint KPIs it’s time to get into the who, what, how and when. In other words, what needs to happen on a daily basis to achieve your goals? This means defining roles, tasks, strategies, and timelines that align with shared objectives. 

    Key elements to look at are:  

    • Identify key touchpoints: Pinpoint the important stages where sales and marketing come together, like when leads are handed off, creating content, or following up with customers. 
    • Clearly outline who does what: Assign specific tasks and duties of each team during these touchpoints. Clarify who is responsible for what to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts. 
    • Implement effective communication channels: Set up regular communication channels and meetings to foster collaboration, share insights, and keep everyone in the loop on progress.  
    • Continuously monitor and optimise: Regularly review and analyse the effectiveness of the processes and responsibilities. Identify areas for improvement, make adjustments as needed, and continuously optimise the alignment between teams. 

    Confirm Reporting Requirements: Who Wants to Know What And When  

    One of the biggest bottlenecks for sales and marketing alignment is bad reporting. The key factor in useful reporting is the right information being easily available.  

    Here are some areas to consider:  

    • Goal and Purpose: Determine the purpose of the report and its intended use. Avoid creating reports just for the sake of it; instead, consider the report’s value and purpose.  
    • Relevant Information: Gather the necessary information that both teams need from the report. Engagement hinges on providing relevant data to meet their specific needs. 
    • Customisation Matters: Remember that teams have different reporting needs. Instead of creating multiple reports, consider having separate sections for each and a combined summary. Visualise data effectively to present engaging information. 
    • Reporting Frequency and Distribution: Choose the best reporting frequency (weekly, monthly, quarterly) for your teams and share reports through email, dashboards, or data analytics platforms. Keep it accessible and in sync for everyone. 
    • Information Sources: Determine the information needed from both teams upfront and identify reliable sources to streamline the report-building process. A collaborative approach saves time and enables effective analysis. 
    blog sales marketing alignment success
    Credits: Jason Goodman

    It’s challenging, but worth it!

    Sales and marketing alignment is about teamwork and efficiency. By establishing clear structures and agreed ways of working, you can save time and make the most of your resources.  

    Aligning sales and marketing teams takes effort, but the pay off can be huge. HubSpot reports that successful sales and marketing alignment can increase revenue by up to 209%. That stat isn’t unachievable for you if you’re willing to put the work in.  

    With your teams relationships in place and agree processes are launched you’re on track for success!