Sales and Marketing Alignment – Key to Startup Success!

Teamwork makes the dream work’ – a phrase which is no less true for sales and marketing teams and can sometimes be the difference between being cash flow positive or negative.

But, sales and marketing alignment is a dynamic process that needs to be constantly reconfigured-How do we get it right? Let’s chat about the importance of sales and marketing alignment with advice from the experts…

In our live broadcast, now available on-demand, Tom Glason-CEO at Scalewise-questioned four industry experts on what steps we can take as startups to make an aligned revenue organization and why it is so important for us to get it right. Here’s what they said!

Wheelhouse Advisors say organizations that have aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth. The annual cost in lost revenue in B2B business due to sales and marketing misalignment can be billions.🤯 Fixing misalignment is free and could be your best lever for growth.

A collective effort is needed to master changing customer behaviors

According to Hubspot, customers are no longer religiously following the traditional marketing-to-sales customer funnel. As customer behavior changes and evolves, sales and marketing teams need to communicate in even more finite detail. Your buyer has unlimited information at their fingertips – they can view your LinkedIn, blog posts, website, and testimonials before even speaking with a sales rep.

Salespeople in start-ups can make the mistake of thinking in the traditional customer journey mindset but this will be unhelpful for the customer and it’s also damaging to your bottom line. Salespeople need to ask their marketing team about what they are putting out and work together on what content would help you in your initial conversations with customers.

Marketers, you need to tell your sales team about the content you’re putting out and how you’re filling that top of funnel. The Sales team needs to know what’s out there and what information their customers are coming into contact with.

Top Tip: To achieve radical teamwork, get teams and execs to meet regularly and host “”smarketing”” quarterly kickoffs. ✔

Defining your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Who should be responsible for defining the ICP? What a hot potato question that is vital for alignment! In the broadcast, Marketing Coach Nicola Anderson answered this question. 

Often definitions of ICP are defined and redefined by different teams. The key is to decide on who has ownership. Now, that doesn’t mean that the team with ownership defines the ICP in isolation, but it does mean that they are the gatekeeper. It forces teams to work cross-functionally to build personas together.

Sales, Product, Marketing, Leadership, Customer Success, etc. all have different perspectives of the customer, so they can bring different ideas to the table which is crucial to building out your ICP.

Top Tip: Munya Hoto, Sales Impact Academy Coach, says incentivizing your marketing function with a quarterly bonus for hitting KPIs aligns them with sales and revenue. ✔

What can sales and marketing teams do to be aligned on lead follow-up?

When it comes to lead follow-up, marketing and sales teams don’t consciously create a common goal – this leads to time-wasting. Sirius Decisions says that sales teams call leads twice on average meaning that some leads will be called twice, and some not at all! 

To combat this, Sales Impact Academy coaches recommend creating a service-level agreement (SLAs) between sales and marketing teams. Work back from your company revenue goals and decide who is responsible for what. You have to work on the whole funnel definition together. Marketing can commit to delivering a certain number of new qualified leads (MQL’s) with certain criteria and the Sales team can explain how they will follow up. See the full answer here.

According to HubSpot, only 26% of marketing and sales teams have SLAs and these perform 3x times better than those without. So why wouldn’t you do this too?

Top Tip: Access Hubspot‘s free Sales and Marketing SLA Template here. ✔

How to prevent battles over channel attribution?

Ben Miller-former COO at Paddle-says we should stop asking the question! Every lead should be touched in multiple ways; SDRs/BDRs should be calling them and Marketing should be covering them through paid ads and other marketing approaches. 

So the business should be looking at the touchpoints across every customer journey and see what set of actions delivered the best opportunities, rather than trying to see ‘who was first’ and attributing that success to one team.

Top Tip: To achieve radical teamwork, get teams and execs to meet regularly and host “smarketing” quarterly kickoffs ✔ 

You can dive deeper into the topic through our on-demand content in a session led by Tom Glason (CEO, Scalewise). He is joined by Munya Hoto (CMO, Adfenix), Nicola Anderson (CMO, Mytutor), Ben Miller (CCO, Paddle) and Mark Walker (CRO, Attest) to discuss ‘Sales and Marketing Alignment – Maybe Your Best Lever For Growth’.

Tom, Munya, Nicola and Mark all teach courses on the Sales Impact Academy Platform. Find out more about them and their courses here.