You might be wondering, “Aren’t sales and marketing teams naturally aligned? They already have the same goals.”
In theory, you’re right. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Misalignment among sales and marketing teams can leave a lot of business (and revenue) on the table. But when you get it right, it positively impacts every part of your field service organization (FSO). According to MarketingProfs, sales and marketing alignment leads to 36% higher customer retention rates. They also point out those same aligned teams “have 38% higher sales win rates.” 
With similar research showing that customers are 50-70% of the way through the purchasing process by the time they interact with a salesperson, it becomes even more imperative to make sure sales and marketing are on the same page.
The question is: How?
Begin on common ground
It’s important to remember that both teams are working to acquire more customers (albeit in different ways) for your FSO. But it’s easy to see where misunderstandings can occur:
- Marketing is focused on the long term, strategic play of generating, nurturing, and converting leads.
- Sales is focused on meeting quotas and sales goals, which happen at a fast pace.
As a result, the two sides often appear to have different goals, when in reality, it’s the approach to reaching those goals that differs. To begin finding common ground, leadership must put both teams in a room to discuss a couple of key elements:
- Revenue goals – Unite the teams around demonstrating a common ROI. Rather than tracking different metrics, each is working toward the same, specific target number.
- Clarify terminology – Poor communication leads to breakdowns. Have teams define how they score leads and which lead gen metrics matter most.
Keeping everyone aligned
Once everyone on each team understands how the two departments relate to each other, collaboration has to happen on a regular basis.
Monthly (even weekly) meetings between both teams coupled with collaborative software and document sharing, like Microsoft SharePoint or OneDrive, will help keep everyone in sync.
At those meetings, the marketing department should be prepared to provide an update on:
- How many leads generated to date and quality of leads
- Marketing assets developed since last meeting and plan to promote against target persona(s)
- Future strategies to drive more qualified leads
Similarly, the sales team should be prepared to discuss:
- Status of leads
- Most frequently asked questions/objections during sales cycle
- Additional needs from the marketing team that would help convert leads into customers faster
Both marketing and sales are critical functions to an organization looking to drive more business. While marketing may want to make eye-catching and informative materials and sales wants to get out and hit targets by being face-to-face with potential customers, both groups share a desire to grow the pipeline and increase revenue.
Learn how you can better align your FSO’s sales and marketing teams!