In an ideal world, marketing and sales work next to each other in perfect harmony. But reality paints a different picture: 90% of marketers and sales professionals believe they lack alignment.
But how can marketers generate demand for salespeople to close on, if they miscommunicate on strategy and operations?
In a recent episode of The Science of Scaling podcast, HubSpot’s founding CRO, Mark Roberge, chatted with G2 CRO Mike Weir on how to align marketing and sales. Weir spent decades working in both marketing and sales, giving him insight into both sides of the aisle.
To get more tips on aligning marketing and sales, check out the podcast episode from the HubSpot Podcast Network.
1. Analyze the breakdown of your revenue sources
Most companies use a mix of business development representatives (BDRs), account executives (AEs), and marketers to bring in leads and sell to them. To better align these three functions, Weir recommends looking at how many leads each team brings in.
When Weir first joined G2, he noticed AEs sourced 60%-80% of the pipeline. This means BDRs and marketers brought in far fewer leads, putting significant strain on AEs to generate revenue. If this continued, the firm had to hire more AEs to increase revenue while AEs struggled with burnout.
This revealed to Weir a need to increase the efficiency of G2’s marketers and BDRs. You can similarly analyze where your sources of revenue come from, as that may reveal gaps in efficiency within your organization.
2. Start with the basics
To reduce the strain on AEs and to make marketing more effective, Weir started with the basics. He and his team worked on strategic planning, including:
- Redefining their customer profiles by narrowing down their target audience
- Prioritizing the company’s largest category of customers
- Honing in on the brand story and better explaining their value to specific buyer personas
To refine their ideal customer profiles (ICPs), Weir looked at closed lost data — which contains information about failed potential sales. They looked at how they spoke with the customer, whether they identified the correct offer, and ways to revive the lost deal.
These discussions coached Weir’s team in characterizing their ICPs and, in turn, improving how they served them.
3. Create a go-to-market (GM) strategy
Weir suggests sales and marketing adopt a go-to-market strategy. This requires teams to stop focusing exclusively on numbers, like customer revenue targets. Instead, sales and marketing professionals should look at the overall buyer and go-to-market experience. How can they, as specialized functions, better serve their customers?
Define how each team — business development, marketing, business partnerships, and so on — plays into the company’s go-to-market strategy. Then, develop leadership plans and involve everyone in the organization. These plans should include any professional regardless of rank, from entry-level marketers to C-suite executives.
You want your revenue or sales organization to open up their processes to the rest of the company. That way, the entire firm can better understand what goes into sourcing and closing deals.