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05 | 13 | 2024

Proven Strategies to Align B2B Sales and Marketing Teams

Written by

Brittany Feldman

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In today’s increasingly competitive world of marketing, B2B sales and marketing alignment is essential for driving revenue growth, maximizing efficiency and delivering a seamless customer experience.

Yet, achieving marketing and sales alignment is challenging because your marketing and sales teams often have different priorities, goals and metrics. To help your company overcome these obstacles and foster collaboration between your critical sales and marketing functions, here are six effective strategies you can implement to optimize the alignment of your B2B sales and marketing teams.

01

Use Technology as a Tool to Align Sales and Marketing Teams

Today’s modern B2B sales and marketing infrastructures typically include a range of marketing technology tools. Customer engagement platforms like Salesforce. Marketing automation software like HubSpot. Sales intelligence and marketing data resources like Zoominfo. These tried-and-true tools are used by team members across sales and marketing departments.

When used correctly, this technology can become the common ground for sales and marketing collaboration and a catalyst that unites teams. Here are ways you can leverage technology in your sales and marketing alignment strategy.

  • Provide opportunities for cross-functional training across sales and marketing teams.
  • Continuously share data from various marketing automation tools and resources.
  • Integrate reporting in your ongoing sales and marketing alignment meetings.
  • Implement training during which teams highlight the capabilities of each platform.

02

Establish Key Performance Indicators Across Sales and Marketing Teams

For sales and marketing strategies to be successful, each team needs to understand the other’s value within the B2B sales and marketing funnel rather than convert to the other’s way of doing things. There’s no better example than the outcome-based statements known as key performance indicators (KPIs).

In a B2B-focused organization, your sales team and marketing department might have different goals to meet within the sales cycle. For your marketing teams, it might be a qualified lead tied to marketing revenue. For your sales reps, it might be sales calls, the number of deals closed or a focus on customer retention. Sales and marketing alignment requires identifying each team’s KPIs and building a bridge to connect them in a fair and transparent manner.

For example, sales teams can track conversions as a percentage of market attraction, which can help identify disconnects in driving qualified leads. Both teams can also monitor the sales cycle timeline to help improve the sales funnel and ensure marketing efforts support sales and deliver the most qualified leads.

03

Build the Right B2B Buyer Personas, Together

Identifying your ideal buyer persona is an essential step to an effective B2B sales and marketing strategy. When sales and marketing teams create buyer personas together, they are more accurate and, subsequently, more effective at targeting prospective customers and converting them into qualified leads.

In addition to serving as a litmus test for whether marketing and sales materials are on strategy, clearly identified buyer personas can inspire sales and marketing efforts — like a well-defined buyer journey, targeted messaging playbooks that translate into ready-made sales scripts and cost-efficient digital marketing campaigns.
Plus, the sheer act of collaborating on a single objective ensures that your sales department and marketing leaders are on the same page and can create some valuable “we’re-in-this-together” vibes.

04

Establish Clear Sales and Marketing Communication Channels

Effective communication is the foundation of alignment between sales and marketing teams. It’s important to create regular opportunities for both teams to meet, exchange insights and share feedback.

Implementing sales and marketing functions and tools — such as shared calendars, project management platforms and internal messaging systems — can facilitate seamless communication and collaboration. Lastly, recognize and celebrate joint successes whenever possible. Share big wins and acknowledge the performance of key players across departments.

05

Schedule Regular Meetings to Discuss Marketing Generated Leads

The handoff from a marketing qualified lead (MQL) to a sales qualified lead (SQL) requires a collaborative and consistent effort. By instituting regular meetings to analyze qualified leads and incorporate a feedback loop, marketing and sales teams are better equipped to understand prospect behavior and optimize efforts.

For instance, if marketing leads came through a gated piece of content, did that same lead also open the follow-up email? Are any of the marketing qualified leads already on the sales team’s radar or are people they know?

Answers to these questions help improve efficiency and inform a more tailored approach to conversion. By taking the time to define leads, refine the sales funnel and regularly discuss the handoff process, sales and marketing teams can focus their efforts on improving close rates and generating business growth.

Two black pencils on black and yellow paper.

06

Promote Both Marketing Content and Sales Teams

It’s important to remember that marketing is responsible for promoting all aspects of a business — its brand, marketing campaigns, marketing content and its sales team. After all, at the end of the day, people do business with people. This is especially true in the B2B arena, where establishing trust with your sales team is paramount. When marketing teams develop B2B marketing content strategies, they should educate sales teams about the strategy and include sales leaders in the process. For example, marketing teams can:
  • Ghostwrite marketing content that positions members of the sales team as thought leaders
  • Craft social posts that your sales team can easily cut and paste into their feeds.
  • Prominently feature sales teams in webinars and position them as subject-matter experts. 

The goal of content marketing is to integrate your sales team into the process — placing them on center stage and positioning them as part of the solution. (For a deeper dive into proven content marketing strategies, check out our guide.

More bottom-line growth: the benefits of B2B sales and marketing alignment

There often is an ampersand between the two terms, but sales and marketing teams are on the same page regarding business outcomes. One cannot survive without the other. Therefore, sales and marketing alignment is the only way to reach your marketing goals, target prospective customers, obtain successful sales and drive revenue growth. It’s not easy, especially as many B2B sales and marketing leaders are working virtually, but it is straightforward. To learn more about launching digital marketing campaigns, creating content marketing strategies and aligning sales and marketing teams, schedule a conversation with AvreaFoster.

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