April 24, 2020 in Strategy by

It seems there’s been a gap between marketing and sales teams for as long as there have been marketing and sales teams. While there is an agreement that shared responsibility between the two is what’s needed to drive revenue at B2B companies, there is also a feeling that the two are not well-integrated within their companies. In fact, 37 percent of those asked in a study by LeanData and Sales Hacker said as much. Further, the study showed that the area most in need of improvement in alignment is data, with only a 5.71 score on a scale of one to ten (ten being optimized).

How Can B2B Businesses Align Sales and Marketing Data to Drive Revenue?

When your sales and marketing teams are not working together, both areas and the company, as a whole, suffers. The good news is that when you have proper alignment between the two teams, everybody wins. In fact, organizations that have solid sales and marketing alignment have a 36 percent higher retention rate and 38 percent higher sales conversions.

So, how do you get sales and marketing on the same page? Let’s take a look at some strategies that will help bridge the gap to align the area that needs the most improvement – data.

Establish Shared Goals

To truly work together as one team, sales and marketing have to have common goals. While each team has its own specific role and purpose, they need to work together toward one common goal: pipeline and revenue growth. This isn’t always easy because historically, sales and marketing have set individual goals, using individual metrics to measure their progress and success. That leads us to the next tip.

Use Integrated Systems

It’s hard to be on the same page when you’re reading from two different books. Unfortunately, in many organizations, that’s the way sales and marketing operate – separate from one another. The easiest way to correct this is by working with systems and technologies that integrate. With integration, workflows and data are not kept in separate siloes. Instead, each team has access to the other’s data, allowing them to have more insight into each other’s daily activities and challenges. Ideally, both sales and marketing should use the same dashboard and have access to the same tools that the other uses.

Measure Shared Metrics

While the integration of systems just mentioned is essential, it’s just the first step to sales and marketing alignment. Next, the teams have to be able to track the same metrics. Sales success is typically measured on numbers (how many new customers acquired, sales conversions, renewed contracts, etc.), while marketing success is monitored by lead quality, quantity, and brand awareness.

Getting sales and marketing in sync requires measuring shared metrics. This will help unite teams under a common goal. When both teams have shared metrics that measure pipeline and revenue growth, you are better able to understand and analyze how the business is doing in both sales and marketing. It’s also a way to determine in which areas customer acquisition isn’t working, allowing you to mitigate those issues.

Consider the Revenue Operations Approach

There is a relatively new approach that some organizations are using to align sales and marketing to some success. The approach is called “revenue operations,” and it takes the form of a completely integrated team that includes sales, marketing, and customer success.

Traditionally, the organizational model of companies has been divided by function and then managed by corresponding departments. That’s where we get marketing operations, sales operations, and other business operations departments. Each department, or team, operates based on its own goals, priorities, and challenges – which may not align with the other teams’. Historically, the success of such teams has been siloed, so much in fact, that these departments frequently resist the concept of working together toward a common goal.

Now, technology has made it possible to harness actionable insights across diverse systems. Revenue operations is a product of that capability. It breaks down the walls that have separated departments and aligned data, analytics, and goals, concentrating efforts to grow revenue. The benefits of this approach warrant some further discussion.

The Benefits of Revenue Operations

Revenue operations, RevOps for short, offers companies some significant benefits to organizations once implemented. Here are a handful of the compounding benefits you can expect to see:

Final Thoughts

Aligning sales and marketing through data, analytics, and goals is seen as the most efficient way to drive revenue growth. And, as consistent revenue growth is apt to remain a top priority for B2B companies for the foreseeable future, it’s crucial to find new ways to foster greater internal alignment, effectiveness, and efficiency. The above strategies provide ways to do that by bringing the two teams together toward the common goal of increasing revenue for the company.

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