Ran Mullins By Ran Mullins • October 19, 2021

Why Your B2B Marketing Strategy Should Be More Collaborative

The link between sales and marketing has always been clear. Yet, in many businesses, they live in two separate worlds where sales qualified leads likely have a different definition depending on which department you're in.

Now, more than ever, collaboration between sales and marketing is critical, especially in B2B technology. You must speak the same language, leverage the technologies that bring people together, and show a united front to the customer throughout marketing and sales to meet your KPIs and business goals.

Why You Need Better Marketing-Sales Alignment

Studies show companies that achieve marketing-sales alignment increase revenues by 34%. They're 64% more efficient at closing within a more predictable revenue cycle. And they achieve 36% higher customer retention, leading to lower marketing-sales costs with higher ROI. 

Yet, 61% of marketers send all leads to sales in the average company whether they're qualified or not. As it turns out, only about 27% of leads sent over are actually sales qualified.  

That's a huge disconnect and waste of time and money from both sales and marketing. No wonder marketing-sales alignment causes revenues to go up and costs to go down.

What Does Marketing-Sales Alignment Look Like?

In this collaborative marketing approach, silos come down. Marketing and sales have the same goal of driving sales and revenues. All of your other marketing KPIs are evaluated based upon that overarching goal.

Anything else is irrelevant. So, if you establish your B2B Marketing KPIs as SMART goals, then the R for Relevance may make certain KPIs no longer applicable.

When your B2B technology company unites marketing and sales around a single revenue cycle, they significantly improve ROI. Marketing fosters more meaningful B2B customer connections that directly result in increased revenues, a shortened sales cycle, and increased conversion rates. When these leads reach sales, marketing has confirmed they're ready for sales. 

To achieve this kind of collaboration, you need three key components. When one is missing, you'll never fully achieve alignment.

Goal Alignment

Marketers naturally think long-term about building brand awareness and affinity. You can see how what you're doing today impacts company growth, revenues, and profits down the line.

Salespeople are looking at how to close the deal now. They want to get their commission, meet their quotas, and get on that sales leaderboard. They're focused on managing the immediate objections and personalizing customers' experience in a way B2B marketing did not. 

Where's the alignment in that?

To collaborate, marketing must deliver sales-qualified leads within the current revenue cycle, not just at some future date. The future is important, but marketing must balance it with sales support now.

Role Alignment

Sales is over here asking why they’re the one nurturing leads into a sales-qualified lead when the leads should be warm when they arrive. Marketing is over here wondering why sales can't close a deal with all the "sales qualified leads" they've sent them.

In role alignment, both parties come to a consensus on what their role actually is and how they support the other. You have unification in goals but with distinct roles to achieve them.  

System and Technology Alignment

These include technologies like:

  • CRM: You have an advanced customer relationship management system to ensure B2B technology marketing and sales are working from the same up-to-date, data-driven information and can collaborate on that information to meet unified goals.
  • Automation: Technology in both sales and marketing helps achieve the perfect message and perfect timing to guide a lead through the Buyer's Journey most efficiently.
  • Machine Learning and Segmentation: Tools generate a more personalized user experience earlier in the funnel, so by the time they become sales qualified leads they're ready to buy. This recognizes the fact that access to information online means people make buying decisions long before they reach sales.
  • Sales Enablement: Content produced by marketing specifically addresses the challenges, objections, and motivations sales needs to address to close the deal.

The systems involved are the systems built around these technologies, using them most efficiently, and measuring how this more collaborative approach impacts B2B marketing ROI and overall ROI. 

Steps to Achieve Marketing-Sales Alignment

Sit down together and....

  1. Define Terminology: Make sure that marketing and sales have the same definition for a sales qualified lead, for example. Getting on the same page starts with using the same language.
  2. Define Goals: Focus on lead scoring, service level agreements (SLAs), and lead generation metrics. This also includes defining the revenue cycle that both marketing and sales work within. 
  3. Replace Outdated Sales Funnels with a Modern One: The modern sales funnel is powered by machine learning and automation. It's personalized and develops a one-one relationship even before sales gets the lead. It efficiently guides prospects through the funnel for a more consistent revenue cycle that sales can depend on.
  4. Structure the Team: Define Sales and Marketing roles and the individual roles within each department, e.g., content marketer, SEO, sales development representatives (SDRs).
  5. Collaborate Going Forward: You now have a system in place to work together. Communicate regularly and enhance transparency. Together, shorten the sales cycle, cut costs, and increase revenues for your B2B technology company. 

See how Relelquint helped one of our B2B technology clients improve marketing-sales alignment to increase organic leads by 83% YOY. Download our case study nowRbookend2

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