Imagine trying to run a touchdown completely alone. While possible, it’s harder to achieve without your teammates providing defense, assists, or even friendly support from the sidelines. It’s also way less exciting to score alone compared to experiencing a win with others by your side.
Having a misaligned marketing and sales team will make members feel like they’re carrying the entire team on their shoulders, and it can also be costly, laborious, and time-consuming. However, with a unified revenue team that works together and is collectively focused on strong campaigns, deal sizes, and overall customer experience, you get to close the right deals—and fast.
Syncing your two teams doesn’t mean more work—especially if you implement account-based marketing (ABM) into your current business strategy. ABM helps you up-level, not discard, traditional demand gen to unify go-to-market (GTM) teams. (For a more in-depth look into this process, check out our workbook, Hacking Marketing & Sales Alignment—For Good.)
With ABM, marketing and sales work side by side with the same target account list (TAL), overall objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Since alignment could mean different things to different companies, we’ve broken it down into six pillars. Included are questions we think are important to ask in order to balance team objectives and assign responsibilities as your team embarks on the road to revenue:
It’s critical to first understand how aligned your marketing and sales teams currently are. Then, you’ll be better equipped to get them where they need to be with this five-step plan:
1. Agree on your shared audience
When it comes to building an effective marketing strategy, your marketing and sales teams need to agree on a target audience. To do so, consider identifying your revenue needs and working backward. This can look like creating an ideal customer profile (ICP), combining revenue goals and ICP into a TAL, tiering your account list, and finally territory planning. Additionally, implementing tools and processes like Account Scoring and Account Rotation will help each member of both teams better understand the nature of the potential accounts and how to target them.
2. Define shared KPIs & map out the account journey
Next, it’s important to define shared KPIs and how customers will move through the account journey, from unaware to post-sale. From here, you’ll view general metrics on how your accounts are progressing and areas where each team needs to focus. This type of marketing and sales collaboration creates long term efficiencies that come with results.
3. Assign responsibility & start running plays
When marketing and sales teams are aligned, it’s not about outshining or outperforming, but rather working together in harmony following processes agreed upon together.
Then, once assignments and responsibilities are assigned, you can start running multi-channel, mutual (but fairly divided) plays—which include teams involved, audience, offer, channel, and KPIs—to engage segments of accounts as they move through their respective journeys.
4. Foster clear communication & feedback loops
By this step, you’re well on your way to fostering clear communication and feedback loops between marketing and sales. There are still a few items to consider, including understanding the value of:
5. Celebrate together & always be optimizing
Lastly, as important as it is to create a unified marketing and sales team, it’s also imperative to celebrate wins together—from ICP selection to closed/won deals—to acknowledge the direct contributions each team member made along the way. This also ensures that the organization, as a whole, values account-based marketing.
Ready to take the ‘work’ out of teamwork? Check out the workbook that does it all for you: Hacking Marketing & Sales Alignment—For Good.