[Workbook] How to Hack Marketing & Sales Alignment

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:

  • AudienceHow closely do marketing and sales work together to identify the audience your company will pursue?
  • ProcessHow closely do the teams work together from day to day?
  • AccountabilityDoes everyone on both teams understand where they fit into the process and who takes ownership of what?
  • Systems & reportingDo the teams work within a single central source of truth?
  • Goals & KPIDo both teams work independently or as one cohesive unit?
  • CultureDo the teams see themselves as two separate, competing entities, or as two halves of the same team?

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:

  • Continuous communication, which drives more efficient, data-driven, and personalized sales outreach.
  • Proactive responses and pivotal conversations to get and stay ahead of sudden market shifts.
  • Inclusive working groups that strengthen effective decision making.

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


About the Author

Alysha Parker, Content Marketing Manager

Content Marketer at RollWorks

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