Improving Sales and Marketing Alignment with a Sales Enablement Strategy

Sales and marketing teams are both driven by the same overarching goal: increasing revenue. Despite this common goal, these two teams are rarely aligned on how to actually achieve it. There are major differences in their workflow, priorities and pain points that, ultimately, make it difficult to get on the same page.

While aligning the sales and marketing departments isn't easy, it's a common goal for many companies, and for some, it’s fortunately already a reality. According to MarketingProfs, organizations who are already ahead of the pack and aligned can experience:

  • 36% higher customer attention,
  • 38% higher win rates, and
  • 25% faster growth.

To get marketing and sales working better together, processes, content, and technology need to be fine-tuned to be mutually beneficial, optimize collaboration and deliver bottom-line results.

In this post, we’ll look at the common challenges that sales and marketing teams experience and share the 5 meaningful steps to help achieve total alignment. 

Common Challenges From Misalignment

At it's core, sales and marketing misalignment often stems from a lack of communication. The marketing team makes decisions based on past campaigns, secondary research and market insights, while the sales team makes decisions based on insights from specific customer interactions. When these insights aren't communicated, the fundamental differences between the two contribute to a misalignment in their decisions and priorities.

Organizations who struggle with communication and alignment can experience the following challenges:

woman frustratedMarketing Challenges:

  • New leads are not appreciated
  • Content is not used by sales teams
  • Influx of last-minute demands
  • Processes are not followed by sales

Sales Challenges:

  • Leads provided by marketing are unqualified
  • Inability to find right collateral when needed
  • Content and brochures are not relevant to actual buyers
  • Marketing is incentivized on lead volume, not quality

While these challenges are common for many organizations, most just consider them an accepted norm in business. The good news, however, is that it doesn't have to be that way. By taking the time to get on the same page as your collegues, many of these challenges can be eleviated.

Improving Sales and Marketing Alignment with Sales Enablement

So, how can you get everyone on the same page? One of the best ways to ensure better alignment is through sales enablement. Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organization or department with the necessary information, content or tools to help them sell more effectively. To achieve this, marketing and sales need to work together and communicate often, to ensure marketing is attracting the right leads and both teams are telling the same story. By approaching sales enablement collaboratively, the sales team is supplied with the right leads, content and tools they require to close deals.

5 Steps to Building a Sales Enablement Strategy

As mentioned above, communication is the single most important factor when attempting to align your sales and marketing teams. With this in mind, here are 5 steps you can take to create a better sales enablement engine:

writing in a journal

1. Review Goals and Approaches

The first step to ensure better sales enablement is to reevaluate both teams' goals and adapt them to better meet company objectives. From there, you can align on specific tactics each team will use to achieve these goals and which KPIs will be used to track progress. For many organizations, marketing becomes responsible not for just lead numbers, but the quality of leads, as well. The sales team becomes more accountable for lead follow-up and feedback on lead quality.

2. Set Recurring Alignment Meetings

To continue alignment, the marketing and sales teams should meet regularly (for example, every quarter) to communicate new learnings on target markets, ideal customers, buyer challenges, and buyer objections. With this information, they can then create a stronger enablement strategy for the next period of time. This process can help marketing build a better pipeline of ideal customers and content that can help create qualified opportunities that close faster.

3. Map Out the Customer Buying Journey

organized file cabinetThe buying journey should be mapped out as a joint sales and marketing exercise. From bringing in a new lead, to closing a deal, there should be relevant content created for all stages of the buying cycle. By mapping content to the buying journey, marketing can better identify areas where content can be created or improved. The end goal is for both sales and marketing to deliver relevant and consistent content to the right people at the right time.

4. Identify Content Themes and Gaps

Existing content and new content themes should be continually reviewed and evaluated to ensure content gaps are identified and sales needs are being met. By having an open dialogue, listening to sales challenges and reviewing existing bottlenecks, marketing can identify which efforts are working, and what content needs to be created or adjusted to function more effectively.

5. Establish the Right Technology

Most teams have established customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation systems, however, when it comes to content or collateral, many are scattered between servers, file management systems, and individual desktops. No one knows where the right version is or how to effectively search across those systems to find the right resource. As a solution, a digital asset management system (DAM) is often used as a sales enablement engine, where sales can easily search for the resource they need, and marketing can update versions in one click. Even better, some DAM solutions integrate with solutions that sales teams already use daily.

MediaValet DAM Interface

Alignment Through Technology

Without the alignment of the sales and marketing teams, it is more challenging for a company to reach its business goals. When these departments work in harmony, it becomes easier to hit revenue targets, ensure the right audiences are reached, and guarentee that every lead is well-nurtured.

Help sales and marketing teams effectively communicate and collaborate smoothly with a DAM solution. An easy-to-use tool for your tech stack where both departments can easily find what they’re looking for and never use the wrong or outdated version. To find out more about how MediaValet will help align your sales and marketing teams, reach out for a free demo today.

This blog post was originally posted in June 2018 and has been updated.

MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.