Are your sales and marketing teams aligned? You might not be realising it but if your sales and marketing is not aligned, you are leaving money on the table. Really?! Yes!
Sales and marketing alignment powers your business to achieve its growth objectives through increased sales and shorter buying cycles.
In businesses where sales and marketing are aligned, marketing efforts are shown to contribute over 50% of the forecasted pipeline, up a massive amount from the shocking 5% in unaligned businesses.
The building product and construction industry leans heavily towards investing in sales teams, often forgetting all about marketing. However, our generation’s massive shift towards digital, more businesses are starting to realise that it's as much about your online presence (and how you market yourself) as it is about sales.
This is leaving previously successful businesses behind, as they no longer have the impact in the industry they once did.
Many specifiers today are millennials. They prefer to consume content on the internet before speaking to a sales rep, as they were born as digital natives. They want their specifying decision to ideally be as easy and ordering something from Amazon.
And this is backed up by research carried out by Darren Lester atSpecifiedBy; 98% of specifiers prefer to carry out product research online.
Sales and marketing alignment isn’t an easy feat. Lack of communication and differing priorities often means the two departments are working independently, wasting money and resources on two separate sets of goals.
Think about it, sales are rewarded for revenue and meeting quotas, but marketing is assessed against the number of leads or prospects generated and how good fit they are.
This can lead to many organisations being critically misaligned. In this blog we will go through 5 warning signs that could mean your building product business is too.
1. Sales Aren’t Interested in Marketing’s Strategies
If anyone in your business understands your prospects, it’s your salespeople. They are the ones who talk to your leads and understand their worries and pain points. So, this is usually why they will disregard any ideas for new strategies your marketing people come up with. They know how and what to do, using their own perspective and experience.
If you are changing any strategy to do with your products messaging or positioning, or even a new way of approaching prospects, make sure you have sales reps in the discussion.
Having both sides of the business’ input will mean everyone is aligned on a strategy that works for both teams.
2. Sales Doesn’t Use Any Marketing-Created Content
Your marketing team is painstakingly creating and developing content to help move prospects down the sales funnel. But what if your sales reps don’t even use any of this content?
The articles, videos, and FAQs that marketing produces for prospects in the consideration and decision stage of specifying your product can be gold dust when used before and after sales talks.
Maybe it’s just that sales don’t know what has been made due to lack of communication, or they just prefer to talk through these queries face to face, but this is a clear sign of sales and marketing misalignment.
Addressing this issue will save your marketing team time and effort, and in a worse-case scenario, will give your business the re-focus it needs on what sort of marketing content is actually needed (and effective) for lead nurturing.
Getting your sales team to play a part in creating marketing content will give them the ability to not only know what is useful for them, but also give them a slight ownership of it, meaning they are more likely to utilise it.
3. Your Sales Reps Never Ask for Help
Businesses that succeed are known to be ones that are constantly collaborating and discussing solutions to problems. If your sales reps are never asking for help from the marketing department it means they aren’t trusting marketing’s ability to give them a solution.
Creating a shared contribution to approaching these problems and delivering a solution creates a healthy sales pipeline and increases your businesses ability to increase revenue and conversion rates.
Moreover, in a situation where a unique prospect comes along and sales does approach marketing for help, this gives them the opportunity in the future to create tailored marketing content that is expanded to meet this unique lead’s pain points and queries.
This could be the difference between opening a door to a number of new leads or missing out on deals that could have been won.
4. Marketing Never Asks Sales What They Need
In the same respect to the previous point, the communication between sales and marketing should be two-way. It isn’t just sales’ responsibility; marketing should take the initiative to enquire how they can further help with conversions and deals.
As stated at the beginning, if anybody has a great insight into how the prospect needs to be nurtured, its sales. They should consider writing down every question they are every asked in a sales meeting and giving that over to a member of your marketing team to be working through developing blogs and articles that provide answers to these key questions.
We know that 98% of specifiers prefer to carry out product research online so make sure your website is full of content that prospects can take the time to read through.
5. Your Sales and Marketing Teams Never Meet
Every two to three weeks key members of your business should be coming together to discuss how things are going and what you want to achieve in the next month.
In this meeting there should be sales reps and marketing people who are working together on problems and developing those lines of communication.
Marketing projects are often long-term, while sales are after short term quotas. Take the time to look how these goals overlap in your business, and how they can work together to help each other out.
Are Your Sales and Marketing Teams Aligned?
If any of these red flags are visible in your business, this might be a good opportunity to rethink how aligned your sales and marketing people are. Are they working towards the same goal? They are the ‘revenue’ department after all.
Refocussing your business and aligning your sales and marketing departments will improve your bottom line through a healthier sales pipelines and increased conversion rates.
Insynth Marketing is a leading UK construction marketing agency based in Shifnal in the West Midlands.
They use the latest inbound marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to support building product companies to grow their business by proactively driving sales lead generation activity.