Ensuring sales and marketing teams are on the same page is always essential, but especially when bringing a new product or service to market.
When sales and marketing teams are aligned, they can put their strengths to better use around a single focus: Delivering value for the customer. According to MarketingProfs, organizations with closely aligned sales and marketing functions experience 38% higher win rates. So, while the mutual benefit is clear—the path forward may not be. Let’s dig into a common alignment use case: Strategizing and launching a product or service for a new market.
(1) Assess your sales teams’ knowledge and needs
To build a house, you start with the foundation. So, before you begin writing, designing, and dumping new content into sales reps’ hands, take a step back. Sales needs to feel comfortable with each market or vertical that’s relevant to the product launch, so seek to understand sales reps’ current level of knowledge. Find out what they know and what they need—and turn any gaps into opportunities for new content.
A content strategy should start with vision. When you’re ready to start tailoring materials to new verticals, read our blog, 3 Steps to Creating Winning Content for Your Vertical Marketing Strategy.
(2) Ask for direct and honest feedback
The sales and marketing teams offer different perspectives that you can use to your advantage. Rather than assuming marketing understands what your customers need most right now, connect with the sales team to hear what customers are saying firsthand.
There’s nothing more disappointing for marketing teams than creating materials that aren’t used—and sales doesn’t want an influx of materials they don’t feel comfortable sending on or using in conversations. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest marketing trends or buzz words, but any material has to pass the sales smell test. Ask yourself:
- Is it authentic to the needs of the customer?
- Is it framed in a way they will relate to?
(3) Communicate the opportunity and priorities
To create the most targeted and impactful materials, each touchpoint needs to be tailored to the priority opportunities. The organizations that have conversations around these priorities ahead of time, before material creation, will have more success than those who don’t.
All verticals and markets won’t be equal priorities—and that’s OK! Discuss with sales which verticals have the most revenue potential. And if you have a design target that helps people know which organizations to target, all the better.
Knowing which leads are truly ‘qualified’ is a good litmus test for sales and marketing alignment. By aligning on a shared definition of qualified leads and your targets—you’re setting the organization up for success.
(4) Do more than deliver materials
When it comes to sales enablement, quality over quantity is critical to avoid information overload. Focus on creating the materials that add the most value. It’s crucial to see the trends in what sales needs and work to address those first.
But keep this in mind: Not all marketing collateral is intuitive to use. Before releasing beautifully written and designed materials, provide some context. Share details on when and how each piece of material can be used, which stage of the funnel to implement—and even flag which materials are meant for certain personas. In developing this context, consider:
- Does sales understand how one piece of collateral connects to another one?
- Do they know how each piece aligns to the buyer’s journey or is tailored to specific personas?
Whether you’re a small firm or a global enterprise, when it comes to new service or product launches, marketing and sales alignment is the key to your success. By asking the right questions and building a strong foundation, you can achieve shared goals and have greater impact on revenue and growth.
If you’re in need of a partner to help with your marketing and sales alignment, let’s chat.