An Aberdeen study of best-in-class organizations found that those who had strategically aligned sales and marketing functions experience a 32 percent average growth in annual company revenue.
The study discovered that those best-in-class companies followed a model for success. For example, meetings between sales and marketing management occurred 69 percent more frequently that other firms. Another common trait of successful companies was that they shared results from marketing campaigns 60 percent more often than others.
Misalignment between sales and marketing most often starts with messaging. Our research has found a great divide between the messaging used in marketing programs and content – and the messaging used in sales tools and selling conversations. To align messaging across the buying cycle and customer experience you must start by addressing:
Consistency. The most common cause for misalignment is the lack of consistent, strategic messaging across the enterprise. Messaging must be developed based on input from all “customer-facing” stakeholders throughout the company, and it should be woven – not only into marketing campaigns – but into sales tools and selling conversations as well. By doing this, you create a more compelling and consistent experience for customers and prospects.
Continuity. With each customer interaction, the story should build and connect in the mind of our target audience. To make this happen you must ensure that messaging and content consumed by prospects during the “self-service/discovery” phase of the buying cycle is fully aligned with the messaging woven into sales tools and selling conversations. This requires a fully integrated process than spans strategic messaging development, content development and sales enablement.
Accountability. All customer-facing areas of your business must play a role in delivering a clear, compelling and consistent message throughout the customer experience. For this to occur they must be armed with the tools they need to deliver a higher level of messaging continuity throughout the customer experience and be trained on how to utilize them.
Companies that will succeed in the years ahead will place a greater emphasis on aligning sales and marketing efforts. They will ensure they have a process in place that creates greater messaging continuity throughout the buying cycle and customer experience.
So, they question is … will your company be one of them?