At Demandbase, we’re strong proponents of aligning Sales and Marketing. So much so, that we’ve spent the last few years making sure all the programs and campaigns Marketing works on have sales involvement. But this wasn’t always the case, and it’s not always the case for a lot of companies. In fact, a majority of B2B marketers are still struggling to align with Sales. While they understand how important it is for both teams to get along, especially since Sales and Marketing work so closely to drive growth for the organization, they’re often stuck on “the how.”
To really address this problem, B2B marketers have to first figure out what they’re doing wrong. Chances are, it’s one or all three of these things:
You’re Focused On Lead Volume
One of the biggest causes of hostility between Sales and Marketing is lead handoff. At most organizations, Marketing focuses on lead volume—with a goal to generate as many leads as possible—and Sales focuses on companies. When Marketing sends over a bunch of leads that don’t align to Sales priorities, deals don’t close.
But by switching the focus to the accounts that Sales is already investing their efforts on, you’re able to break out of the quantity pattern. And if Sales doesn’t have a set of accounts, you can work with them to build a list of companies, who have the most potential for your business.
Your Vanity Metrics Don’t Mean Much
We all know difficult it is to actually measure ROI for our campaigns. With all the data out there today, it can be difficult to measure and report on the right things, especially when you don’t know what the right things are. That’s why more often than not, B2B marketers turn to vanity metrics like impressions, CPMs, CTRs, web traffic and unique visitors to measure their results. But what happens when Sales has a bad quarter, and you’ve managed to hit your goals? It’s probably safe to assume you won’t be invited out for happy hour.
While the metrics mentioned above provide insight into how our campaigns are performing, they don’t really help us determine the impact we’re having on the broader organization, and more importantly, revenue—which of course, is Sales’ favorite number.
To understand your impact on revenue, you need to break your metrics up into two buckets: leading and lagging indicators. Leading indicators are the more proximate measures that can help you determine the effectiveness of campaigns. Meanwhile, lagging indicators show you business outcomes, that’s things like: closed revenue, available to close, win/loss rates, annual contract value, funnel velocity and retention and upsell.
You’re Building Campaigns Without Sales Input
Not only do you want to agree with Sales on goals, you also want them to be on board with the activities you’re doing to hit those goals. Getting Sales involved at the campaign level not only helps you with overall alignment, it can provide very useful insight. While every company has their own set of unique programs, here’s a taste of how some of your programs will change with Sales involvement.
Typically, traditional B2B advertising tends to cast a wide net. But when you work with Sales to to build and target a list of specific, priority accounts, you’ll not only narrow your advertising approach, but you’ll also be able to share metrics like account engagement and lift with Sales, so they can prioritize follow-up.
Events and Field Marketing
We all know how important events and field marketing are to driving pipeline. But there’s a way to make them even more focused and strategic: by partnering with Sales. With Sales input, you can determine which regions and cities need the most attention, and focus your event strategy on the accounts that matter.
Marketers pride themselves on their creativity and ability to deliver messages that resonate, but more often than not, Sales is left out of the conversation. Working with your sales team to identify key pain points your prospects and customers face, will make your content more relevant and more engaging to your target audience.
So if you’re still struggling to align Sales and Marketing or are curious to learn how the changes above are implemented, check out our recent on-demand webinar—Expert ABM: Bring Sales and Marketing Together.
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