Like many of you, during quarantine I wanted to dedicate some time to self-improvement so I committed to reading more and listening to more industry podcasts to further my education on all things marketing. When I signed up for HubSpot’s Inbound 2020 conference, my second time attending the event but first time virtually, I was excited to learn that Jeff Davis, Founder and Principal at JD2 Consulting would be speaking for two reasons:
- Over the years, INBOUND has continued to be a pioneer in showcasing a diverse group of speakers and expertise in the fields of marketing and sales. A testament to how far this industry has come by continuing to amplify the voices of color.
- B2B Marketing and sales alignment has been an internal pain point for many organizations (including those I have worked for) so I was interested in hearing his perspective in a modern buyers’ world.
I was blown away by the session and found Jeff’s information to be very insightful. I quickly headed over to Amazon to purchase his book “Create Togetherness”, Transforming Sales and Marketing to Exceed Modern Buyer’s Expectations and Increase Revenue. I would strongly advise any marketing and sales leader, or really any organizational leader for that matter to grab a copy (this is not sponsored in any way).
After understanding Jeff’s alignment viewpoints, conducting my own research online, and looking back on my own experience, I’ve compiled my three thought starters on Marketing and Sales alignment:
- Hold Marketing teams accountable for a percentage of pipeline revenue.
In my past life, I’ve worked for B2B organizations where the marketing team was not clear what they were truly held accountable for. In today’s landscape, marketing teams should have a clear understanding of sales and revenue goals and leverage the tools and platforms needed to effectively demonstrate a return on investment for marketing programs. Without this, sales and marketing will continue to lack structure and clarity in achieving the organization’s goals.
- Involve key sales leaders in content planning.
And I don’t mean just for approval purposes. As a marketer, how many times have you had to create one-off pieces of content for a sales person? The task becomes very daunting. Holding content brainstorming sessions with marketing teams and key sales stakeholders (including both new & veterans) will ensure all parties have a stake in developing external materials for various phases of the funnel to attract, convert and retain customers. Having front-line employees that interact with customers daily will provide valuable perspectives and feedback that will continue to propel your content marketing efforts forward.
- Shared vision between organizational leaders.
I firmly believe that clarity and collaboration is driven from the top down. A car can not drive at its best performance without proper wheel alignment; the same should go for an organization. Effective leaders cannot enable teams to perform their best if there is misalignment at the top. Having a clear vision for the organization’s growth and a shared connected purpose will drive cross-collaboration, accountability and trust amongst marketing and sales.
Whether your organization is brand or sales-focused, these three thought starters can kickstart alignment to drive the organization forward to achieve sustainable growth.