One Team Method by Peter Strohkorb
One Team Method – Peter Strohkorb – Contents
- How To Reach And Exceed Sales Targets: A Best-Practice-Guide For Leaders
- Poor Sales and Marketing alignment have a significantly negative impact on sales revenue.
- Marketing and Sales can no longer afford to work in separate organizational silos.
- Align Mindsets
- Align Reward Programs
- Align Processes
- Foster Good Collaboration
- A Call to Action
How To Reach And Exceed Sales Targets: A Best-Practice-Guide For Leaders
- Have you noticed what you do when you are considering an important purchase?
- Do you rush out to the shops to seek advice from a sales rep?
- Or, do you first go online and research your options and choices?
- Right, you do the latter, don’t you?
That’s called the Buyer Journey. You, I and your business are all on it. The Buyer’s Journey is illustrated below.
- Now, think about this; In your business, which department is in charge of your website?
- And which department is responsible for revenue generation?
In this era of multi-channel, always-on information availability, social selling, and the Buyer Journey, much of your sales results (and subsequent business success) will depend on how well, your Marketing and Sales teams work together. The formula is simple. The greater the alignment – the greater the results. How do you achieve great results?
Why is it always a great question. The common wisdom is that you ask “Why” five times and you will get to the root of the matter. Young kids know to do this very well. But WHY, Daddy, WHY?
It’s no secret that poor Sales and Marketing alignment has a significantly negative impact on sales revenue: It is wasteful, impedes your sales success, creates poor experiences for your customers and causes your high-performers to leave your organization for greener pastures. (In that context, you may also like to check out my other article on the subject, called “The 7 Common Mistakes in Sales+Marketing Collaboration,” links below).
Businesses all over the world are unnecessarily putting up with this negative impact on sales revenue when the benefits of effective Marketing and Sales collaboration are so widely recognized. Here are some significant statistics for you: 18% shorter sales cycles and 26% higher win rates, according to Altify’s 2017 Business Performance Benchmark Report.
What would it mean to you, your business and your results if you had these figures? So, WHY not start an initiative that will lead to achieving them asap?
Many of the business practices that worked just a few decades ago are no longer effective.
In the 21st century, Marketing and Sales can no longer afford to work in separate organizational silos. Instead, they need to morph into one cohesive team, work in unison and support each other more effectively.
So, what are the basic building blocks?
First off, it is pretty obvious that your Marketing team can benefit from direct feedback by the sales force in terms of what campaigns, collateral and leads work for them and their customers, and also what doesn’t work.
Equally obvious is that your Salesforce can benefit greatly from Marketing providing them with the best possible support.
Just one thing is crystal clear: You don’t want the two teams to operate in isolation from each other, or from the market. Thus, including your Customers in your Sales and Marketing alignment is a critical component to your sales revenue growth and business success. You want them to include your customers’ perspective, as is illustrated below.
Importantly, this does not only apply to your Sales and Marketing Leaders. No, sir, the Marketing and Sales teams will need to collaborate across all levels of seniority, i.e. not just at the senior executive level, but also at the grassroots level, such as marketing coordinators and sales reps. In that way, both, tactical and strategic matters, can be aligned across the two disciplines so that the organization presents a united and consistent face to its customers. That is the way to achieving a superior buying experience for your customers and prospects.
2. Align Mindsets
You can only achieve a good collaborative outcome if both parties are on the same page and are communicating actively, constructively and continuously.
To do this requires a team approach. It simply is not something that either sales or marketing people can decide by themselves. This outcome requires a strategic and – dare I say – cultural imperative that can only come from the top down through good leadership and a clear vision. If you get it right, you will move through three stages, as illustrated below, before you reach the nirvana that I call Smarketing™.
In the first stage, called SILO MINDSET, Sales and Marketing people operate in separate silos with very little communication between them. I sometimes half-joke that Sales and Marketing talk more often ABOUT each other than TO each other. Sad, but true, this scenario still exists in many businesses large and small.
The second stage, called PROCESS MINDSET, attempts to align the two competencies with technology. Often, this is through the implementation of a CRM system. The mistake that many companies make right here is that they believe the CRM vendors when they have them believe that just by implementing the tool it will lead to the desired outcome. I have pasted a picture below that illustrates that scenario for you.
The third and final stage that I call COLLABORATION MINDSET has reached a point where the boundaries between Sales and Marketing blur. The key here is to focus the effort and attention on creating positive customer outcomes as doing so will make internal boundaries and jurisdictions less relevant. This, in turn, breaks down the departmental silo walls and frees up open communication and collaboration between the teams.
Achieving this third stage, of course, is more easily said than done. So, HOW do you go about it?
3. Align Reward Programs
The management guru Peter Drucker famously says: “What gets measured gets improved.” So, you need to align your reward and recognition program to create a shared and measurable goal for your Marketing and Sales teams to collaborate more effectively and work as OneTEAM.
So, what should that goal be?
Many organizations have experimented with making the creation of sales lead the shared goal. However, I have three problems with that approach:
- It is too narrow and too short-term-focused for my liking.
- You run the risk of this approach leading to disappointing outcomes when lead quantity ends up trumping lead quality.
- Settling on a unified definition of what constitutes a high-quality sales lead can be challenging.
Others have elected to drive Marketing and Sales collaboration through a shared revenue goal. This has often brought initial success, particularly in the context of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), but it is still pretty rare to see longer-term sales growth from a shared revenue goal arrangement.
Luckily, the stars have recently aligned in a beautiful constellation that gives organizations the best of both worlds, namely, to combine your customer-centricity initiative with your Sales and Marketing alignment program.
What do I mean by that?
If your organization has chosen to compete more effectively by improving its customer experience (CX) then what better way to create that objective than by focusing your Sales and Marketing teams on delivering your customers a great buying experience?
After all, Marketing and Sales are at the same time your highest revenue-generating and most customer-facing parts of your organization. Granted, they may use different channels to reach your customers, but their messaging and language must be consistent and offer high value to the customer, right?
4. Align Processes
I often say that “Marketing exists to create an environment where sales can occur.” If that is indeed the case, then it will be necessary for both parties to agree on who does what, so that you can avoid double-handling, or – even worse – “things falling between the cracks”.
As I mentioned above, your CRM, sales force automation and marketing automation systems are only enablers of your sales and marketing processes. It is your people who make them successful.
So, it becomes critical that the processes that you want your Sales and Marketing teams to be judged and measured on are defined, agreed and documented by both teams.
Psychologically speaking, it is important that they are not imposed on either party from somewhere above. They should be consensual to avoid mere lip service or active and passive resistance down the track.
5. Foster Good Collaboration
If Marketing exists to create an environment where sales can occur, then it becomes important for the collateral and the content to be shareable with customers and prospects by both marketing people and sales reps.
By the way, while it is Marketing’s role to lift corporate brand awareness and brand image in order to attract buyers, it is equally important for individual sales reps to promote their personal brand and their subject matter expertise.
Equally, it is important that sales reps are kept informed on what messaging and content Marketing is sending out to prospects and customers so that they can both “sing off the same hymn sheet”.
As modern selling techniques, such as social selling, ABM and challenger-style selling become more important, the content that Marketing creates must be quickly accessible and easily shareable by sales reps.
What you will want to avoid is a situation where Marketing creates content that your salespeople simply do not use.
Nor do you want salespeople creating unauthorized and unvetted marketing content. By working together on content creation with an agreed sign-off and publishing process, you can significantly lift both the quality and effectiveness of your sales and marketing content.
Salespeople and their Marketing counterparts, now more than ever, need to work together to drive up sales revenue growth and to achieve their sales targets and attain their quota.
A Call to Action
If you like this article, please share it with your networks, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
If you’d like to discuss your sales challenges and opportunities, contact me at email@example.com or call +61 411 865 301
About the Author
Contact Peter Strohkorb
- Peter Strohkorb, CEO, Peter Strohkorb Consulting International Pty Ltd
- Ph: +61 411 865 301
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Websites: http://www.peterstrohkorb.com/
- LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/peterstrohkorbsalesmarketing
- Twitter: @pstrohkorb
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Image Credit: Peter Strohkorb