How To Align Sales And Marketing

It seems as though there has always been a power struggle between sales and marketing teams.

When sales teams aren’t closing deals with leads that marketing has given them, marketing starts griping about the sales team not being good at their job. But then sales blames marketing by saying that they aren’t giving them good leads. It’s a vicious cycle. Sound familiar? 

Chatbots can really help in that whole process! Let’s first discuss what Linda Huary had to say in a recent podcast on Digital Conversations with host Billy Bateman. She highlighted the importance of having unity among sales and marketing teams.

Break Down the Tension

If you want high performing sales and marketing teams, they need to work together. As previously mentioned, there is sometimes tension between the two. It is extremely beneficial to have a tighter link between those teams.

They need to realize that they are working toward the same goal–driving sales.

Fool Proof Methodology

CRM systems facilitate that connection between marketing and sales. When all of the customer information and interactions with customers is updated in your CRM platform, it is relevant and useful for everyone. It allows for a smooth transition for that lead from marketing to sales.

Linda has a well thought-out procedure to ensure collaboration between sales and marketing teams. As she stated in the podcast, “marketing needs to really understand what they’re delivering to sales.” Her methodology includes three crucial steps to aligning your marketing and sales teams.

1. Agree Upon Definitions

The confusion and tension between marketing and sales stems from a lack of understanding and communication on both sides. Marketing may not understand what factors determine a lead to be qualified, and sales may not be communicating what types of leads they are really looking for. In order to straighten things out, the two teams need to sit down and come to an agreement on what their definition of a qualified lead is.

The sales team needs to vocalize what kind of leads they want, so they aren’t receiving unprofitable leads from marketing. They need to define what the attributes of a qualified lead are, so marketing knows what type of leads the sales team is willing to follow up on.

Ideally, after capturing a lead, the marketing team will hand it off to the sales team. This passing off of the baton is what connects the two teams. For that to be a smooth and effective transition, the sales team needs to then follow up on the leads.

2. Don’t Let Leads Sit

Leads can’t be left hanging! Once sales receives a lead, they need to contact them, follow up, and input/update everything in the CRM system. This creates a flow; marketing starts to deliver leads to sales that are actually qualified leads. This way sales won’t have any excuses not to follow up on a lead, because they will be getting the leads they’ve asked for!

Yes, they might receive less leads this way, BUT they will be more qualified leads. Only having to work with qualified leads saves your sales team’s time, thus saving your company money. See the benefits?

3. Understanding Roles

What is marketing responsible for? What is sales responsible for? Knowing the roles of each team allows for a clearer vision of who needs to focus on what.

So let’s break it down:

  • Marketing is responsible for opportunity pipeline. This is the metric to use to measure marketing’s success. They need to be finding and delivering the right leads to the sales team.
  • Sales is responsible for driving revenue. Marketing does influence revenue, but sales ultimately closes the deals.

Everyone needs to understand the distinction between roles, so there can be a seamless hand-off of leads. 

Chatbots Are the Bridge

Chatbots can bridge the gap between sales and marketing. One of the best features of our chatbots is that they can qualify 24/7. Once marketing and sales have come to an understanding of what questions need to be asked in order to properly qualify leads, marketing can set up the bots to do that job! This automation of lead qualifying really speeds up the process. Then, marketing can focus more effort on driving quality traffic to the website and sales can focus on closing deals with leads the bot has qualified. 

(For more best practices on bot qualifying, check out this whitepaper

By following these three key strategies and integrating chatbots, your marketing and sales teams will develop a greater understanding of how they need to work together to aid in the success of the company as a whole.


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