10 Tried-and-True Tips for Sales and Marketing Alignment – with Tamara Yarovoy

Speaker

Tamara Yarovoy has over 10 years of experience in B2B marketing. Tamara is the Director of Demand Generation at Vena Solutions, the only native excel complete planning platform built for Microsoft 365. Previously, she served as Head of Demand Generation at Meltwater, where she successfully launched ABM program which generated over $1M in revenue. Earlier in her career she was a part of cybersecurity startup and digital marketing agency which became a backbone of her career. We are excited to learn from Tamara’s career and experience.

Quotes

“Well aligned sales and marketing teams drive more than 200% revenue growth for marketing tactics. Additional research also suggests that organizations with aligned departments can achieve up to 38% higher sales win rates, which is tremendous just by like aligning departments.” 

Key Points

  • The most important step is hiring the right people!   
  • Reporting and analysis should be done by Marketing and Sales teams in tandem.  
  • Marketers can gain insights by shadowing sales calls.  
  • Questions are key in aligning your sales and marketing teams. 

Transcript

Hi, everyone. My name is Tamara Kitic Yarovoy and I am a director of Demand Generation at Vena. Today I’ll be sharing “10 Tried and True Tips for Sales and Marketing Alignment”, and this is in an effort to showcase the impact the alignment can have on the revenue and an organization as a whole. Let me just show my screen and we can kick it off.

So first thing first, one thing that I wanted to mention and the reason why I’m so passionate about this topic as a whole is I wish I really knew what this lesson that I’ll share with you today five years ago. So the main goal of this entire presentation is for you to walk away with actionable tips that you can leverage today, to really either improve your marketing sales alignment and to get new ideas how to go about it.

Or if you don’t know where to start and you just want to get something going. I’m hoping that this will be kind of good outline for you to initiate the right alignment in your organization/ Currently and as I mentioned, I’m at Vena and previously was at Meltwater as a – somebody direct and as a – in demand gen acquisition. Typically we have a really close alignment with sales and in demand gen world, generally speaking, at least in what they’re doing at Vena, I was in charge of creating the future demands for urbanization and capturing the current. As you can assume, that’s going to spread through a lot of initiatives and type alignment with with sales meant all of sense. So the back of the things are approaches that we leverage also between the teams would be like ABM as a whole which definitely a lot like allows the teams to be more in line in terms of what retirees will be going after the selection of accounts and how we are approaching the entire ABM.

So I’m very passionate about this topic. Again, touching mainly on impacts of the revenue that we have and I’ll share some of that a little bit later with you. One thing that I wanted to say that was shared previously with me is it’s on the best demand generation market tends to actually come from sales. I started my career, I can’t even say started my career, earlier before I even knew what career is.

My my parents managed to involve me some of their sales things and hobbies that they initiated. So I got very familiar with it, and my and my family picked out for us a company back in Serbia where I’m originally from. So from really early on before even having the first job and getting my marketing degree, I really understood the impact of sales, which is something that every marketer should really understand and complement in a sense that when people in these two organizations, the revenue teams work in tandem, including customer success.

The organization is the one that benefits the most. Currently, you see me at a slide, you know, picture. I consider myself a chef because as somebody who is in a demand gen role, we’re always cooking and trying to perfect the recipes. And in a sense that also ties in to the relationship with sales. It’s never perfect. It’s always really an improvement that we’re trying to to aim for.

In my free time, you’ll see me and at the beach, and that is my two year old daughter. So that’s something a little bit about me that I wanted you to know. Let’s begin here – sales and marketing by numbers. How does that look like? Why does this even why is this important? So, first of all, I just wanted to share here that well aligned sales and marketing teams drive more than 200% revenue growth for marketing tactics.

Additional research also suggests that organizations with aligned departments can achieve up to 38% higher sales win rates, which is tremendous just by like aligning departments. And in this case, honestly, we’re not touching on sales and marketing, but the way I see it, revenue teams can fold or in a perfect world, alignment of marketing, sales and CS, or customer success.

One more reason why this makes sense that research points out is companies with like tightly alighned departments reach 24% faster revenue growth and 27% quicker profit growth for three years. So very impressive. Like what alignment can really do for an organization. And the last piece so they’re honored to share with everyone is that companies to an average of 90% starts the revenue growth and 50% profitability when sales gains are actually aligned, but those are some like rare number like, research driven numbers which I wanted to share. And obviously that’s just what research says. So instead of just going a little bit, I also wanted to share with you the benefits. What are really the benefits like? Why is this so big? Why is this a topic? Why is it important? So I wanted to give you the reasons, and in fact, the partnership between sales and marketing is the number one success factor attributed to achieving revenue goals. So both teams aligned on the revenue goals. Obviously, this is the one factor that can make it or break it, and then it’s something that further reinforces the reason behind the alignment. Next thing is organizations with robust alignment =can grow 20% annually, so that definitely adds to it, and according to sales and marketing statistics, when both teams working coordination businesses see a 27% faster profit growth. So now if I don’t know a person that would not take that aspect off growth profit aspect being a little bit increase, I think we all have steep margins that we have chasing and sales in marketing both together, CS included as that, having a team, we all feel the sense of three goals that we are achieving.

So if you can achieve it faster, why would you not go for it? So in my world, it just makes perfect sense to, to do this more than to like basically the tips how do you go about this process altogether? You can find a lot of resources online the way how I see it is a little bit different. Think commonly a lot of this alignment tips and tricks and how you can go about this really forget about step number one and I’ll go over that with you – that is hiring the right people. What does that really mean in order for alignment to really work, both sales and marketing teams have to have a good leader’s tied to these roles.

I can give you an example in terms of what currently happens at Vena. On marketing side, I am director demand generation and I am the person who is a marketer, but kind of operates with that sales brain half of the time, which obviously kind of lets me lean on to sales and I’m seeking that alignment knowing and understanding the benefits of it.

When it comes to sales side also having a leader who is open to testing new ideas, willing to grow personally and professionally, really, really requires a bright person in the role to lean on marketing and really be open to ideas. How can we further enhance or expand on sales tools box? Once the right key holders are in place, Again, I can’t emphasize this enough because you have a right wrong people in place who can not really who are not even willing to lie and just want to stop their job.

I call it empty. Well, at least on the marketing side and not willing to expand into sales cycle. I really don’t see how this can work. So once again, placing an emphasis on hiring right people. The second step I would like to share here is obviously one that’s meet regularly, a team has to set up a cadence where communication is exchanged is super important.

Once that is in place and obviously we can start like cracking the things down that the funnel is the sense that we can set our goals that touches really on like revenue. How are we going about this process, what are we trying to accomplish? What’s the percentage of revenue contribution being completed by marketing? What’s the percentage of contribution that should be coming from sales?

Also there, I’d like in really early conversation shifts that should be initiated. The next stage just like really continuing that, that communication and creating a team email or a team channel if that is something that your organization kind of leans on these days.In tandem, obviously both teams should accomidate content marketing alignment. One thing that what can be helpful and I’ll tap into a little bit more details and examples on how I go about this.

You’re on so I’m hoping we can start fresh this point at a later time. Number six here, shared reporting, analysis, having a process in place that allows them to do review this information. One, again, it gets kind of tricky. I just want to kind of emphasizing that perfect world between the revenue teams being marketing sales and see as there should be a team that this team should according to who care without any bias or hard feelings, really just devalue the data the way they see it and then kind of divide the teams in the right direction.

So in terms of how that work is shaped, this is how I see it. And you really help with reporting, analysis and making sure that we are reporting the same goals. And I think this is more number seven. Shadowing sales calls, again, being open minded. Early in my career, I came out of digital marketing agency and call tracking was a thing that we offer in addition to CS and SEO services.

In my early days, I really just by listening to calls, I would get an understanding how are our prospects really naming the product, solutions, and services that we are going after and that really can increase the knowledge of the team. So you can either, you know, sit down on the calls or connect with some of the best structured assets to share some of your some of their calls with a team, and allow that growth for both sides like one a marketing initiating event and showcasing that there is interest that we see just how I recruited through selling and then on us other side is basically marketing digesting information is being shared identifying opportunities how we can improve the process, can we assist the sales, right that the information that customers or potential customers process are asking for. The example I can give here is like let’s G2 or what sort of group and how can we really like go to that validation that the information so some of this like opportunities source and a lot of these things can surface from just shadowing sales calls.

So I highly recommend this point here or picture number eight. So many marketing and sales means and expertize typically not every word, but it happens that when the deal comes through, there is emails shared, making sure that we paint a picture on how the marketing helps sales and vice versa when the deals come. And I think it’s very important to kind of validate this alignment between the two departments.

If a program assisted in generating that new prospect or deal company, any marketing or sales source, just making sure we have that accounts coming out internally emphasizing alignment between two departments. Tip number nine organize sales enablement resources. This is like additional layer on top of everything that marketing sales can do that can really help drive success between the two teams.

Again, this is dependent on if your organization has a enablement team. I am fortunate that Vena does, so we can lean on the enablement team for a lot of things to improve and grow or get the information necessary. So it’s just something that I wanted to to outline as an additional thing that can help with alignment. Point number ten would be really having fun together amd celebrating wins. When I say fun, at Vena I’ve been having discussions of maybe if we reach this revenue goal, a marketing team will do X, or the sales leader will do Y? Just making kind of like entertaining to to like go after the shared goals but maybe kind of highlighting that a collaboration and assign multiple getting the environment for your brand and that everything we’re doing and when we have the shared goals and interest in it in the areas we are tackling should be an actual glass portion that I wanted to share here, and it is not it is a pivot, but I call it a bonus tip that I wanted to share. It’s really like something that that’s often companies, organizations forget. But when sales and SDR leaders or people are onboarded, that onboarding material or when the person goes to that first or second week in like really, really indulging or memorizing the content that is been shared.

It’s a lot of information that they get across. So a lot of times we really forget that to continue that education for the new sales and SDR people that are being onboarded. So I can really emphasize how to now this is something I’m currently trying to get in the habit of doing with our sales and SDR team and also evaluating what information is being shared because on the marketing side, at least a lot of things change the examples of inbox coming in, and correctly reporting on MQR or is it actually like MQA, or is it like qualifing an account, and a lot of things that can impact this.

So making sure that we really have the best material to onboard the sales leadership our sales team on is very, very important. And so again, this is just some of the things, but I really want it to for anyone who attends this session, come out with really practical things they can do today, to get you started. I wanted to deviate from theory and content that you can find online in an effort to achieve my goal. If anyone who attended the session came out with like a few nuggets that they can leverage. That is a personal range for myself. So with that in mind, let’s see where an A person really starts right now. So the question that I often get from people and here is how I really go about this this process.

When thinking about marketing in general again, I can speak for myself. I’m not the type of marketing that will stop at what I call here, like AMQ, MQL or our portion. In my previous role and my current role, we have teammates responsible for marketing efforts, marketing and cross-functional community sales. Also six sales stages. And then how does that customer journey map like emphasizing like the entire lifecycle of what really can marketing team touch.

If you take that approach and you do not stop of that MQL well, right, and you don’t really have a clean handle if you’re really leaning to sales and customer success, knowing what questions to ask is actually crucial. So I just wanted to kind of leave with that and share some of them, I guess, questions that I initiated and asked when attempting to align the teams.

So with that let me move further, one think one and then five opportunity. How, how can this alignment work? And this is again really further away from like having to as SDR and having this SDR playbook that’s available sort of team this is more assuming that all of these ideas is in place. Well well, how do we really, really like align. One thing that can help you initiate this alignment is gaining really a full understanding of your sales manager or organization or teams in a sense that understanding your SDR team, their KPIs, how are they compensated, what are their career paths and really take all that information in consideration when collaborating with them.

The same on sales side understanding routing understanding the rules that go along with it, understanding the areas and markets like from us and being in market, the structure and the pricing, the structure of the entire team can really help tremendously here. Additionally, like stages, understanding each stage, and then really asking the questions in terms like your sales leadership, how to initiate that alignment.

So let me share some of this or at least how I go about this. So first being first, it’s like being curious and basically just like starting with with questions, some of the questions that I initiate that what are the current day points, job sales funnel? How is this team prioritizing marketing inbounds? What is your average time to first outreach?

What percentage guess is being disqualified? Those are some of the questions that can go and give you the opportunity is listed, and then based on answers or demand orchestra marketing ways that can elevate pain points. How does that really look? I started with each question answer here. So with the question what the the current pain points throughout the sales funnel.

Basically let me just shuffle – here when I posed that question to to our sales team, some of the things that they identify are, let’s say, velocity being an issue between stages four and six, struggling with value and benefits. Stage four having a hiccup on the legal bills, which was stage six. Once I got that information I basically like came up with.

So since how we can solve for this. I dropped some of the examples so I’m not going to be opening any of this. Feel free to leverage it in in the presentation, but mainly for velocity and speeding up. If contract is illegal and sales are stuck and they besides just following up and calling, what else can we do to like enable them to, in a very nice way, follow up with the prospect?

So we introduce a gift thing as one of the option that can help us accelerate the deal. So for those deals, starting in between the stages and let’s say contract, we cannot get out of some legal our sales are unable to do send a small gift as a token of appreciation and kind of communicating and change this psychology thing of we’re sold towards the finish line of this cycle and enabling the prospect to kind of jumpstarting the relationship before they become clients.

That is something that we do we leverage or as a part of that introduction or velocity between stages four and six. Adding benefits is another thing that our sales team shared basically on stage for a lot of our clients ask for reference calls. So imagine now really attempting to incorporate so many reference calls from our current clients and connecting with their current prospects just to hear from them, so one of the ways that people or companies are solving priorities, creating that frequently asked question page, let’s say 20 questions often asked by prospect staff, it didn’t even be written. Or another recommendation that they have is having basically videos of your customers touching on these frequently asked questions. This sentence could be enough for assisting to surpass that validation and then not really leverage your customers at this point and distribute.

The ask question page can be enough, so I just urge you to test it out and see if this is something that can work in your case. Lastly, legal review Stage six. I have an example of open sense where a lot of times at the end security people come in, in the reviews, so they really leverage or built a one page that answers all their security questions.

So in that sense, that was sufficient enough for the sales to to continue through the funnel instead of dealing with security reviews, they can come into play towards the end of the cycle. The last question that they answer here is like What’s SDR’s average time to first outreach, really understanding like how is your team like responding to some of these?

Some of this involves already prioritize against what’s taking effect before even introducing a new channel. I really would like to urge you to seek this information, to understand how is your SDR team operating? And once to understand that, then the opportunities will surface. So just something I wanted to share with the team, which really helped me kind of move forward with that.

Again, kind of resurfacing everything we’ve done so far. Understanding business goals is super important when when approaching alignment. Showing your work and master internal communications. Showcasing right like even small wins can really be super important when comes due to having this what I call ‘crawl walk and run approach’ to everything. So starting really small, building that story, walking, and then as you scale and you improve your programs, having an ability to run.

This is just some of the examples I wanted to share with you. I said Mid-Sale Acceleration Program, that step play we produce between stages four and six. Having like mini results that can kind of really kick start your, your alignment. Having one in place that’s relatively easy, but it allows you to kind of start building the story up and kind of getting sales a little bit like step by step, more excited about the alignment and collaborations moving forward.

It is important to like really think short term and long term alignment starting with small wins, kind of pacing yourself, small wins and then building the momentum up to those bigger ones which are more pressing in importance for the organization. I hope that that’s really made sense and for I thank you for the opportunity really to listen to this.

Again, for those interested, feel free to connect with me. Their additional questions you can connect with me on LinkedIn, or you can catch me in some of the communities on my profile. Get some of the podcast where I really passionately talk about marketing and sales alignment. That really sums it up again. Thank you. And then I hope this was informative enough for you to take the learnings and improve your alignment in your work. Have a good one, bye.

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