There are 4 core ingredients of RevOps teams: strategy, tools, enablement, and insights. Enablement ensures that corresponding teams have the necessary training and support required to fulfill their responsibilities.
Marketing and sales enablement teams have one goal in common: to help sales sell more. During the Covid-19 pandemic, aligning organizational strategies to help drive more revenue to a business, marketing and sales play an important role in driving overall revenue.
Marketing is responsible for creating educational and promotional content to attract potential customers. Sales enablement professionals can use this material to provide prospects a positive buyer's journey throughout the sales process and close more deals.
Marketing and sales enablement is the driving force that helps sales acquire new clients and grow revenue. For this reason, both departments need to be collaborating consistently to ensure their objectives align and they are effective at making sales jobs easier.
However, this is easier said than done. Quite often, marketing and sales enablement work in a silo mentality, each with its strategies and competing priorities.
This misalignment can make their actions less effective, hindering sales' capacity to become trusted advisors to prospective customers.
Defining marketing enablement
Marketing enablement is how marketing-centered activities like content creation, content analytics, and content storage are made more efficient and help generate quality leads to sales. Marketing and marketing enablement is all about the customer – attracting and engaging ideal buyers.
Effective marketing enablement strategies help simplify communication and align goals between marketing and sales departments.
Marketing enablement allows marketing teams to create, refine, and deliver top-quality content that speaks directly to target customers' wants and needs.
An enablement mindset allows marketing to work more efficiently. This means creating targeted material that educates and persuades prospects of their products' value and handling content more efficiently.
Content is organized across different content profiles, content is upgraded and updated, and ineffective and unused content is enhanced.
Defining sales enablement
Much like marketing enablement, sales enablement is responsible for providing sales teams with the resources they need to close more deals and educating sales on how and when to use these for best results.
Resources such as content, sales tools, sales buyer personas, and sales analytics are meant to facilitate a sales rep's responsibility of engaging and building credibility with prospective customers.
It is important to note that sales enablement responsibilities should not overlap with those of other sales team members.
65% of sales professionals who outperformed their revenue goals had a sales enablement team to improve sales productivity. This is a testament that investing in sales enablement brings organizations closer to their revenue goals.
(Source: Global Sales Enablement Survey)
Enablement is about alignment
A strong alignment between marketing and sales departments is a core component of an effective revenue operations strategy. When these two synchronize their goals to provide a seamless customer journey, organizations have a greater likelihood of achieving revenue goals.
87% of sales and marketing leaders agree that the cooperation between marketing and sales enables substantial business growth.
Two types of alignment can help organizations achieve their revenue goals.
Horizontal alignment centers on adjusting teams and their functions and processes so that they share the same vision. It aims to answers questions like: What do we want to achieve? What interdepartmental goals can marketing and sales achieve? How can we reach them?
To answer these questions in the best way possible, marketing and sales leaders need to ensure that each department's strategies do not compete against each other across the buyer's journey to build for future customers.
In vertical alignment, an organization's departments, stakeholders, and sponsors align goals to ensure that every aspect of the company shares the same bottom line. Every decision, action, and investment must take the business one step closer to these pre-established goals.
While this approach can take a lot of time as it requires the coordination of many different factors, it is crucial to align marketing and sales enablement initiatives to ensure a more wholesome buyer's journey.
Strategies for alignment
Organizations that successfully coordinate their marketing and sales activities often use different strategies to achieve results.
The ideal approach will depend on the organization, the current state of alignment between departments, and improvements.
Strategy #1: Aligning around your target buyers
Aligning the buyer's journey to focus on the type of customer your organization wants to attract will often require restructuring the sales process to ensure that all marketing, sales, and customer success are involved.
Coordinating these departments with the buyer's journey requires a vertical alignment. Aligning these departments to each other involves a horizontal alignment.
A customer-centric buyer's journey requires a deep understanding of the buyer, including a lot of segmentation and classifying buyer personas.
In a typical customer journey map, marketing plays a vital role in the beginning stages. Sales offer its input only after marketing concludes its responsibilities and has invested a significant amount of time and resources in attracting leads.
What happens if marketing sends substandard sales-qualified leads to the sales team? Sales will not have much to work with.
To counteract this possible scenario, sales would do well to provide enablement teams insight into the type of content prospects need across each stage of the sales process. Do they require more educational information, a custom sales offer, testimonials, or something else?
If prospects have a need sales is not currently fulfilling, sales and marketing enablement need to know.
Jake Meador, Director of Content Strategy at Mobile Text Alerts, shared how his organization works to align marketing and sales initiatives by centering on the ideal customer.
"The most helpful thing I've been part of for aligning sales and marketing was an exercise our CMO took us through one time that mapped out the entire process by which someone became a customer, moving from being unaware of the problem we would help them solve, to see us as the solution to their problem.
By locating our company in that customer's narrative, it became easier to see how marketing, sales, and support all work together to push toward the same goal.
As part of this exercise, we also worked on messaging to describe the problem that we solve, the value we provide for customers, etcetera. This helped get all of our teams on the same page because we were all on the same message.
The two keys to better alignment, in my opinion, are making sure your teams recognize how each of them contributes to one single common goal and making sure your teams all talk about that goal in the same way."
For this reason, sales and marketing should set expectations on how they will communicate and contribute to acquiring clients.
Strategy #2: Focus on measuring what matters
Successfully aligning marketing and sales requires measuring progress over time.
To do this, teams should look to metrics that reflect substantive information rather than vanity behaviors. To determine which critical metrics are worth focusing on, consider the value that each metric provides.
For example, measuring customer lifetime value, cost per acquisition, revenue, revenue retention, and customer churn will provide sales and marketing a window into your organization's relationship with its customers. Ideally, you want this relationship to strengthen over time, and it starts with the first points of contact leads have with your brand.
Reuben Yonatan, founder and CEO of GetVoIP, explains his organization's perspective regarding marketing and sales alignment.
"Something that has helped us align our marketing and sales goals is finding out the common KPIs and tracking them. Typically, the sales team's KPIs differ from the marketing team's KPIs. However, there is always a bit of overlap, for example, customer lifetime value.
If both the sales and marketing team are tracking customer lifetime value, it creates an intersection point that helps align the two teams. Other similar KPIs include revenue and sales growth."
When both departments communicate which metrics they will measure in tandem and assess separately, understanding areas of misalignment becomes a lot easier.
Strategy #3: Focus on remote selling for the future
The era of remote selling is here to stay. Precipitated by the Covid-19 pandemic, companies across the board looking to continue to thrive or survive have had to adjust where needed.
For many organizations looking to enable and align their marketing and sales operations, this means upgrading their marketing and sales tech stack to ensure all team members are set up for success.
The technology your team uses to work in alignment should streamline your sales processes, be efficient, and provide a reliable communication channel between team members and prospects.
This could range from CRM, project management software, scheduling tools, instant chat options, or a presentation deck.
Upgrading may be a hassle and, for some companies, a hefty investment, but it is essential to keep in mind that this is about your potential customers and buyers.
You want to provide them a seamless sales experience. Your organization is their best option, so start proving this fact to them during the "getting to know each other" phase of the customer journey.
Marketing and sales alignment can be easy
Correlating marketing and sales initiatives to provide a positive experience for potential customers does not have to be difficult.
Understanding your organization's bottom line and your target customers is the first step. Interdepartmental communication is the next – knowing each department's common objectives and what each is doing to achieve them.
Using appropriate technology to measure and iterate progress is fundamental to understand where your teams can improve.
If your organization is struggling to align its marketing and sales teams or is not seeing positive results, Theia Marketing can help. We have experience working with businesses to align their business objectives and work with their marketing efforts to make these happen.