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Successful sales and marketing alignment is the key to great content

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By: Nikki Dawson, Head of EMEA Marketing at Highspot

Nikki Dawson, Head of EMEA Marketing at Highspot

Sales and marketing alignment is potentially the largest opportunity to boost corporate success today. When marketing and sales teams collaborate on a single revenue cycle, they enhance marketing ROI, sales productivity, and, most crucially, top-line growth. 

However, sales and marketing misalignment is quite prevalent, and businesses with misaligned sales and marketing teams are at a competitive disadvantage. The issue that arises here is often ‘content chaos’ where time and resources are wasted developing content with no clear goal or use.

Marketing believes that most content provided for sales teams is rarely used, whilst the sales team is dissatisfied with marketing’s ability to generate enough useful content that secures high-quality leads. This strained connection between the two departments will harm the bottom line and cause productivity inefficiencies that could cost firms over $1 trillion every year, as cited by Martech Alliance.  

So what’s the solution? 

Functional alignment over coexistence

As it stands, it’s no longer enough for the marketing and sales departments to simply coexist. Instead they need to work together, sharing insights that add value to each other and their organisation. It’s imperative that these two teams are properly aligned and collaborate effectively in order to drive ROI for the business. 

Both teams face barriers to efficient working. When sales fall short of expectations, marketing assumes it was a result of poor execution of an otherwise outstanding rollout strategy. In turn, the sales departments assume that marketers are out of touch with what customers are genuinely thinking and aren’t providing them with the right content.

Marketers typically generate collateral and content for sales, and while the sales team closes leads, marketers are left in the dark about what worked and what didn’t. As a result, there’s no way of truly knowing what marketing assets are doing well and where time and budget could be better spent. Just 65% of content developed by marketing is ever used by sales, most of it is wasted because it’s not deemed useful. 

This lack of cohesion has a negative impact on business performance. We’ve seen both teams stumble (and the organisation suffer) because they are out of sync with each other. In contrast, there is no doubt that when sales and marketing work well together, businesses see significant improvements in key performance measures.  In fact, according to Forrester, companies that align sales and marketing teams achieve 24% faster growth rates and 27% faster profit growth.

In order to be most effective, generate more leads and close more deals sales and marketing must have a symbiotic relationship. Sales enablement facilitates this process by delivering the correct content to the right people at the right time and providing invaluable insights to learn from along the way.

Marketers need a seat at the revenue table 

Having a seat at the revenue table and knowing how their content and campaigns contribute to a deal and revenue allows marketers to obtain valuable insight into one of their most powerful channels – their go-to-market (GTM)/sales team.

The critical task required for sales teams to predict leads, pipelines and revenue with confidence should not be handled exclusively by them. Instead, both departments should have a place at the revenue table to be able to discuss ways in which marketing and sales can work together and align their efforts to drive ROI. 

This ideal alignment can be easily achieved through sales enablement. These solutions not only give both the sales and marketing teams full visibility over assets and the revenue they drive but also help to bridge the gap between content creation and sales calls.

Sales enablement is more than simply a tool

Sales enablement platforms are a complete solution that can provide visibility across the sales content life cycle. These AI-powered systems simply connect your sales and marketing teams with their extensive search, scoring, and synchronisation capabilities. This consequently bridges the gap between marketing, sales, and customers which  allows teams to track content performance from publishing to pitch.

This can involve assisting with organising content, integrating your sales and marketing teams, and even making onboarding a new salesperson as simple and painless as possible.

The value of investment in this technology is undeniable. 

Whether it’s shortening sales cycles or facilitating a more efficient and successful sales process, sales enablement technology will present you with a competitive advantage that has yet to be truly realised.

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