Buyers expect a consistent experience throughout their journey, but many sales and marketing teams cannot deliver this, treating buying group members like a baton that is handed off from marketing to sales based on arbitrary qualification scores. If these two departments aren’t coordinated, it is difficult for revenue teams to unify buying group communications. The only way to meet buyers’ expectations effectively is to become an aligned revenue organization. This means moving away from a siloed relay approach to an adventure racing approach in which the revenue team engages buyers in a unified way. Aligning the growth engine enables three capabilities:
- Team coordination. Sales and marketing need to align around the opportunity so that both have the insights needed to optimize buyer engagement. Marketing insights inform sellers about what is happening besides interactions. Sellers provide more context about the opportunity that marketing can use to personalize outreach. This is needed to optimize the buying experience and win more deals.
- A dynamic buying process. According to Forrester research, the average sales-qualified conversion rate for B2B services is 3.5%. That doesn’t consider the percentage of these conversions that sales wins, which is much lower. This leads companies to invest in generating new prospects that were discarded in the past. Implementing technology and processes that engage lost or inactive opportunities will create higher-quality opportunities at a lower cost. This technology allows organizations to reengage known opportunities proactively rather than prospecting for net-new opportunities.
- Aligned execution. Buyers and customers expect a personalized experience across sales and marketing interactions. Marketing can’t do this because it primarily owns digital interactions. Sales can’t do this because it primarily handles direct interactions. It’s ineffective for marketing to engage qualified buyers who want deeper conversations and equally inefficient for companies to ask sellers to engage before buyers are ready. Sales and marketing need to coordinate their interactions to apply the optimal interaction at the right times in the buying process.
To support buyers, sales and marketing alignment and coordination is a necessity. Yet there are deep divides within these teams that have kept them apart for years. It will take an active effort to restructure them as a unified team aligned around the buying group. Aligning around a buying group establishes a competitive lead for organizations and creates a sustainable advantage for the foreseeable future.