Doesn’t matter which side of the table you’re on – we’ve all been there. Marketing pointing the finger to sales “You’re not working our leads!” and sales pointing their finger “You’re not giving us good leads.”

And we all know how it ends, everyone leaves the meeting upset and the CEO has to take sides. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

Over the last few months, we’ve spoken with a number of companies where marketing and sales are best friends. Marketing wants to see sales hit their number and sales wants to see marketing on the annual club trip to Aruba.

When aligned correctly the marketing-sales relationship is a powerhouse, unstoppable.

We asked these fully integrated marketing-sales teams how they bridged the gap and they told us that technology was at the core of their success.

Want sales and marketing alignment in your organization? Then make sure you have these 5 tools:

1) A Solid Communication Tool:

Communication is at the forefront of every successful relationship. To be successful in working together, marketing and sales must communicate clearly, and often. Marketing needs a tool they can use to disseminate information on campaigns, events, content and updated messaging. As one sales rep put it, “Marketing is always sending us something new every week. Often these updates get lost in my inbox.” To improve communication and make sure everyone has the latest datasheets and battle cards we like tools like Slack, Asana or an internal blog on Confluence. For example here are a few ways we’ve seen Slack help bridge the gap:

    • Push leads (and the sales activity on those leads) into Slack so you can see the effort being given to each lead without painful CRM reports
    • Create channels for your big campaigns and events. This helps the sales team know exactly where to find the most up to date information. We also recommend creating a channel for every customer – keeping case studies and reference data in an easy to find location
    • Generate alerts when leads are disqualified but haven’t been given enough attention to warrant a disqualification


2) CRM:

Prevent your team from working in data silos. Use a CRM to act as the source of truth for both the marketing and sales teams.While marketing has historically done a great job generating leads, sales hasn’t always been the best at showing how hard they’ve worked those precious leads. When the sales team logs every phone call, email and meeting data into your CRM, marketing can see the effort being given to each lead. By logging completed activities marketing will have full transparency into the effort given to each lead. And activity logging doesn’t have to be complicated and painful – use a platform like People.ai’s CRM Sync, to ensure activity data is thorough and accurate. Plus it will save your sales team 30% of their time.

3) Marketing Automation:

Tools like Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot aren’t just for the marketer. In fact, when used correctly, marketing automation enables marketing and sales alignment. By using lead scoring, marketing teams are able to help their sales counterparts prioritize which leads to call first. We’re also a big fan of tools like Marketo Sales Insight so members of the sales team can see what pages a prospect visited and what content they downloaded. As one enterprise marketer said, “By giving sales insight to a prospect’s behavior on our website, the more our sales team can personalize their messaging to the buyer’s needs. This has greatly improved how sales and marketing work together!”

And if you want to take it to the next level we recommend a predictive lead scoring tool like Infer. To maximize your lead scoring, use behavioral data from your top performers in your predictive lead scoring models. Just another reason automated CRM Sync is so valuable.


4) Sales Acceleration:

Marketing doesn’t get to have all the fun, sales needs a few tools in their pocket too. Ensure sales has the ability to work inbound and outbound leads as efficiently as possible. “We help our sales team by crafting the content for their prospecting emails. In return they’re able to spend more time personalizing the message, rather than nailing our value prop,” said one senior marketing manager. We suggest tools like Outreach.io, Salesloft and Engagio. Together these tools allow marketing and sales to work in tandem to achieve the same goal, more closed business.

5) Activity Management and Attribution Platform:

We found that across 160 companies and over $3.5B of pipeline we track, less than 5% of leads sent from marketing to sales got the appropriate amount of sales activity. To put that in context, if you spend $25k on a campaign and generate 384 leads (assuming a CPL of $65), that means only about 19 leads are going to get the attention and effort they deserve. And it means that about $23k of marketing’s budget will be wasted (turned into an unresponsive lead).

By using a platform like People.ai, marketing and sales can truly become best friends. Marketing gets visibility and transparency into what happens to their leads and sales can provide feedback on marketing programs, knowing they’ve done their best job to qualify every lead. By removing the unknown and having clear data insights, both teams can spend their time doing more of what works rather than argue about what isn’t working. It’s a win-win for sales and marketing. Read to learn more? Request a demo today!

Summary

By leveraging all these tools you’ll be able to gather comprehensive insights on what’s really happening in your business.

No longer does marketing need to look at sales and CRM as a big black hole – now they’ve got the visibility they need to understand what programs and campaigns convert best.

And sales no longer needs to explain how much effort they spent on each lead, the data is available and easy to consume.

And for the data scientists working these data points day and night – we’ve got you covered too. Stay tuned for our next blog on this exact topic!