How to Achieve Sales and Marketing Alignment for an Efficient Team

min read
How to Achieve Sales and Marketing Alignment for an Efficient Team

Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing attracts a buyer’s interest through ad campaigns, social media, or other outreach. The sales team gets the lead from marketing, builds on that interest, and closes the deal. Together, marketing and sales can be a formidable revenue execution team — provided their efforts are well-aligned. But for many organizations, effective sales and marketing alignment is more of a goal than a reality. 

When marketing and sales teams are siloed, their disconnection undermines revenue execution and hurts the bottom line. So, aligning sales and marketing should be a high priority for any business that wants to achieve growth and profitability. Essentially, that’s every business.

In this post, we’ll examine how you can align your sales and marketing functions and the benefits your organization can realize as a result. We’ll also introduce some tools that can help you achieve B2C sales and marketing alignment faster and sustain it for the long term.

First, let’s talk about some factors that contribute to sales and marketing teams lacking alignment.

Common Reasons Behind Misalignment

It’s easy for sales and marketing functions to become misaligned — and even potentially slip into conflict if they’re really out of sync. Here are four typical obstacles to alignment that could be interfering with your teams’ ability to collaborate effectively and drive revenue.

Reason 1: Lack of Communication

Lack of communication between marketing and sales is the number one reason these functions become misaligned. These teams need to communicate effectively and understand each other’s goals and expectations. Regular meetings between these two teams to discuss the sales funnel can help. Project collaboration tools such as Slack, Asana, and Basecamp can also help drive regular and productive communication.  

Reason 2: Absent or Conflicting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Misalignment occurs when sales and marketing organizations are on different pages about performance objectives. Failure to set specific, shared goals and KPIs for both teams can hinder lead-generation efforts and result in finger-pointing when leads are lost, deals don’t close, or other moneymaking opportunities for the company fall short of expectations.

Reason 3: Inconsistent Brand Messaging

When marketing and sales efforts aren’t fully in sync, brand messaging and outreach to consumers can suffer. If the materials these teams use to communicate with customers have conflicting or otherwise inconsistent messaging about the company and its offerings, it can create confusion, undermine brand trust, and result in lost sales.

Reason 4: Lack of Technology Integration

Sales and marketing functions often end up siloed because they use different technology tools that don’t integrate well. According to LinkedIn, 45% of businesses say their biggest data challenge is incomplete data. Without proper integration of technology and analytics, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and lead management tools, teams can lose data and may struggle to work together effectively.

Invoca's revenue execution platform unifies data from digital channels with the contact center

In contrast, Invoca’s revenue execution platform integrates with CRMs and throughout the tech stack to put marketing, sales and other key functions, like customer service, on the same page. 

The Benefits of Sales and Marketing Alignment

Aligning sales and marketing can have a tremendous positive impact on your entire business. A revenue team firing on all cylinders grows sales, drives tangible business results, and contributes to long-term organizational success. Here’s a closer look at some of the top benefits of creating B2C sales and marketing alignment.

Benefit 1: Improved Buyer Experience

When marketing and sales work in harmony, it streamlines the buying process for consumer and improves their overall experience. It also throws more light on the sales funnel, opening the door for sales to increase conversions while reducing customer acquisition cost (CAC). For example, if marketing shares offline data, such as insights from phone conversations, then sales can get a complete picture of the customer journey. 

Benefit 2: Higher Customer Retention

B2C marketing and sales alignment can also have a positive impact on customer satisfaction — which can translate into higher customer retention and sales win rates. Stats show that businesses with strong sales and marketing alignment are 67% more effective at closing deals and 58% better at retaining customers. They also have a 36% higher customer retention rate than organizations suffering from misalignment. 

Benefit 3: Improved Lead Generation

Aligning sales and marketing teams helps with lead generation, and converting leads to actual customers. Lead tracking monitors where leads originate from, so marketing and sales can coordinate on outreach and customize their efforts to increase customer satisfaction, create personalized experiences, and drive revenue execution.

Benefit 4: Stronger Brand Positioning

A unified sales and marketing strategy also helps ensure that your brand message remains consistent across all touchpoints with consumers. A strong, consistent, and positive brand image provides a significant advantage to marketing and sales teams working to build customer loyalty and grow revenue. 

Strategies for Achieving Sales and Marketing Alignment

There are several strategies and best practices B2C companies can use to make sure that sales and marketing alignment happens. Here are eight strategies to consider using to help your teams work together regularly, and more effectively.

1. Share Goals and KPIs

Empower marketing and sales to agree on common KPIs to measure their success, such as lead scoring, conversion rates, and, most importantly, revenue impact. Tools such as Invoca’s revenue execution platform can help.

Invoca provides a complete shared set of insights based on analysis of consumers’ online and offline journeys. With Invoca, your sales and marketing teams can see how and where phone leads are generated for accurate attribution, and they see how well those leads were converted to revenue at the contact center.

2. Craft a Unique Buyer Persona

Buyer personas are a necessity in marketing, but it’s not enough just to craft them. Marketing and sales both need to fully understand who the ideal customers are.

Research shows that regular joint meetings are important to nearly three-quarters of today’s sales and marketing teams. So, setting up those meetings, and using them to help your teams develop a shared understanding of your ideal customers, including factors like age, occupation, and communication preferences, is a good idea — and one that will likely be well-received.

3. Maintain a Consistent Message

Consistency is crucial in messaging about your company’s brand and offerings. In addition to taking care to develop that messaging, make sure it is used appropriately across all functions, from marketing to sales to your contact center.

4. Use the Right Tools and Technologies

There is no shortage of technology out there to help increase visibility into lead data, pipeline status, and customer interactions for your sales and marketing teams. You’ll also find many tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that can speed the analysis of large data dumps in real time. These tools can help sales and marketing functions with rapid lead scoring and qualification, social media analysis, assessments of digital ad relevancy, and retargeting.

Invoca is an example of AI technology that allows marketing and sales teams to collaborate more effectively. With Invoca, they get a shared view of the sales funnel, from the marketing campaigns that drive leads to how well the sales team closes deals in the contact center. Invoca’s AI also lets you capture insight from calls at scale and integrate them with all of your technology tools, like your CRM system.

5. Centralize Communication

If you want to achieve B2C sales and marketing alignment, you will want to avoid using siloed internal communication channels for these functions. Regular meetings, cross-functional brainstorming sessions, and the use of shared workflow and collaboration platforms can help foster open communication between your sales and marketing teams.

6. Cross-Departmental Collaboration

You can even step up cross-departmental collaboration by creating opportunities for sales and marketing teams to work together on joint projects and initiatives tied to the sales funnel. This will develop greater rapport between departments, and help them develop a better understanding of each other’s pain points, strengths, and weaknesses. That can also build empathy.

7. Establish Closed-Loop Reporting

Closed-loop reporting is another way to bring sales and marketing teams closer together. It involves tracking and analyzing the entire customer journey, from initial engagement to final conversion, to determine the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

Essentially, closed-loop reporting is a process in which the sales team provides feedback to the marketing team — giving insight into which marketing efforts are driving revenue at the end of the sales funnel. This information allows the marketing team to adjust their tactics, pushing greater resources into the strategies proven to deliver sales.

To provide this feedback to the marketing team, the sales team can use, in addition to direct feedback in meetings or emails, technology tools like CRM systems, marketing automation platforms, analytics tools, attribution platforms, and marketing dashboards and reporting tools.

8. Create an Omnichannel Strategy

An omnichannel strategy aligns B2C sales and marketing functions by using integrated technology solutions to create a unified workflow. An omnichannel strategy helps organizations vastly improve the customer experience and the company’s brand image by coordinating sales and marketing teams across channels.

Invoca’s real-time revenue execution platform helps support an omnichannel strategy. It creates a seamless digital-to-call experience by using the information from a caller’s digital journey to automatically route calls to the agent best equipped to handle their inquiry. Invoca also passes that detail about the caller’s digital journey to the agent so they can personalize the conversation. They can greet the caller by name and even anticipate their needs and product interests based on which webpages they visited prior to picking up the phone.

The Role of Technology in Sales and Marketing Alignment

Technology opens doors for B2C sales and marketing alignment. By integrating these technologies into your tech stack, your business can overcome barriers to alignment, improve marketing and sales efficiency, and drive better business outcomes.

CRM Systems

A CRM system tracks and allows analysis of all customer interactions — including phone interactions if you integrate Invoca’s revenue execution platform into your tech stack. With a CRM in place, your business can provide better customer service and enhanced customer insights. The real-time data insights you get from Invoca can even help you capture revenue opportunities from missed sales calls. 

Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs)

Tools like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Iterable, Eloqua, and other MAPs automate personalization, lead generation, lead scoring, and lead nurturing, ensuring that marketing efforts are targeted and effective. This helps generate more qualified leads that are likely to convert into sales and help to reduce CAC. 

Analytics and Reporting Tools

The more data you possess, the better the insights you can derive from that information. Analytics and reporting tools like Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Tableau draw and organize data from omnichannel sources. Analysis provides big-picture insights into the overall performance of marketing campaigns, sales activities, and business outcomes.

Real-Time Revenue Execution Platforms

A Q1 2024 Forrester report indicated that revenue execution in an omnichannel world is more important than ever. Keeping the entire buyer journey visible to sales and marketing is the challenge. Here again, the right technology can help.

Forrester recognized Invoca as a standout solution among real-time revenue execution platforms. Our platform enables sales and marketing organizations to connect the entire online and offline customer journey. This helps both teams to see how marketing’s leads are converted by sales agents in the contact center.

Invoca’s revenue execution platform also enables better collaboration between marketing and sales teams by providing that all-important shared view of the customer journey. That shared view is the key to eliminating the friction (and finger-pointing) that so often occurs between disconnected sales and marketing teams. Instead, everyone can focus on driving revenue. There’s greater efficiency to be gained, too, with Invoca helping the business to surface processes in the contact center that could be having a negative impact on sales.

Conclusion: The Path to a More Efficient Revenue Team

Sales and marketing teams need to work together as seamlessly as possible if today’s companies want to meet their sales goals. Misalignment of these functions means organizations will be challenged by poor customer retention, higher CAC, and lost revenue opportunities.

Technology has a vital role to play in helping companies create highly effective B2C marketing and sales alignment. Bring together the right solutions with the strategies and best practices outlined in this post, and you’ll soon have your sales and marketing functions working as one, well-oiled machine that is focused on, and successful in, driving your overall business success.

Additional Reading

Invoca can equip your marketing, sales, and contact center teams with the buyer journey insights they need to close more revenue. Learn more about the value of using Invoca, and the benefits of achieving optimal alignment of these critical teams, in the following posts:

If you want to see Invoca’s revenue execution platform in action, contact us to schedule a customized demo.

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