Setting Goals Digging Deeper
In our last blog post, we discussed the 4 critical components of setting goals to optimize the performance of Revenue-Driven Marketing and concluded that many different things can be measured and each needs to be prioritized. Today, we are going to look at the first of those four components — “Organizational Goal Alignment” [ also known as, Sales & Marketing alignment].
A Need For Setting United Goals In A Common Language
If you are a Sales executive, you’re always under pressure to improve results, justify budgets and deal with an ever-increasing array of competitors. One of your greatest challenges is that the leads marketing is handing you are not converting into sales qualified leads (SQL).
If you are a marketing executive or manager, you’re under pressure to improve results, demonstrate accountability, justify budgets and deal with an ever-increasing array of options to engage new customers, retain existing customers and grow your company’s share of the customer pie. One of your greatest challenges is that the marketing qualified leads (MQL) you are handing to sales are not being followed up.
This is a common communication problem when Marketing and Sales are not aligned. The goals of both roles described above are different, and the activities that are triggering MQL status are not the same triggers that convert to SQL. Therefore, marketing and sales are at war. When your teams do not meet regularly to discuss goals, and further, to explicitly tie those goals to revenue—the best-laid marketing programs in the world won’t work.
According to Aberdeen Group, companies with poor marketing and sales alignment saw a 7 percent decrease in annual revenue. But companies with good alignment saw a 20 percent increase. We work with SMB’s like yours to ensure your Marketing and Sales teams are speaking a common language.
Here’s an example of Misaligned Sales & Marketing:
Years ago when I had my first position as a Marketer for an eco-friendly insulation manufacturer in Elkhart, Indiana, I would attend Builder Association seminars, Sustainable Roundtable meetings, and Contractor Trade Shows to “produce leads”, [I use that term lightly, because at that time I was simply looking for anyone that seem interested in the product, held a specific title, and worked in a particular industry].
Then, I would hand these so-called “leads” to sales along with a few notes about how I met the contact and what led to the conversation, but I did not provide the sales team with a plan for how those leads might be converted, nor did I follow-up with the lead to make certain they were still interested.
So, what I was giving the sales team was actually debilitating to sales productivity, because now they had to deal with my definition of a lead that more times than not should have never been qualified in the first place.
How to fix the Sales & Marketing communication problem
Marketers need to qualify leads before they hand them off to sales. The way you define MQLs in your organization can make a huge difference to your sales team’s success, which is why the definition needs to be the result of a collaborative effort between marketing and sales.
Best practices in the area of organizational goal alignment starts with Marketing and Sales working in lockstep—both in how they approach prospects and customers, but also sharing goals that are tied to revenue.
Sales and Marketing need to work together to maximize the output of the entire revenue engine. To do this, they need to measure performance through all stages of the funnel, defining the goals that permeate throughout, from top to bottom.
Here are the visionary goals you should work towards:
•Marketing and Sales share a common language—in activities, milestones and definition of revenue goals
•Marketing and Sales jointly develop a program plan that will achieve these funnel milestones
•Marketing and Sales meet regularly to compare current performance against goals and adjust as needed
•Pipeline issues are identified early to avoid shortfall surprises
Sales and Marketing are no longer individual departments together they are responsible for revenue growth, market expansion, market share, company growth (employees, locations, divisions etc.), talent accrual, capital formation, liquidity and profitability.
This concludes our discussion on Marketing & Sales Alignment for now. In our next blog post, we will look at the second of the four critical components to setting goals to optimize Revenue-Driven marketing … Planning and Budget Optimization.
That’s it on Organizational Goal Alignment really?
Be sure to bookmark this post, as will be releasing a new a free ebook titled: Aligning the Stars of Your Revenue Center : An In-depth, [20+ pages], step-by-step look at how to create sustainable Sales & Marketing Alignment. If you would like to be notified when we release it simply — Tweet This! If you don’t use Twitter, copy and paste this “@DIRIncorporated, please pre-register me for the Aligning the Stars of Your Revenue Center ebook. #RevenueDriven” to LinkedIn.