CROs – How to Stop the Infighting and Get Sales and Marketing Teams Aligned

When business is up, infighting usually occurs as it relates to lead handling. When business is down infighting is because one team is blaming the other:

  • Marketing does not think sales is maximizing leads.
  • Sales thinks the quality of leads coming in is poor.

Sound familiar? Probably because it is all too common. We see this often and usually the source of the infighting is:

  • There is not a CRM in place or one that is being used properly – meaning teams are not aligned on the data.
  • Marketing is not deploying targeted enough initiatives.
  • Lead classification has not been defined – without things properly being categorized, organizing the data/results is impossible.
  • Sales is not updating their activities in your system and is working off excels.
  • Sales is cherry picking deals they “think” are better ones.

You do not have enough insight into what is actually going on as usually these things tend to get into the weeds. The end result of this type of infighting is reduced growth. If you are performing, you could be performing better. If you are not performing this is probably the reason.

The best way to stop the infighting is to create alignment. When we say alignment, we mean alignment in:

  1. Targeting
  2. Definitions
  3. Goals
  4. Technology
  5. Activities

It is actually easier than you think. When we have clients in this situation, we normally start by performing a preliminary CRM audit to see where leads are actually coming from, at what volume, how they are being recorded in your system and how they are being handled to get a really accurate picture of both sides of the fence (sales and marketing).

From there, we ask you to consider the company you are today versus the company you want to be. Do the customers you serve today represent the customer base you want tomorrow? What must be achieved to increase revenue? Once this is determined you are ready to establish the type of customer you want to pursue.

If your sales team is indiscriminately loading Zoom lists of companies into the CRM, you are spending time having them sell in vain. If each salesperson has 40 hours in a given week, why not use that to fill your database with actual companies that represent the customer of tomorrow.

Defining what is a prospect, lead, MQL, SQL, opportunity, deal etc., is critical because your labeling, sales funnels and reporting should follow suit. How will your sales team know how to update their results if they do not understand how to define where their customer is in the sales journey and ultimately your sales funnel? This is critical to predictability in revenue.

From there you can align your sales and marketing technology to be consistent with how you define your customer’s stage in their journey. We recommend having sales and marketing on the same platform, and highly recommend HubSpot for this purpose. The main reasons we recommend HubSpot is ease of use, integration capacity into websites, forms, WCAG compliance and more.

Lastly, aligning activities is getting everyone onto the same page in terms of targeting, lead labeling, lead handling (including establishing KPIs for both teams as it relates to sales and also how long it takes them to follow up leads) and how current their CRM records are on audit etc. 

If you need help getting your sales and marketing teams aligned, we are experts in this area. Reach out for a complementary consultation and we can shed insight into a path forward.