On April 25th, the Revenue Leaders Club met to discuss creating alignment between sales and marketing teams. Contentive CRO Karl Ghamsari and SaaS GTM Advisor & Operating Partner at Mercia, Edwin Abl, discussed the role of leadership in creating this alignment.
Abl emphasized how the CEO can bring together “one commercial function” to align on go-to-market (GTM) strategy, including:
There are consistent challenges when business leaders seek to create alignment between sales and marketing teams. Abl highlighted that sales, marketing, and customer success teams often create their own strategies with little consideration for the other departments’ goals. This can lead to parallel strategies that are not aligned. “If you don’t have a strong relationship with counterparts, there will always be friction, and always be someone to blame,” explained Abl.
When business leaders do not align these departments, it creates significant challenges that can impact the organization’s overall success. “If you don’t have leaders believing in cross-function, you have a bit of a problem,” he noted.
A key piece of advice that Abl gives to his clients when starting a new marketing role is to establish what immediate impact they can have. While it’s important to put together a long-term strategic plan, it’s key to align with the sales team on their key challenges from day one and instigate some quick wins to enable them to show immediate value.
Of course, there is a need for a balance between short-term and long-term marketing strategies. When marketing teams focus exclusively on quick wins and lead-generating activity, this can be at the expense of developing brand presence. The business, and sales, will suffer further down the line. Communicating the need for balance and securing buy-in from marketing leadership to devote time and resources outside of lead generation is important for achieving long-term impact.
To create alignment between sales and marketing teams, communication is key. Stakeholder management and building strong relationships between teams can help to create a shared understanding of each other’s goals and objectives. Having a unified go-to-market strategy that considers each team’s strengths and weaknesses is also essential. Marketing teams should avoid focusing solely on account-based marketing and instead focus on a core strategy that considers the overall customer journey.
The conversation also touched on the lack of clarity sales and marketing leaders often experience around the customer journey. Defining the ICP and creating a clear positioning that fits your ICP, argued Ghamsari and Abl, is crucial for success. Scaling lead generation requires high intent and high-quality leads. It is essential to get the ICP right and build an audience profile.
To achieve success, organizations must understand their ICP and position themselves accordingly. Creating a clear audience profile and understanding the audience’s wants and needs will help sales and marketing teams to develop a strong messaging strategy.
To scale lead generation, business leaders should focus on building a niche ahead of broadening their target audience. This begins with the ICP and audience right by building the audience profile and understanding what they want. Abl explained how sales and marketing teams can define this profile by developing nine central pillars that consist of six broad wants, and three specific wants. These pillars should form the basis of your positioning and value proposition.
While many people believe that they need to capture a massive market to scale, this can dilute messaging and turn off customers. Instead, breaking the organization’s market down into smaller segments, testing ideas, and solving specific problems will help sales and marketing teams identify what works. It will allow them to scale in small increments.
The Revenue Leaders Club will next meet on Thursday June 22nd.
The Revenue Leaders Club by Contentive is an exclusive community of senior sales, revenue, and marketing professionals from different industries who come together to share their experiences, insights, and best practices. Members have access to a range of benefits, including networking opportunities, exclusive content, and invitations to private events. With a focus on building relationships, enhancingskills, and driving business success, the Revenue Leaders Club is essential for sales, revenue, and marketing leaders looking to stay at the forefront of their field.
Contentive is a fast-growing B2B media and virtual events company with an exciting future. Our purpose is to help B2B tech businesses find the right clients, and provide relevant networking opportunities through our growing online communities in FinTech, Accounting, Treasury, HR and Digital Marketing.