The addition of new and improved technologies to the marketing technology stack is enabling businesses to engage with their customers across various touch points. But, engagement alone won’t lead to quality conversion in the long run if the marketing and sales goals are not aligned by the enablement leaders.
Brands are striving to find the best ways to optimize their marketing and sales strategies to successfully navigate the uncertainty present in today’s marketing landscape. Quite often, marketing and sales leaders are too focused on investing in the latest technologies and forget that operating in a silos environment can hurt their objectives. Furthermore, the action taken in marketing may not always be consistent with actions taken in sales and this tends to be counter productive and block the opportunity for the two teams to create anything of value.
According to experts, one of the biggest hurdles for enablement leaders is not being able to align their strategy, vision and goals. This leads to ineffective marketing automation, broken sales process, inconsistent messaging along the buyer journey and poor integration between sales and marketing. A strategic sales enablement function, effectively aligned to the business goals, too can help address the alignment challenges.
A strategic sales and marketing alignment consists of two dimensions – vertical and horizontal. While horizontal alignment refers to the adjustment of functions, processes and teams on a cross-functional level, vertical alignment refers to changing enablement to align with buyer journey, business strategy, executive stakeholders and sponsors.
Choosing one over the other won’t help brands to achieve the desired results. Therefore, they should develop strategies that can enable them to operate on both of these alignments without hurting their bottom line:
Aligning Buyer Journey
Buyer journey alignment plays a key role in the success of enablement initiatives. It requires the internal selling process that includes sales, marketing and customer success to be well connected and coordinated with the buyer journey and with each other.
It is critical that buyer journeys for the relevant buying and selling scenarios are mapped out with customers. Hence, stakeholders and enablement sponsors must prioritize it and lead accordingly through the marketing and sales enablement advisory board and mutually agree on the steps required to align with the buyer journey.
Aligning Business Strategy
A brand’s business strategy includes various factors that go far beyond sales and marketing. To get optimal results from the enablement process, c-suite executives must collaborate and align their business and sales strategy during the business plan creation phase. Here, vertical alignment can help the leaders to get the required feedback from lower-level executives and constantly work on the processes until it is refined at the executive level. This enables c-suite executives to get a clear view of the expectations of the enablement leaders and will allow them to make informed decisions on whether to forward with the proposed goal or not.