With over 88% of companies indicating a misalignment between marketing and sales on items such as; strategy, branding, and creation, it is an area that needs vast improvement across almost every brand.
Our clients at LiquidMind(LiquidMindsite.com), both large-cap through start-up, face the same issues, and most do not either recognize the misalignment or understand the process to improve the alignment. In addition, as more brands move to DTC, the sales cycle becomes more tangible on the direct-to-consumer side and with your retailers, as they fight for both dollars and time. As a result, this alignment becomes more critical to a company's short and long-term success.
With most brands, you will find these two functional areas run independently of one another when they should be working in parallel, ensuring the brand is in complete alignment across all channels and modes of communication. However, they need each other, and frustration, inefficiency, and misalignment set in when separated. So how does a brand work to correct this misalignment?
At LiquidMind, we work with our brands on the following areas, and step by step, piece by piece, the alignment becomes a reality.
Marketing often makes assumptions, based on the brand positioning, creative assets, and channels, that what they are creating is valuable to the sales teams, buyers, and customers. To define what is needed, you must understand where, when, who, and how you create and communicate.
Is this content a valuable tool for the sales team, and does the marketing strategy take a regular "pulse" check with your brand community, buyers, and sales team? Creating for the sake of producing is not a strategy. Moving does not mean you are making progress.
To create alignment with Content Creation, ensure the sales team is mapping your creative strategy, both online and in-store. Also, provide your community in engaging with your content, and they are finding helpful something "beyond" product.
More often than not these two areas do not understand each other's needs. Always start with Marketing, and end with Sales. Just because you "create" something does not mean it is an effective tool for the sales force.
To better understand the need, have the sales team provide regular input on tangible tools to make their lives easier and provide branding, tools, and communications to make your communities' Lives easier. Understanding and balancing both is critical to marketing your brand and ensuring you maintain brand equity and loyal with both sales and your customers.
Having regular sessions with the sales team, communicating marketing efforts, and applying the strategy daily builds trust with both organizations.
Merging ideas and concepts with reality will bring the Marketing Strategy to a more tangible level to the sales team. So get them involved, but sales must also understand their role in the process, it NOT to create, but rather provide details on NEEDS.
Ensure marketing has laid out the tools, resources, and integrated brand strategy to the sales team. The sales team needs to be seamless with "messaging" to buyers and consumers and the lead driven by marketing.
If there is no clear strategy, vision, or plan, you can imagine how quickly this alignment can break down.
Ensure you provide online and offline marketing tools that can be used by both internal sales and external buyers or customers.
With the fast-paced, digital world we live in, aligning with everyone inside a brand is critical to the successful execution of your strategy. Frustration and misalignment can be replaced by an authentic, genuine passion and excitement for what your brand is doing and yet to accomplish. Together, lock arms, understand shared needs, and complement one another strengths, and work on your weaknesses to better the brand!