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Chapter 2

Align Your Marketing and Sales

Learn how to define unified metrics for marketing and sales that drive a primary goal: revenue.

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In many organizations, marketing and sales form that stereotypical cat vs dog relationship - even though they share a lot in common.

Often, they focus on different data sets, work in different platforms and measure different metrics.

Perhaps the biggest cause of misalignment between both teams is down to mixed goals. Marketing is responsible for generating leads at the top of the funnel and sales is responsible for creating opportunities and closing deals.

The reason behind these different goals is clear:

People tend to focus on the numbers they can directly impact.

But marketing and sales leaders have a job to do. It’s your job to promote the bigger picture about how both teams work together to contribute to the bottom line.

Ultimately, everyone should be focused on revenue regardless of whether they have ‘revenue’ in their job title.

Revenue needs to be a strategic priority for both marketing and sales in order to remain competitive.

Therefore, a shared revenue goal owned by one ‘revenue team’ is key to aligning marketing and sales and generating pipeline.

If the shared revenue goal is the primary metric for both teams, does that mean you throw all other metrics out the window? No, it doesn’t. But it does mean you should have a set of unified metrics that can be influenced by both marketing and sales efforts. These could be:

The number of leads generated

The number of booked sales meetings

The value of opportunities generated

Whatever the unified metrics are, they should always drive the primary goal: revenue.

It’s important to note that both teams should have a shared understanding of terms associated with the unified metrics.

Everyone needs to agree on what constitutes a lead, a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead, for example. The average deal size and sales cycle length should also be known to both teams as this has an impact on results.

While the unified metrics will be co-owned, marketing team members and sales team members should still have their own metrics. These should be carefully selected so that they drive the unified metrics.

Having this kind of setup ensures you’re only measuring the things that truly matter instead of getting lost in endless amounts of data that don’t actually make an impact.

For example, marketers are likely to measure:

  • Web traffic
  • Traffic-to-MQL conversion rate
  • MQL-to-SQL conversion rate (to assess the quality of leads generated)
  • Cost-per-lead

While sales are likely to measure:

  • Number of calls made
  • Deal velocity
  • SQL-to-Opportunity conversion rate
  • Opportunity-to-close conversion rate

These metrics should be regularly shared with the whole team (marketing and sales), and all members should be involved in finding new strategies and tactics to drive them.

Ultimately, aligning your marketing and sales team in this way ensures you’re all working towards the same goal - to drive revenue for your business.

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