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27 Ways to Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams

To understand alignment, think about a sports team. Each player has their own agenda. 

How does a coach get them to succeed and work together? 

They focus on the goal of winning the game and making sure each player understands their role within the team. 

Similarly, sales and marketing teams share the goals of driving the sales and revenue of your company. 

Unfortunately, these teams commonly function separately from one another. This misalignment puts your business not only at a disadvantage but can decrease your earning potential over time. 

Here’s some food for thought: 

  • Highly aligned sales and marketing teams drive 208% revenue growth from marketing strategies 
  • Aligned organizations save 30% on customer acquisition costs and have a 20% higher lifetime value 
  • 74% of companies that use marketing automation and CRM tools have aligned sales and marketing departments 

The proof is in the pudding. Aligned companies will simply outperform misaligned companies. 

We’ll cover what sales and marketing alignment is, why it’s essential, and how to align both teams in your organization. Let’s get started! 

What is sales and marketing alignment? 

Sales and marketing alignment is when the marketing and sales teams work together to generate revenue and provide a cohesive experience for customers. 

Typically, this involves having shared goals, strategies, systems, and processes to work as a unified organization. The result of sales and marketing alignment means a higher impact on marketing activities, more closed deals, revenue growth, and happier customers. 

Problems that sales and marketing alignment can fix

In the past, buyers only had one channel to receive information about a product. Typically, they’ll see an ad on television or radio and speak directly to a sales representative. 

Today, buyers weave back and forth between various domains of marketing (ads, content, chatbots, etc.) and sales (quotes, pricing, demos, meetings). If sales and marketing are misaligned, consumers are left with a bad experience that will confuse and aggravate them.

Misalignment between the sales and marketing departments can wreak havoc on an organization, especially one attempting to grow quickly. Here are common problems that arise when both sides are not on the same page: 

Siloed customer data 

Without data unification, it’s easy for each department to be misinformed about who their leads and customers are and what they truly want.

For example, a sales team that doesn’t have insight into the marketing process and doesn’t know what the prospect has previously engaged. Conversely, marketing lacks qualitative insights from sales calls and produces marketing collateral and campaigns that are not geared towards the leads that are most likely to convert.

Strong alignment between sales and marketing can unveil the unknowns about your prospects. Centralizing technology helps combine all of the data accumulated by both teams and use it to increase conversions. 

For instance, simple marketing automation and CRM integration provide insight into the entire journey. Your team has access to the prospect’s behavior from the top of the funnel down to the bottom.

You can use your CRM as a single source of truth for your leads and customer data and enrich it with data from your marketing automation platform. 

For instance, a marketing automation tool like Encharge offers insights into every action and every turn of the customer’s journey. It builds user profiles with engagement data and syncs that data to your CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce. The two-way sync of Encharge allows you to sync all contact and company properties data to your CRM, that way creating a cohesive profile of your users in your CRM. Apart from contact properties, Encharge syncs your email marketing activity (such as opens, clicks, and replies) to your contact activity feed in HubSpot. Sales reps can see which marketing emails your leads have interacted with and also build active HubSpot contact lists using email activity as a condition.

Encharge email activity synced to HubSpot

That way, ensuring your sales team has the up-to-date data and insights to qualify the right prospects and close deals quicker. A complete picture of the interaction makes it easier for reps to answer objections and better understand what their looking for. 

Under-utilized sales content

Shockingly, 65% of marketing content goes unused by the sales team. 

It’s common for the marketing team to produce, develop and deliver sales assets with no input from the sales reps. Many marketers will create infographics, industry reports, white papers, slide decks, and other assets. 

However, marketers must communicate with the sales team on the best scenarios and ways to use these assets. With alignment, marketers can also produce content that addresses the sales rep’s needs effectively, resulting in better adoption of marketing content while reducing wasted marketing effort.

Stagnant growth 

Changes don’t occur without dialogue and reflection. Sometimes campaigns and sales become stagnant, leading to plateaus. 

When prospects aren’t interested, alignment is important to reigniting your team efforts. Both teams must have routine meetings to leverage closed-loop feedback to examine their prospect’s behaviors, assess new opportunities, and pivot strategies. 

Closed-loop feedback is when a business takes action on customer or employee feedback. A sales team can get feedback from their best customers to see the main selling points of the product that drove them to become loyal customers. Conversely, marketing teams can send feedback emails to see why some customers may have decided not to purchase and collect quantitative data on a large scale. 

Both teams can congregate and discuss the feedback and work on solutions to increase conversions and help prospects get what they want. 

Lead quality 

Without clearly defining your leads, sales teams can become quickly frustrated with the lead quality. It’s common for sales teams to pursue information-qualified leads, only to be disappointed that prospects aren’t ready to buy. 

Both teams can operate more effectively by scoring leads and agreeing on how those leads are scored. Sales teams will know what stage each prospect is in and what information they already know. This also allows sales reps to prioritize the most “ready-to-buy” leads and avoid losing these hot prospects to their competitors. In fact, the companies that respond first to a prospect’s inquiry get 35% to 50% of the sales

Encharge can integrate with CRMs to automatically create tasks for sales teams once the lead score threshold has been met. For example, if a prospect visits a pricing page or connects to a live chat box, it can automatically send an email or create a CRM task to a sales rep to follow up. 

The flow below automates that process. When a lead enters the segment “High Score Leads” a task is created in HubSpot to follow up with that lead. That task is assigned to a specific owner with a specific due date. Notice also that the name of the task is populated dynamically with the name of the company. Also, Encharge is smart enough to associate that task with the right contact in your CRM.

A flow in Encharge that automates task creation in HubSpot for marketing qualified leads.
The setup of the “Create task in HubSpot” action step in the flow

Apart from creating the task, the flow will automatically add the lead to one of your HubSpot static lists. You can, for example, create a list of all marketing qualified leads (MQLs).

That’s just one of the ways that you can qualify leads and allow your sales team to focus on the right leads. Another approach is to use the lead score directly in HubSpot. You can score leads in Encharge based on things like email activity, in-app engagement, page visits and more. With the two-way sync, Encharge will automatically sync the lead score data to HubSpot, which you can use to create Views and Active Lists. For instance, you can create a View with all contacts that have a lead score of 20 or more.

Learn more about our integration with HubSpot and the ways you can create alignment between your marketing automation platform and your CRM.

Benefits of sales and marketing alignment 

If your organization is struggling to hit its revenue goals, it’s a good sign of a potential internal issue between the two departments. While new strategies and tactics can help, getting everyone aligned should be your top priority. 

87% of marketing and sales leaders believe that collaboration between both departments enables critical business growth and 90% agree that when messaging and initiatives are aligned, the overall customer experience is improved. 

Source: LinkedIn

A better understanding of your customers 

In organizations where marketing and sales aren’t adequately aligned, only 15% of organizations collaborate on buyer personas. Conversely, 58% of highly aligned companies will collaborate to work on clearly identifying and defining their buyer personas. 

Typically, marketing is responsible for developing buyer personas, and they’ll gather information from market research such as social media, client interviews, and competitor analysis. However, the best way to nail down the buyer persona is to speak with customers and prospects themselves. 

Sales have daily conversations with them and thus know which pain points and goals are most pressing. They can get a general consensus about what prospects think about their offer, their pricing points, the marketing materials, and which are the quickest to close. 

However, marketing can use behavioral data to see what type of content buyers consume and how they like to interact. It’s essential that both teams work together to create accurate personas. This helps marketing bring in better-qualified leads, which improves the closing rate of sales reps. 

American Express Alignment Case Study

American Express developed a content hub to help position itself as a leader within the corporate travel industry. To do that, AMEX launched a social selling pilot team that comprised the sales and marketing team in many geographic locations. It included a comprehensive research report that educated companies and suppliers about business travel. The content hub also featured blog posts, infographics, presentations, and listicles, based on customer insight. While marketing created those content materials, it was the sales team that played a significant role in gathering customer insight. 

So what’s the end result? AMEX reached over 100 million publications and over 1,500-page visits with their content distribution. On LinkedIn, their page achieved a 100% engagement rate than even the Financial Services benchmark. AMEX also won a Killer Content Award from Demand Gen Report. 

“We were so successful because we didn’t just push content related to the product,” Rivero said. The content that American Express published, based on what the customer want, included insights, findings, and recommendations that had nothing to do with American Express, like pieces on business traveler preferences, mobile connectivity, and safety for business travelers. The idea was to generate interest for customers so that even if American Express wasn’t the solution to the problem, the content hub could point readers in the right direction.

Source: Business LinkedIn

A more unified and agile approach to the customer journey 

Depending on the product, some buying cycles are faster than others. Complex B2B solutions may involve 6 to 10 decision-makers, each equipped with 4 or 5 pieces of information they’ve gathered independently, which will be discussed with the group. 

It’s important to personalize prospects’ information along the buyer’s journey. Marketing can view the touchpoints where the prospect has interacted with the brand, such as on the website and social media. Meanwhile, the sales team has conversations with prospects so they can better understand their pains and needs to identify what may be causing friction within the sales process

As a result, you can understand what content is needed that is relevant to prospects based on which stage of the customer journey they are in

Dell Sales and Marketing Alignment Case Study

Dell sells a wide inventory of products such as laptops and desktops for consumers, network equipment, enterprise-class servers, and consulting and application services. With such a diverse range of offerings, there’s no way a “spray and pray” method could be effective. Simply pushing out random marketing material that isn’t personalized just wouldn’t work. 

Here’s what Dell to achieved a 35% higher average over value from nurtured contacts and received 300% high engagements on email marketing campaigns

  1. All leads are segmented based on digital behavioral activity, such as visited product pages and downloaded assets. 
  2. All databases are integrated, such as event attendees, are integrated so that the leads have a complete profile. This allows Dell to know their interests and who they work for. 
  3. Dell has set rules to interpret consumer behavior based on specific lead qualifications. 
  4. Dell assigns value and triggers the type of content that is delivered to each prospect (for example, an IT decision-maker viewing a page on big data may receive emails on the three different facets of big data) 
  5. If the customer doesn’t engage with the emails sent, Dell will course-correct by sending variations of the email to see what interests them. 

Dell generated over 18,000 content elements with 12,00 assets and 25 solution topics across ten global programs. 

Key Takeaway: 

Align content with the buying cycle. Use content to enable sales teams to perform their job better. For example, have different white papers, presentation decks, infographics, and other material ready for the sales team to use based on what type of prospect they’re dealing with. Conversely, the marketing team must segment, score and personalize drip campaigns for better results. 

Better customer experience 

Organizations with aligned sales and marketing are up to 67% more efficient at closing deals and receive a 36% higher customer retention rate. Keeping prospects and customers happy is one of the biggest drivers of success. 

57% of B2B purchase processes are finished before buyers even reach out to vendors. That means buyers may not be looking at your company’s marketing collateral to decide. Instead, peer-to-peer recommendations and third-party review sites play a much bigger role in purchasing decisions than ever before. 

Today, buyers will read third-party review sites, search for mentions of your company on social media and ask their network for advice. Thus, it’s imperative to align your sales and marketing team to provide them with a seamless experience down the funnel. 

The flywheel strategy aligns your marketing, sales, and service to create the best possible customer experience. When a customer receives a great experience, they’ll help to promote your brand for you. 

Poor communication, lack of internal processes, and misalignment can cause greater churn rates:

Do you allow prospects to connect with you when, where, and how they want to or are they forced to follow a strict process? Is there any confusion or clutter in your buying process? Do marketing and sales email potential customers about the same things creating redundancy and annoyance? 

As you decrease friction by creating alignment and enhancing the buying experience, your customers will become strong advocates for your business. 

Source: HubSpot

Components of sales and marketing alignment 

The only way to truly align the sales and marketing together is by aligning your goals, systems, and processes to be in sync. 

Aligning goals 

While both departments work under the same company, both teams tend to have completely separate goals. Marketers may take a long-term approach, such as creating foundational branding material, building brand awareness, executing SEO strategy, and so on, while sales reps are looking to close as many deals as possible and as quickly as possible. 

However, the overarching goal for both marketing and sales should be focused on revenue and growing the bottom line of the business.

Decide on the overall company goals for the quarter, the year, and the next 5 years. Ensure that they are based on revenue and not vanity metrics. 

Example revenue goals could be:

  • Improve gross revenue by 15% by the end of the year.
  • Improve brand awareness to 30% of the target market. 
  • Enter a new market and increase top-line revenue by 10%.

Both parties should work together to help each other better accomplish these goals.

Marketing teams can take a more sales-oriented approach by adding urgency, scarcity, and other direct response marketing tactics to bring more prospects into the funnel. They can also help sales teams segment leads, score them, and deliver customized drip campaigns based on their needs. For example, sending industry-specific campaigns might be useful in better converting prospects into customers. 

As sales teams forge relationships with prospects, they can disseminate feedback about tweaking the customer profile or marketing content to the marketing team. Since they are in constant communication with prospects, the sales team will understand what the prospects are looking for. As a result, the marketing team can leverage the feedback and provide content that better relates to their needs. 

Aligning roles 

Understanding roles is a crucial aspect of ensuring that each employee is productive in their daily tasks. Generally, the buyer’s journey can be summed up in the following steps: 

  1. Attract leads through an online channel. 
  2. Convert traffic visitors into leads.  
  3. Nurture incoming leads.
  4. Close the sales with the help of a sales team. 

The sales team should have a good understanding of the process that the prospects go through before reaching them. This allows them to know what information they already have and don’t have about their brand. As a result, they can perform more effectively in their role to close deals. 

Marketing should better understand the sales tactics that are used in closing the prospects. Perhaps, they could better warm-up prospects to these strategies. For example, a marketer may list some of the benefits that “booking a demo” would provide and overcome some of the objections and fears prospects may have against scheduling the demo. 

Aligning technology and systems 

Gone are the days of using disparate tools that don’t speak to each other.. Nowadays, your software and systems should be able to collect data and share it seamlessly. 

While CRM and marketing automation tools are great software on their own, they might not provide the entire picture of the customer. Technology needs to be aligned so that that information can be passed along from one step to the next. 

For example, a scheduling tool like Calendly should be integrated with both the CRM and Marketing automation so that when the demo is booked, a sales rep can be assigned the call. 

All technology should be integrated and in sync as much as possible.

 Let’s say a prospect goes through with a demo but isn’t ready to make a purchase yet. A sales rep marks the opportunity as closed on the CRM tool. The CRM then automatically sends the prospect’s data onto the marketing automation platform. Consequently, the marketing automation platform will run retargeting campaigns to continue nurturing these leads that are interested but not yet ready to buy. 

Encharge offers a wide selection of integrations letting companies connect all aspects of marketing, sales, and other departments for better productivity and efficiency. You can automate your CRM and your scheduling tool for a better alignment between departments.

The goal here would be to choose a single source of truth and try to funnel as much data as possible to the platform. The natural best choice for a sales-focused organization would be the CRM. Your CRM can serve as the single source of truth. It’s critical that your marketing automation tool supports a deep two-way sync with your CRM – that way you can ensure that you have an up-to-date contact and company data in your CRM. For instance, a platform like Encharge can sync data to popular CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce.

Actionable steps to align sales and marketing 

Knowing the problems and benefits of sales and marketing alignment is great, but how can you take actionable steps to ensure a tighter alignment? 

We’ll cover action items you can incorporate into your organization to ensure better communication and improved productivity. 

Focus on adding value to the customer 

The ultimate measure of marketing and sales success is the revenue and the value provided to customers. Unfortunately, sales can be under heavy pressure to chase short-term figures while marketing fails to justify its contribution. 

Real alignment is more than just collaboration. It’s about delivering a positive impact on the customer. The secret to generating more sales isn’t to force alignment. The two teams need a clear and shared view of the customer and their needs. 

The way people purchase has changed. Both teams need to understand the individual customer’s needs and behaviors. Remember, they aren’t leading; they’re people. The key is to find ways to personalize your campaigns, content, and sales strategies to deliver information that they need based on where they are in the buying cycle. 

For example, pushing a demo in the early part of the cycle doesn’t match the buyer’s needs and intent at this stage. Instead, white papers, nurturing email sequences, and other awareness-level content is more effective and suitable for that stage of the buyer’s journey.

Establish open communication

You can’t establish tighter alignment without building strong communication. It requires frequent meetings and continued lines of communication so that both teams are regularly sharing feedback with one another.

 73% of highly aligned organizations hold daily or weekly meetings for marketing and sales teams to collaborate.

 Here are ways to improve communication between your sales and marketing: 

1.  Hold sales and marketing meetings frequently 

Consider holding weekly and monthly meetings between sales and marketing. Consider holding weekly meetings between the entire sales and marketing teams. Monthly meetings should be used as reviews of shared goals. For example, marketing can share the number of marketing qualified leads generated and what percentage of those leads became sales qualified. Then the sales team can share what percentage of those leads were closed. 

2. Agree on terminology 

The key to successful communication is to use similar language and vocabulary. At the most basic level, both parties should agree on the types of leads, and the sales team should know where the leads are coming from. In short, the most important lead types to understand are: 

  • Information qualified leads: Prospects are submitted their contact information for a top-of-funnel offer such as an e-book or whitepaper. 
  • Marketing qualified leads: Marketing has triggered the prospect to become a lead. Perhaps, they’ve downloaded a research report or webinar. 
  • Sales-qualified leads: The prospect has raised their hand and is willing to speak to a sales rep.

3. Mix sales and marketing desks 

Communicating can be difficult if both teams are positioned in different rooms or at opposite ends of the building. However, by letting marketers sit next to sales reps and vice versa, they get first-hand experience of what each team does on a daily basis. The sales rep can easily lean over and ask the marketing person about questions they may have about leads. Additionally, the marketing person can ask for feedback about their experience with their leads. 

4. Offer different types of feedback 

Both teams should be able to provide feedback without feeling judged comfortably. Here are a few ways to get feedback from your teams: 

  • The marketing team can send surveys to the sales team, asking them to rate their leads in their CRM. 
  • Marketing people attend demos and later provide feedback on how they’re doing. 
  • The sales team provides marketing team feedback on marketing material effectiveness. 
  • The sales team provides marketing team feedback on buyer persona and pain points. 

Build a customer feedback loop

It’s also critical to exchange and discuss customer feedback between departments. A typical customer feedback loop would look like this.

1. Align lead qualification criteria. Not all feedback is equal. Departments need to understand what constitutes a marketing qualified and sales qualified lead for the organization in order to prioritize feedback. 

2. Monitor customer interactions. Keep a record of important sales conversations, insights during demo calls, support tickets, etc.

3. Collect and discuss responses and interactions. Organize mutual meetings between departments to discuss lead interactions and customer feedback.

4. Make improvements to the overall sales and marketing process.

Create a service level agreement (SLA)t to align goals and strategies 

Setting goals and strategies that are aligned is key to ensuring both parties see eye to eye. One of the most vital steps to aligning your marketing and sales efforts is to create a service-level agreement. 

A service level agreement, also called SLA, is a contract that establishes rules and deliverables that one part has agreed to provide another.  Here’s an example SLA from HubSpot:

Source: HubSpot

Here’s what to include in your SLA: 

1. Summary of agreement – What are both sides agreeing to deliver to one another? 

For example, the marketing team agrees to provide X number of sales-qualified leads to the sales team. The sales team promises to deliver the unclosed leads back to the marketing team. 

2. Metrics – What are the goals of each team? 

For marketing, it must be directly tailored to generate more leads for sales teams. This could be traffic, leads, marketing, and sales qualified leads goals. Sales goals could be tied to several demos, deals, and revenue goals. 

3. Strategies – What strategies to obtain those goals? 

Marketing could focus on specific distribution channels such as content marketing and ad campaigns. Conversely, sales teams could focus on prospecting and using marketing content to engage more prospects. 

4. Lead Qualification – How are leads qualified, segmented, and scored? 

Agree on the definition of information-qualified leads, marketing-qualified leads, and sales-qualified leads. Also, agree on the hierarchy of qualified leads. For example, what industries, job titles, and other criteria can use to qualify leads

A CEO who’s submitted their information to your site is much more qualified to become your customer than perhaps a random visitor with a Gmail address. Define the different demographics, firmographics, and psychographics that define how the marketing team will score leads. It’s important that the sales team provides input on the lead scoring to ensure alignment. 

Sidenote: What is lead scoring?

The act of ranking leads based on the anticipated value they represent to your business, is known as lead scoring. When your marketing and sales teams come together to determine this scoring system, it will bolster your revenue cycle.

You can use a marketing automation platform like Encharge to set up a scoring system. With Encharge, you can increase or decrease leads score points based on their activity on your website, in your app, and in your email communication — for example, when a user visits a page, submits a form, completes an event in your product, opens an email, and so on. Get your marketing and sales teams together and design your automated lead scoring system!

5. Lead Distribution – How are leads distributed to the sales team? 

Set all the different scenarios that could arise. For example, some prospects might be sent through booking a demo. Others might be sent immediately as soon as a visitor browses the pricing page. Sometimes leads might be sent after the prospect has met a certain “lead threshold,” meaning they have a high lead score. 

6. Lead Nurturing – How will each team nurture leads? 

Marketing teams must create personalized lead nurturing strategies tailored to the prospects’ needs. This means delivering the right information based on where they are on the journey. 

Sales teams can also nurture leads. They’ll use sales enablement content, send personalized one-to-one prospecting emails, and other strategies that could help to engage prospects once they’re in touch with a sales rep. 

7. Goals Reporting and Communication – How will both teams communicate? 

Communication is key in this entire process. Alignment isn’t a one-off. It requires continual reinforcement and feedback. Will there be weekly and monthly meetings? How can both teams provide feedback to one another? Consider setting incentives that reward both parties. For example, if the sales team hits their revenue goal, the marketing team should be rewarded, and vice versa. That’s because both teams played a role in achieving the goal. This helps to encourage both teams further to provide feedback and communicate to help each other out. 

Here’s another great SLA template from Lucid Chart:

Source: Lucid Chart

Utilize voice of customer (VoC) data 

Voice of customer data is important to understanding the ‘why’ behind your customer’s and prospects’ actions. In addition, the feedback collected will help you discover what your customers think of your brand, product, or service. 

Gartner’s research found that collecting customer feedback can increase both upsells and cross-sells by 15 to 20%. Furthermore, it can decrease the cost of retaining customers by 25%. 

While VoC data informs just about every aspect, it can support sales and marketing in a few ways: 

  • Sales teams understand how to speak to their prospect’s pain points and objections effectively 
  • Marketing builds a more accurate buyer persona 
  • Marketing discovers what prospects are most interested in

Here are several ways you can conduct VoC research: 

1. Listen to recorded customer calls 

Whether they’re customer support calls, demos, or sales calls, any calls with your team speaking directly to the customer can be a gold mine. This lets you identify broader trends across customer successes, objections, and complaints. In the same process, you can also receive granular feedback from each call. 

2. Survey customers 

Surveys are flexible and can be performed in a multitude of ways: 

  • They can be a few questions posed after the customer has signed up or made a purchase 
  • They can be in-depth questionnaires sent to your most loyal customers 
  • Surveys can also be coupled with a Net Promoter Score to gauge customer’s loyalty 

3. Pay attention to social media and customer reviews 

Social media and customer reviews can be an invaluable part of the VoC process. Marketers must engage in social listening to see what others are saying about your brand and how they interact. By monitoring how customers speak about your product and brand when they aren’t speaking directly to you, you’ll receive a more honest and unfiltered view of their feedback. Make sure to look at third-party review sites since this is where the biggest complaints will be. You’ll be able to find any glaring weaknesses in your business that should be immediately addressed. 

Use Encharge to align your sales and marketing teams 

The key to alignment is sales and marketing integration. Integrating all relevant tools like marketing automation, CRM, communication, scheduling, and others will help data to be easily shared amongst each other. 

Encharge helps facilitate a seamless experience with your brand due to the wide range of integrations. 

Capture leads and segment them

Capture lead information and have Encharge bucket those leads into the appropriate segment. For example, consider adding “Job Title,” “Company,” or Industry” into the lead capture form. This helps you further segment the leads and personalize your automated email sequences

In the example flow below, we create a personalized experience for leads based on their budget. If a person has a budget higher than $5,000, we are going to create a new deal in HubSpot and add the tag “high value lead”, instead of sending the generic automated welcome email.

Identify hot leads and assign them for sales follow-up.

If a user visited your pricing page and the email has been recorded, you can set a trigger to send a Slack notification to your #sales channel automatically. A salesperson can immediately follow up. However, if no email is available, send an in-app message to book a demo. 

Discover sales opportunities in live chat conversations 

Convert your support team into a lead-generation machine. Have your customer service agents identify hot leads. If they’re asking questions about how the product works, refund policies, or demonstrating other buying intent signals, they can push the lead onto a sales rep. Encharge can create a new HubSpot deal or add them to your Facebook custom audience when a hot lead is discovered. 

Coordinate content for sales enablement 

As you may know by now, the marketing team shouldn’t be the only ones to send useful content to engage prospects. Sales teams must curate content to further engage their prospect based on their interests and needs. 

But how does a sales rep know which content to use and when to use them? When the sales team is unclear, they often don’t use them at all or misuse them, which only confuses the prospect and proves to them that you might not be the right vendor for them. 

In 80% of highly aligned marketing and sales organizations, marketers will demonstrate when and how to use their content. 

Organize sales content

First, gather all of the sales-related content and organize them in a central location, making them easily accessible to the sales team. Perform a content audit to round up all the effective content together while eliminating the ineffective content. Examples of sales content could be: 

  • Ebooks and whitepapers 
  • Competitive intelligence briefs 
  • Customer case studies 
  • Product demo decks 
  • Discount and pricing information 

Make sure the content is being regularly updated to adapt to the current audience, industry, and market. 

Create niche case studies

A case study is one of the best pieces of content for engaging and building trust with prospects. This piece of content highlights previous successes with a customer. Ideally, it should detail the before and after results and how your product or service facilitates that transformation. 

It’s best to roll out a case study for every type of product, the main feature, and the industry you’re targeting. For example, if you’re running an Ad agency, it may be beneficial to offer many case studies based on industry. A SaaS company may not relate to a case study revolving around another non-related industry. Additionally, an Ad agency might offer different types of services like Facebook, Google, and YouTube ads. Showcasing case studies for each service is also useful. 

Encharge offers various case studies that demonstrate customer success within different uses and business models. 

Produce sales email templates 

Sales enablement involves doing everything in your power to help sales teams succeed. This means sales training, data, technology, processes, and even templates. 

The sales team shouldn’t be spending unnecessary time trying to craft an entire email to each prospect. Instead, marketers are already skilled with email copy, so why not let them create a different template for various scenarios? 

Have the marketers create email templates for different stages and scenarios. Then upload it to the CRM. The sales team can offer feedback on the results they see from the email templates. This lets marketers continually tweak and improve them. 

Ensure marketing efforts are sales-focused 

One of the biggest complaints that salespeople and other departments have about marketing is that they aren’t entirely confident in their contribution. 

While marketers know their value, it’s difficult to prove without concrete data. 

Unless you a startup with massive funding or a fortune 500 company with a large budget, most marketing departments won’t be able to waste money on copious amounts of branding content. That means marketing teams should measure the cost of their marketing efforts and the results that each campaign drives. 

Marketers must equip themselves with the right data to demonstrate their value to the company. This can help to improve trust between sales and marketing. 

So how can marketers build customer-centric campaigns while still being sales-oriented? 

Track Analytics 

Whether it’s content marketing, ad campaigns, or email sequences, marketers must use platforms that provide detailed analytics. For example, how many visitors are coming onto the website, and how many are converting into leads? 

On Google Analytics, you can view how much traffic is coming to each piece of content and where that traffic is coming from. These traffic numbers indicate which pieces of content are performing best and tell you what people are interested in. These data points can help you better attract more high-quality leads. 

Email sequences should be measured by how many end up booking demos along with the standard email metrics.

Read more: The 3 Types of Sales and Marketing Analytics that Will Help You Grow

Improve Brand Loyalty

Marketers and sales teams play a role in customer retention as well. How can they align their strategies to keep customers loyal to their brand? 

1. Marketers can send customer feedback emails. Showing customers they value their feedback and implementing their most requested changes only increases their brand loyalty. 

2. The sales team can offer to upsell by recommending customers complementary products or services. Since sales reps are having direct conversations with them, they are in the best position to offer upsells.

3. Create loyalty programs. Give customers reasons to stay onboard. Provide discounts and different perks for choosing you. Your customers want to feel like they are making the right choice by choosing you rather than jumping to a competitor. 

Smartbug media case study 

Smartbug Media is a marketing agency, and they improved alignment by tying revenue targets to their marketing activities. The company decided to add revenue targets specifically to the content calendar and campaigns. As a result, this resulted in a 17.4% increase in inbound qualified sales leads that converted to the qualified sales pipeline at an average rate of 47.73%. 

Key Takeaway: 

Since sales is a results-driven field, adding results-driven metrics to marketing activities is important. For example, many ad platforms can show you the cost per lead, cost per customer acquisition, and even return on ad spend. As far as content goes, it’s best to measure the rate at which each content piece is converting traffic visitors into qualified leads. 

Align your sales and marketing teams with Encharge 

In a nutshell, implementing a tighter sales and marketing alignment means working together to help provide prospects with what they’re looking for. When sales and marketing come together, brands create indispensable customer experiences

Alignment doesn’t happen overnight. 

It requires strategic planning, open dialogue, and continuous iterations. 

The end result? A happier work environment, more revenue, and loyal customers. 
Let Encharge and our built-in integrations help you align your sales and marketing teams. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today!

Post contributor

Andrew Gazdecki is the Chief Growth Officer at Spiff – the leading sales commission software. Gazdecki has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes Wall Street Journal,, and Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as prominent industry blogs such as Mashable, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat. At Spiff, he’s on a mission to help companies automate commission calculations and motivate sales team.

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