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3 Actionable Ways to Align Sales & Marketing

In a three-part video learning series, Matt McClendon and Tanner Mezel break down helpful strategies for aligning sales and marketing teams. Here’s an introduction to some concepts in the videos:

Marketing and sales often live in different worlds. Marketing’s day-to-day focuses on strategies, campaigns, and demand generation. Sales lives in deals, opportunities, and customers. Marketing typically has a list of content they want to create. While sales has a different list of resources needed for sales conversations. So how can you bring these two groups from different worlds together?

1. Start with the Buying Process

Mapping content to the buying process is a helpful starting point for getting sales and marketing on the same page. Three simple stages of the buying process are “Why Change?” “Why Now?” Why Us?” In each stage you need two types of content – customer-facing content and internal sales education content.

Customer facing content includes presentation slides, whiteboards, infographics, ROI tools, proposal templates. Internal sales education content includes whiteboards, talk tracks, insights & customer stories. In the early stages of the buying process, this layer of internal sales education is often missed. Sales education content here is vital to taking the mystery out of how to get the meeting or lead the conversation for a salesperson.

Look at the buying process model with marketing and sales. Are you missing customer facing or internal education content in a particular phase?

2. Prioritize Content

We often see companies with lots and lots of content. More content than sales can consume, and more than marketing can handle creating. In this case, prioritization becomes essential. 

A focused sales playbook can help sales and marketing leaders get on the same page for prioritization. Direct efforts on content that can inform customer conversations along the buying process. Keep it useful and practical to salespeople.

Start simple by focusing on one strategy or play, like an industry, persona, or solution. Get a cross-departmental group together from product, marketing, and sales, and work through content needed for that specific strategy. Here’s a model of the types of practical sales content needed in a playbook:

In the cross-departmental group, identify what you already have for “what to know,” “what to do,” what to say,” and “what to show” for the specific play you’re focusing on. Then decide what’s most critical out of the missing pieces in those categories. Assign responsibilities to get running with the prioritized content and use that in a sales-friendly guide that will provide salespeople everything they need to run that specific strategy.

3. Build A Sales Enablement Charter

A sales enablement charter maps out an organization’s vision for the future of sales enablement, what salespeople do over a year. Use a sales enablement charter document to define the vision for the year and desired outcomes.  

Gather a cross-department group of leaders from sales, marketing, and product to outline the two or three priorities that will have a big impact. A sales enablement team could try to tackle everything over the course of a year, but you’ll have more success moving the needle when you focus on 2-3 priorities rather than 20. 

Once there’s cross-departmental buy-in with the vision, flesh out the current state versus desired state for salespeople. Here are some examples of current state vs desired state:

DSG has worked with hundreds of clients over the past 25 years on a playbook approach to sales enablement. For more insights, watch the entire three-part video series here.

Sales Plays

Creating Focus Through Sales Plays

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