Sales and Marketing Alignment: How To Bring Them Together In Your Virtual Event Strategy

February 8, 2021
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Working with an old-school company that still keeps its marketing and sales teams separated? It’s time to adapt, my friend.

The marketing vs. sales conversation is seemingly one as old as time, or at least as old as business. In fact, if your company doesn’t currently have an aligned marketing and sales strategy (smarketing) that has both teams meaningfully interacting with one another, then you know the silly pain that results from such compartmentalization.

Marketers often ask themselves, “What does the customer want?” not considering the fact that their sales colleagues already have the answer. After all, salespeople speak with customers all day, and would likely want their thoughts to be considered when organizing a marketing campaign.

Sales and marketing alignment is critical in improving an organization’s communication, conversation rates, lead scores, and most importantly: revenue. To help you out, we’ve offered tips on how to bring both departments together to plan your next successful virtual event.

sales and marketing alignment tips

What Sales and Marketing Alignment Looks Like: 7 Tips for Getting Both Teams on the Same Page

Tip #1) Begin By Understanding Exactly Why Sales and Marketing Alignment Hasn’t Happened Yet

Sometimes in business, sales and marketing teams will feel a rift. This can be due to politics, being isolated from one another, or senior leadership placing the importance on hitting sales goals without realizing how the two relate.

Understanding why the two departments haven’t teamed up is important so that you can work on solutions to bring both teams together for the same goal: increasing revenue.

Tip #2) Set Meetings for Sales and Marketing Team Members That Bring Them Together

To effectively align sales and marketing, both teams should be meeting regularly, at least on a weekly basis, either by inviting marketers to sales meetings or vice versa.

Marketers should sit in on weekly sales meetings to understand how sales are meeting their quotas and what customers are saying, and to offer information about upcoming promotions with the sales team. 

Marketing and sales department heads should also be meeting at least monthly to analyze shared KPIs, and update strategies if necessary.

Tip #3) Identify Common Goals and Objectives

Sales and marketing departments sometimes compete with each other because they set different goals based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that they think are important. 

For instance, marketing’s main goal is to increase leads, while sales’ main goal is to close sales. However, both departments should create shared KPIs, like improving lead value, higher conversion rates, and improved revenue.

Tip #4) Marketing and Sales Alignment Requires Both Teams To Speak the Same Language

Marketers and salespeople often speak a different language from one another. Even a common term like “qualified lead” has drastically different meanings in both departments. It’s important for both to define common terms and agree on their meaning so that expectations are clearly defined and understood.

Tip #5) Establish KPIs and a Process for Determining Which Leads Are Highest Quality

By establishing common language and KPIs, the marketing and sales teams align to reach the same exact goals.

This should include goals to increase revenue, lead quality, and conversion rates. Agree upon a lead scoring methodology that both departments can use to rank prospects’ sales-readiness.

For instance, lead scoring helps marketers determine which leads aren’t qualified, so they don’t waste salespeople’s time. Likewise, marketers can also be more efficient, because they’ll understand what traits are attractive in a buyer. They can then create more targeted campaigns, wasting less time and money on ads for people who aren’t interested in buying.

Tip #6) Marketers Should Be Asking Their Sales Teams What Type of Content Would Help Them Sell To Leads, Not Just Acquire Them

Salespeople usually understand the buyer’s wants and needs better than the marketer.

The problem is that this information isn’t being considered when marketers are producing content, resulting in a lot of wasted time and money for marketing material that will likely go unused by salespeople and unwanted by prospective leads.

To achieve sales and marketing alignment, marketers should meet with salespeople regularly to better update their sales personas and create a clear, shared objective on attracting the right buyers.

Tip #7) The Sales Team Should Help in the Actual Creation of Content

Marketers are great at understanding how to generate leads, but the sales team will have powerful insights into the language their customers use, as well as the pitches and most important information that converts a lead.

Create a shared space between your sales and marketing team, like a Google Doc, Excel spreadsheet or section in your CRM, where salespeople can write notes specifically for the marketing team after interacting with customers. 

After a while, both departments will begin to spot trends, such as certain keywords customers repeat or recurring questions. These trends can then be used to create tailored content, campaigns and better sales strategies going forward. 

sales and marketing alignment for webinars

How Can We Apply These Sales and Marketing Alignment Tips To Virtual Event and Webinar Marketing?

Bring Your Sales Team Into the Discussion Early in the Virtual Event Planning Process 

Sales and marketing should complete research together during the pre-planning stage of an event, related to attendees, resources, logistics, and sponsorship.

Since both departments ultimately share the same goal of increasing revenue, it’s important that they work together to define who their target demographic is and the best way to attract them to their event.

In the event planning process as we speak? Check out 12 Event Promotion Strategies To Attract The Right Audience And Grow Your Business.

Never Hold Online Event or Webinar Marketing Meetings Without at Least One Sales Representative Present

Salespeople often have a different perspective and understanding of prospective buyers than marketers do. What sounds like a good idea in a room full of marketers, might not work for sales people or the customers.

It’s important to have at least one sales representative in marketing meetings who can speak on behalf of their department, mitigating bad marketing decisions before they can happen.

Create a Shared Communication Workspace for the Two Teams To Have Quick Access To One Another Such as a Slack Channel

Improving communication between two siloed departments is crucial for better sales and marketing alignment.

Create a shared Slack workspace where sales and marketing can openly communicate with each other. Set up specific channels related to shared KPIs and upcoming events, so that all messages are open and easily viewable between both teams.

Identify Speakers, Content, and Event Presentations Most Likely To Attract SQLs

First, have both departments agree on their definition of a sales qualified lead (SQL).

Once that’s determined, research the speakers and influencers who have a large internet following that you can bring to your event to attract more SQLs.

Use Previous Event Data To Help Your Marketing and Sales Teams Set Specific and Realistic Goals for Event Success

How can you set goals for your next event if you don’t understand how your last event performed?

Both sales and marketing teams should have access to previous event data, so that they can see which KPIs were lacking and brainstorm ways to improve going forward. 

Marketing and Sales Alignment Means Both Teams Need To Be Present at Your Virtual Event

Marketing and sales should be united at virtual events, working together to achieve their common goal.

For example, the sales team might engage with prospective buyers, while the marketing team scours social media feeds related to the event. Both the sales people and marketers should be in contact with each other to “read the room” and pivot their strategies if need be.

After the Event is Finished: Have Sales and Marketing Reps Recap the Metrics and Data Together

Usually, marketers are interested in getting people to the event, and salespeople are ultimately interested in closing the leads collected there. 

But what if the leads generated weren’t good because marketers didn’t fully understand their target demographic? Sales and marketing must have access to the same event data so that they can analyze what worked and what didn’t. Use this to plan more successful events going forward.

Ready To Start Using Virtual Event Marketing To Capture Better Leads?

SpotMe delivers engaging virtual events that your customers will love and return to again, and again, while offering your company unparalleled tools for creating events and analyzing data on your attendees and their interactions.

SpotMe’s workspace dashboard provides high level analytics around your company’s KPIs. View what content and sessions are the most popular, who are the most active users, the number of downloads, adoption rates, and more, to help your sales and marketing teams gauge your event’s success.

Reach out today for a free trial so that your marketing and sales teams can start planning their next virtual event right away.

And if you’re at the event planning stage, consider including these creative virtual event promotion ideas in your marketing strategy.

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