The Importance of Aligning Sales with Marketing in the Home Improvement Space
It’s no secret that marketing and sales share a close relationship with one another—and like many relatives, that relationship sometimes falls on the love-hate side of the spectrum. Marketers who are eager to tie their efforts to revenue often complain that sales teams don’t react quickly enough to close their leads. Sales reps say the leads they receive are deader than a doornail. Teams can’t agree on what qualifies roofing, window, HVAC, or solar leads, which may set competing goals.
Still, when marketing and sales do manage to come together, the results can be astounding. Strongly aligned sales and marketing teams are tied to better performance outcomes and increased revenue, along with more satisfied customers and a better experience overall. Here’s the why and how of sales and marketing alignment—and what it can do for your construction business.
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Close More Sales and Grow Revenue
The numbers don’t lie. Well-aligned sales and marketing teams are associated with higher profits, increased revenue and more growth all around. In one survey, 89% of businesses that aligned sales and marketing objectives saw an increase in lead conversion. That translated to a 76% higher contribution to revenue from marketing and an average 32% annual revenue growth overall.
Part of the reason for this improvement is the increased efficiency achievable when sales and marketing teams interact closely with one another. Sales representatives are able to connect to leads quickly and effectively and to offer their feedback based on real-life customer interactions, which better tailors marketing content and refines campaigns. Open communication between both departments leads to a better understanding of which customers are more likely to convert and what kind of content will draw them.
Closely-Aligned Sales and Marketing Improves The Customer Experience
When sales and marketing function as a well-oiled machine, customers feel the difference. Tightly-aligned sales and marketing teams result in 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates, according to Marketing Profs. A study of B2B businesses showed that those with strongly aligned marketing and sales teams were 53% more likely to create relevant buyer propositions for clients. In other words, when sales and marketing work together, both teams are able to see the full picture of their business’s sales funnel and to more accurately gauge customer needs within that process.
To understand why that is, you have to come to grips with the desperate state of sales enablement today. Sixty-five percent of sales reps say they can’t find the content they need to convert prospects. Meanwhile, 57% of customers report that sales reps seem ill-prepared during their initial meeting. It’s easy to see the relationship between these two stats—in order for sales reps to close, they need access to effective content that is relevant to customers real-life challenges. Only by working together can sales enablement happen.
Selling to the Digital Consumer Requires More Cross-Functional Sales and Marketing
Marketing and sales have always had a close relationship with one another, but the birth of the digital consumer is changing marketing roles and rewriting the entire sales process. Modern buyers have tools to self-educate. Through online research and reviews, consumers now fulfill many top-of-the-funnel marketing functions by themselves. A recent report from the Ecommerce Foundation found that 88% of buyers research products and services online before they buy.
Additionally, sophisticated marketing tools and CRMs have allowed marketers and sales teams to track consumer behavior and engage middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel leads with a more customized approach. As a result of these technological changes, both functions have grown murkier, meaning that marketing and sales teams must now work very closely to streamline communication and make sure they’re not stepping on each other’s toes.
Adding to the issue is the increasing fragmentation of marketing channels. Consumers may use several different devices throughout their day—a laptop, a smartphone, and a tablet, as well as other smart products such as a Fitbit, Amazon Echo, or Google Home Hub. These new portals open up additional opportunities for hyper-personalized marketing, but they can also make it more difficult to track where a lead stands in the sales funnel. This further underlines the need for effective interdepartmental communication, where teams are dynamic and cross-functional.
Beyond the techniques mentioned earlier, strongly aligned sales and marketing starts with agreeing on a few key markers. Teams need to come to an agreement on what defines a lead, along with each of the stages in the sales pipeline. Both departments should set mutual goals and meet regularly to measure progress and make adjustments. It’s not exactly a complete department overhaul, but who knows? It could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.