You know aligning your sales and marketing goals is important—but let’s put that importance in numbers.
You might have heard the term “smarketing,” a portmanteau of two often siloed departments, used to describe the union of sales and marketing to target customers more precisely, convert more of those customers, and boost sales.
Two tangible ways to measure the effectiveness of your smarketing initiatives are marketing ROI and lead generation. Let’s get to work figuring out how to improve both numbers—while getting sales and marketing working in tandem.4
The Challenge of Marketing ROI and Lead Generation
Every business wants a great return on investment (ROI) and know their lead generation strategies are paying off. To achieve both, companies need to reach as many prospects as possible and make sure as many of those folks actually make a purchase.
The trouble? If sales and marketing aren’t aligned on this front, identifying the right prospects is like playing blindfolded. While marketing may be going after one group, sales might be focusing their efforts on converting another, making it difficult to find any overlap.
But when both departments are properly aligned, a recent study finds that businesses see up to 38% higher sales win rates.
With such clear numbers pointing to the value of unified departments, what causes the disconnect?
Understanding the Gap between Sales and Marketing
Though sales and marketing often share a similar goal, the way these groups respond to achieving that goal can create a hard-to-fix disparity. If conversions and sales are low, sales team may blame marketing for wasting valuable budget on insufficient programs. Conversely, marketing may claim sales fumbled their campaign strategy.
But to take one step back, both departments tend to have different ideas of who their customers are and what these customers want. Marketing tends to have a wider scope on personas, focusing on a larger market and generalizations about wants and needs. Sales focuses intimately on one person at a time, and uses that narrow focus to make inferences about the entire customer base. While both views are useful, neither one is perfect and can miss entire customers or misinterpret customer needs as a result.
And, on a more practical note, both departments simply don’t communicate with each other. While marketing efforts trickle down to sales and sales result influence marketing decisions, rarely do both sides meet to verbalize what’s happening on their side of the world.
But when both sides come together, it’s a recipe for ROI and lead generation magic. Let’s explore ways to boost both.
Strategies to Improve Marketing ROI
Improving marketing ROI involves multiple, concerted actions. But before you do anything, setting SMART goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for both sales and marketing is essential to make sure the departments are following one True North. Make sure to communicate these goals clearly to both teams, so their individual goals work toward the same number.
While your SMART goals and KPIs will remain constant, your marketing efforts certainly shouldn’t. Always be willing to thoughtfully experiment with your campaigns. Try new headlines, conduct market research, play around with interesting headlines and social media callouts, and be ready to change when the data shows what works and what doesn’t.
When you have a better understanding of your marketing effectiveness, find areas where you can personalize messaging. Your sales team will be especially helpful here in helping marketing create language that will resonate with potential customers.
Effective Lead Generation Tactics
While ROI covers the marketing half, lead generation is where sales really shines—and even more so with help from marketing. One way both teams can come together is by improving calls-to-action (CTAs) on landing pages. Marketing can use its knowledge to determine where the CTA is on the page (often in the first half), and sales can help ensure the message is clear, direct, and precisely what potential customers are looking for.
While CTAs are part of the big picture, ultimately, customers want to know what’s in it for them. This is where sales and marketing can double down to ensure their offers are as compelling as they can be—and that these offers are available at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Don’t just rely on gated eBooks to do the heavy lifting. Vary your offerings with whitepapers, blogs, videos, and demos so newcomers and those familiar with your brand will have something useful.
And like ROI, rely on data to give you the hard truths on what’s actually effective. See which CTAs are getting clicked, where readers are dropping off on landing pages, which resources are being downloaded, and how many emails are being opened. Then, adjust wisely.
Scaling Your Business with Focused Marketing Efforts
There’s a lot that goes into improving both ROI and lead generation efforts—but getting sales and marketing in alignment is central to it all. While both departments can (and should) work in tandem, marketing is often the first way customers will know your brand exists, and it’s crucial you refine your marketing strategies, focus on customer needs, and be ready to adapt to market changes.
Getting that kind of crystal-clear focus requires leadership that understands both departments and can get them running in sync. A CMO can orchestrate the high-level strategy and oversee the execution, while ensuring sales and marketing are supported in the unique ways they need.
But finding that kind of expertise is easier said than done, and CMOs are often out of many organizations’ budgets. This is where the fractional CMO model comes in.
A Fractional CMO is a senior marketing leader who works alongside your team using a hands-on approach to drive up sales and increase revenue. But because of the shared cost model, you get high-level talent that’s actually affordable.
yorCMO has proven just how valuable a Fractional CMO can be to help businesses:
- Define their success journeys
- Understand their buyers
- Position their offers
- Align sales and marketing
- Stay consistent and accountable
- Optimize marketing ROI
Conclusion: A Roadmap to Marketing and Sales Success
Building a sustainable and profitable business can be measured in ROI and lead generation—but to actually do both (and well), your sales and marketing teams need to function like a single, well-oiled machine.
Wondering how well your sales and marketing efforts are going, and how well both teams are contributing to your ROI and leads?
Check out our quick, 10-question marketing assessment for an overview of your performance. One of our experts will reach out to you with guidance on how to improve your current approach and get your organization set up for success.