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Creating Tight Alignment Between Sales and Marketing
The whole organization needs to be on the same page, and that goes for marketing and sales in particular. How do we do away with the us-versus-them mentality that has lingered so long between two such interconnected teams?
Join us as we discuss:
- Embracing the realization that we’re all in this together
- Keeping the customer as your North Star
- Leads, KPIs, and meeting frequency
- The role of brand awareness and pipeline
We're all in this together
The key to success is talking to the right person, at the right time, with the right message.
You've got to speak the same language in every single interaction — from sales to marketing, from customer success to the product team, from HR to finance.
Speaking the same language doesn't just refer to vocabulary. It's about values. It's about messaging. It's about storytelling and weaving a common thread that becomes a corporate message.
So, it's absolutely crucial that sales — including the entire business development function, pre-sales, and solution architects — be on the same page as the marketing team. And they all need to be singing from the same sheet collectively as an organization.
When that's not happening — when voices diverge and notes are discordant — we confuse the prospects. We distance ourselves from, or even antagonize, our target audiences.
Cohesiveness throughout everything is key to alignment between sales and marketing.
What does that cohesiveness look like in practice?
You need to…
- Make sure you're all meeting on a regular basis.
- Make sure you're all looking at the same tools and platforms.
- Know exactly where the customers are in terms of contexts, leads, MQL, SQL and opportunities.
Your North Star
Internal cohesiveness isn't the end goal, however.
Customers are our North Star.
We know that's true, of course, but it's easy to forget. We get so consumed by internal conversations and intense discussions we forget about the moments of truth.
Some might call these moments "touchpoints across the journey."
We're all on the customer journey. We bring somebody along with us — a consumer, a business, a partner — on the journey from awareness to consideration and from preference to purchase.
On this journey, we have to align our message.
We know that, too.
And yet… sales and marketing can turn into an us-versus-them scenario — a conflicting arrangement that drags on for years.
This won't work.
Your new mantra has to become "we're all in this together."
Your North Star has to stay your customer.
And your journey has to move logically along a series of touchpoints.
Marketing's key KPI
At the end of the day, Miguel describes his key KPI as "almost counterintuitive."
"I don't own it, per se, but it's opportunities," he declared. "It is opportunities, and it's pipeline."
That's what he's tasked with. Now, Miguel can't directly own an opportunity because it takes a different trajectory — going from marketing to the SDR, BDR, account executive, etc. It's an indirect motion.
"But I want my team and I to be absolutely invested in that," he told us.
We asked him…
What are the marketing-influenced, marketing-led, marketing-sourced, and marketing-qualified leads that have translated into sales-accepted leads, and ultimately into opportunities with a pipeline dollar tied to it?
"It's tricky," Miguel said. "Measuring attribution is a holy grail that nobody has quite mastered."
What we do know is that, mathematically speaking, it's almost proven that the better your pipeline, the better your revenue number will be. If we can help an organization, whether it's a startup or a Fortune 50, to grow that pipeline, then that's what we need to be focusing on.
Brand awareness and your pipeline
For some brands, it's easy. Sink money into television over a long time and you'll create a pipeline. For most companies, however, that's not an option.
So look at your funnel — top, middle, and bottom.
At the bottom of the funnel, you have sales acceleration. That's where you want to play, but you can't get there if you don't have a demand generation engine. And you can't have a demand generation engine without brand awareness.
What is brand awareness? How do you create it? How do you measure it?
You know you've reached brand awareness when prospective customers feel comfortable with the idea that you are a reputable, bonafide company that can deliver solutions and meet their challenges.
You can't do that with social media and email marketing alone. You have to be able to answer questions such as:
- What's our value proposition?
- What's our brand idea?
- What are our differentiators?
- What's our ideal customer profile?
Miguel knows brand awareness is happening when a customer says, "I saw your new ad on LinkedIn." Or the viral campaign… Or the influencer post… Or whatever.
Listen to your customer.
- Create strategic alignment between marketing and sales. That alignment is going to deliver a seamless, meaningful experience for the prospect and the customer.
- Be clear about the KPIs that matter. Things like web traffic, or leads or time on page might all be great leading indicators. But really, you need to be accountable to pipeline and engagement — even if you have no direct control over that.
- Think about how you trickle that alignment into the day to day work of all of the teams. BDRs aren't just meeting setters, they're brand ambassadors.
- Tear down those silos between departments so that you can create a consistent brand experience.
Lynn’s career has spanned across different kinds of content, from copywriting, to journalism, to marketing, and even mystery puzzle games. She brings facets from all these disciplines into her work at Ada. Outside of that, Lynn loves playing games, hiking, and reading about trees.