The Secrets of Sales and Marketing Power Couples

Download our new eBook for the actions that can take your sales and marketing relationship to the next level

August 22, 2017

sales and marketing

Smarketing has never been higher on the agenda of businesses worldwide. LinkedIn’s new study of the state of sales and marketing alignment globally shows that businesses of all sizes are prioritising the relationship between sales and marketing teams. However, knowing the importance of sales and marketing alignment doesn't make it easy to achieve.

The best relationships grow out of a shared commitment and a shared set of objectives. They also benefit from an understanding of the practical day-to-day actions that make a relationship work. The same is true of the Smarketing dance between marketing and sales. Our new eBook, The Power Couple, uses the results of our worldwide study to show what separates the businesses that take sales and marketing relationships to another level from those that can’t quite make them click.

The commitment to Smarketing is growing

It’s not usually a question of commitment – because sales and marketing teams are united in an understanding of how important their alignment is. We spoke to over 3,500 sales professionals and over 3,500 marketers across Australia, India, Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Of these, 79% agreed that collaboration exists between their sales and marketing teams, 58% said that it delivered improved customer retention and 54% linked it to a boost in financial performance. Levels of sales and marketing collaboration were even higher in India (85%) and South East Asia (84%) than in the US (76%), Australia (74%) and UK (73%).

The different degrees of sales and marketing alignment

However, despite a vast majority of businesses (74%) reporting some forward progress on sales and marketing alignment, far fewer describe it as ‘much better’ than a year ago. In fact, only a quarter of those we spoke to talked about significant advances. So what separates these businesses building real momentum from those that are only inching forward – or treading water? Our Power Couple eBook reveals the practical actions that are proven to make a difference.

The secrets of sales and marketing power couples

Sales and marketing power couples put the success of their relationships down to three factors: frequent meetings to share ideas and information, co-ordinated planning and outreach, and agreement on shared objectives and measurement. In particular, they prioritise four key actions that drive more meaningful sales and marketing alignment:

·      Shared objectives and KPIs (referenced by 52%)

·      Better customer insights and understanding (52%)

·      Clear accountability and workflow (47%)

·      A schedule of regular team meetings (45%)

Those that struggle to take the sales and marketing relationship to the next level don’t necessarily lack enthusiasm – but they may well be pouring their energy into the wrong tactics. Our study shows far fewer people agreeing that job swaps or cross-functional training help to improve collaboration.

Sales and marketing alignment: the impact on customer acquisition

In a competitive business landscape, any form of advantage is vital. Advancing the sales and marketing relationship doesn’t just improve morale, productivity and efficiency – it delivers measurable gains that boost the bottom line. The ability to form sales and marketing power couples divides businesses that grow sustainably from those that don’t.

LinkedIn data provides clear evidence of the difference that active sales and marketing alignment can make. LinkedIn members who have been primed through targeted marketing content are 25% more likely to respond to an InMail from a sales rep – and 10% more likely to accept a connection request. The benefits flow in the other direction as well: a sales rep’s connections are almost five times more likely than average to share marketing content.

Ready to take the sales and marketing relationship to the next level?

Download our full eBook The Power Couple: How Sales and Marketing Alignment Makes Your Business Unstoppable and you’ll find the very latest data on the state of sales and marketing alignment, the business benefits it’s delivering, and the roadmap to making it happen. It’s the most in-depth relationship guide yet for taking your business to the next level.