3 Sales and Marketing Alignment Lessons You Didn’t Know Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Could Teach You

January 6, 2018

Harry and Meghan

Did you hear the news? A royal wedding is on the horizon for Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle, known for her role on the popular television series Suits.

Once viewed as cold and distant, the younger generations of the British royal family have evolved in recent years to cultivate an image as approachable, inclusive, and down-to-earth people.

“We’re not doing this for ourselves, but for the greater good of the people,” Prince Harry said in a recent Newsweek article.

The Prince’s emphasis on the greater good is advice successful sales and marketing teams have adopted in recent years, too. Where once the two functions operated independently -- some might say, uncooperatively -- we now tend to see more open sharing of information, and increased focus on mutually-held objectives.

What precipitated this movement? The modern B2B buyer has changed, and selling situations have grown increasingly complex. Strategic alignment between sales and marketing is crucial to support the informational needs of myriad stakeholders involved in today’s deals.

Part of the world’s interest in the next “everyman” royal couple stems from the flashes of real life we catch behind the security staff and big residences. There’s less delineation between “them” and “us,” as illustrated by Harry, who does his own shopping. We identify with him more.

For sales and marketing professionals, the same silo-busting has paved way for greater collaboration. Marketing is no longer generating leads passed blindly to sales with the hope deals will be reached. Together, teams are establishing definitions and KPIs, and determining the messaging and content types needed to support customers through every stage of the buying funnel. The new shared focus is on helping, not selling.

What other useful bits can we learn from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle uniting?

3 Royal Lessons in Sales and Marketing Alignment

Aligned Sales and Marketing Won’t Happen Overnight

Just as the royal family has slowly opened up to the public, successful sales and marketing teams have gradually learned that by assisting prospects through the top of the funnel, they will earn the trust and confidence needed to see those prospects glide naturally through to the bottom. The result? A more favorable brand impression and stronger revenue.

Depending on the company leadership and overall culture, the amount of time needed to shift mindsets from a hard sell to a guided one will vary. But the payoff will be big. Prospects are generally unreceptive to future marketing messages if they perceive a brand is unconcerned with their needs.

Marketing and Sales Can Always Be More Relevant

Previous generations of the royal family meticulously crafted their images: immaculately dressed, carefully coached in demeanor, and very reserved in speech. It was probably a challenge for the general public to imagine these leaders empathizing with issues they faced each day.

Today, Princess Kate opts for comfortable denim as part of her casual wardrobe. Loosely flowing hair, jeans, and a blazer is a presentation we all can relate to, and the practical clothing is very relevant to many Americans and Brits alike. This new, approachable image cultivated by the youngest generation of royals will likely evolve alongside constituents as both groups age.

In business environs, brand relevancy and usefulness to the customer also evolve over time. We recommend sales and marketing routinely examine definitions, KPIs, metrics, and customer data together. In this way, sales and marketing teams can correct micro-misalignments in strategy and tactics that may occur over time. Set the teams up for success by scheduling a quarterly recurring meeting so time is blocked off on calendars, and maintain a current agenda accessible by all.

Make Time to Learn Alignment Cues from Best-In-Class Companies

Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, set a sterling example for the prince to follow. She used her celebrity to champion important humanitarian and charitable organizations. The prince followed suit, with issues including mental health awareness and veterans’ interests. These efforts have driven social improvements and positive sentiment surrounding the royal brand.

Good sales and marketing teams can achieve greatness with the same formula. Ask team members to bring notable examples to the quarterly meeting recommended above. Which companies in your industry are performing best? Discuss what the group thinks the brand is doing well. Your teams can riff off those tactics, or use them to springboard into totally new and improved ones. The conversations will also build cross-team relationships and help shape corporate culture.

For more ideas about improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales and marketing team check out our eBook, The Secrets of Sales and Marketing Power Couples.

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