How Alignment Helps Salespeople and Marketers Reach the Right Audience

Reach the right audience with the right message by improving alignment between sales and marketing teams.

August 22, 2016


Though sales reps and marketers often seem to work in separate silos, they share many goals. Ultimately, they’re both directing their efforts at the same target: the prospect. That’s why it’s so important for sales and marketing teams to ensure that they’re aiming their sights at exactly the right people.

When marketers have the wrong audience segment in mind, their content can be misguided and irrelevant to the real prospects. Worse, marketers will waste time and money only to hand the sales team unqualified leads. When sales reps pitch to the wrong people, they waste time chasing hopeless deals, while ignoring those most likely to buy.

By aligning their efforts, salespeople and marketers can refine their target audience via social insights and see greater results across the board.

Why the Audience Matters

Often, sales reps and marketers don’t work in alignment because they see their goals as being at odds. Of course, both teams have different approaches: marketing tends to function at the top of the funnel, generating leads by reach the right audience at the right time. Sales reps take those leads and maintain the momentum necessary to close deals.

But there’s a huge overlap that’s often overlooked: for both teams, the customer is king. Marketers need to understand their particular audiences—and target them appropriately—in order to get the right marketing message across for maximum returns. Much like marketing, sales teams need to reach the right decision makers in order to win deals.

“Many salespeople spend most of their time talking to the wrong people,” writes professional sales trainer Tom Hopkins. “If you do that, it doesn’t matter how eloquently you present your service or product. Your earnings are going to be low.” Sales reps don’t just win more deals by reaching the right audience—if they understand their audience’s needs, they can sell more effectively by tailoring their message and pitch appropriately.

Aligning Sales and Marketing

It requires trust, organization, and accountability, but sales and marketing will both benefit from better alignment. It all begins with improved targeting through a mutual understanding of “buyer personas,” or segments of potential buyers. As Carola van der Linden, Global Virtual Marketing Manager for Cisco, describes them, buyer personas represent “the perfect buyer, the perfect person that we [can] target with a marketing message.” Organizations may have several different buyer personas, each with their own backgrounds and preferences.

It’s important to understand that buyer personas aren’t important solely for marketing purposes. When both teams come together to identify these personas, marketing can create content that appeals to prospects’ interests, while sales can deliver that targeted content and spend more time with qualified leads—leading to more wins.

Gaining Insights from Social Selling

Both sales and marketing can use social selling practices to reach the right people. By doing a little research on social networks like LinkedIn, you can identify the key decision makers, understand their needs, and see where you can get traction on the latest industry trends and personal interests. With those insights in hands and personas in mind, marketers and reps can all do their jobs better and find further success.

For more on the benefits of aligning sales and marketing, download our eBook today.