MM 086 - Sales and Marketing Alignment for Manufacturers

     

    This week we're discussing how sales and marketing alignment can increase revenue. You will also learn what it is and how to get alignment.

    Guest: Desiree Grace, VP Sales & Marketing at Anamet Electrical, Inc.
    Website: anametelectrical.com

    Highlights:

    • Here are some statistics from the HubSpot website:
      • Misalignment between sales and marketing technologies and processes costs B2B companies 10% of revenue or more per year.
      • Companies with good alignment practices in place generated 208% more revenue from marketing efforts.
      • When sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates.
    • [4:40] Sales and marketing are like siblings and the other departments are like the cousins.
    • [6:50] Alignment is based on open and honest communication without either side getting defensive.
    • [9:10] Product launches are a great example where tangible costs of the launch are increased when there is not strong alignment. ROI may even be negative because of poor alignment.
    • [12:20] Desiree shares an alignment success story at Anamet Electrical by creating a rep council to share field information.
    • [18:00] Deriree shares the idea of using a beta test instead of a large full scale roll out.
    • [19:20] Here are a couple of steps to getting started:
      • First, take a look at your base organizational structure. Are both teams under the same leader? Might need to change that structure.
      • Find places where the teams can work together on a common project or task just to get started talking and sharing ideas. This creates understanding and understanding leads to alignment.
      • Start with a customer survey and develop the questions collaboratively between sales and marketing.
    • [23:30] Desiree shares her own success story with sales and marketing alignment at her company. One of the hardest parts of alignment is in preventing people from taking debate and criticism personally.
    • [26:50] One of the biggest pitfalls is with long term employees who don't want to change. Be prepared to deal with resistance and the need to sell internally.

    Interview Questions

    Question 1: Desiree, let’s start with the basics, how do you define sales and marketing alignment? Sales aligned with marketing? Marketing aligned with sales?

    Question 2: I mentioned a statistic at the beginning of the podcast; misalignment can cost a manufacturing company up to 10% of revenue per year and well aligned companies generate 208% more revenue than non-aligned. As a manufacturing go-to-market practitioner and leader, have you personally seen similar results? What are some other tangible benefits of sales and marketing alignment you have seen in addition to revenue increase?

    Question 3: I suspect most of our listeners agree that there are tangible benefits to their top line and bottom line. But they are probably wondering, how is it done? How do I get my sales and marketing teams to work together? Could you sum up 3 or 5 steps to get started?

    Question 4: Would you mind sharing your own success story of achieving alignment in your professional experience? Do you have any pitfalls or lessons learned you could share with our audience based on your experience?

    Challenge Question (send in your own challenge question)

    This week, our challenge question comes from a chemical manufacturer in Massachusetts, here it is:  “We manufacture chemicals mostly for waste water treatment plants. We have a big field sales team calling on municipalities and large manufacturers. Our marketing team is very small and they are responsible for making brochures, setting up trade shows and the website. Recently, our main competitor has been eating our lunch. We get a lot of RFQs, but we’re losing, even to higher prices.  When we ask the prospects why they are choosing the competitor, they say because they (the competitor) are very helpful and they really seem to know what they are doing. We make a better product and have a better company, but, apparently, we aren’t getting the message out. How can we get the message out and start winning business again?”

    • Learn how the competition is being helpful, find out what they are doing to create the perception. Find out why the customer has the perception that they know what they're doing. Close those gaps from the customer perspective.
    • Your competition is ahead of you and probably sharing information to get that credibility. You should start creating content and start being helpful with your own unique expertise.

    Takeaways:

    1. Start looking at your internal data and start mining your employees knowledge, experience and ideas.

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