How to Align Sales and Marketing with Science

Sales and marketing are essentially two sides of the same coin. Without marketing, sales would lack leads to sell to and content to nurture and convert them. Without sales, marketing would fall short of pushing prospects through the sales funnel and closing deals. At the end of the day, each of these teams is fighting toward the same goal – revenue – so why do they keep fighting each other?

58% of sales and marketing operations leaders rate their alignment with one another as “poor.” Of course, this sibling rivalry is not without consequences: studies show that the failure of these two teams to stay in sync costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue each year. On the flipside, companies where sales and marketing work in harmony are 67% better at closing deals!

So rather than pointing fingers and playing the blame game, leading companies are realizing that there is one sure-fire way to settle the score between these two teams: science. Here are a few ways that data science can help align sales and marketing teams on a single path to business success.

Integrate Systems

If you’ve been a part of any sales or marketing organization, you know how many arguments can erupt simply around what happened to a particular lead. With each team using its own tools for functions like email tracking and automation, important information can easily get stuck in a single system or slip through the cracks entirely. Case in point: 63% of sales and marketing operations leaders are unsatisfied with sales and marketing data alignment.

This is why leading businesses are leveraging next-generation sales and marketing platforms that easily integrate with one another. For example, Base’s new HubSpot integration features a full two-way sync wherein lead information, sources and status updates can be pushed between the two platforms. Not only does this keep data clean and up-to-date, but it also gives both sales and marketing the context they need to effectively customize prospects’ paths to purchase.

Measure Lead Yield

Sales reps field leads from a variety of marketing sources, like advertising, email, content and more. More often than not, they focus on those which they know are easiest to close, ignoring an average of 50% of marketing leads and likely leaving gobs of money on the table. Knowing which lead sources result in the most revenue for your business will show reps which leads to focus on, as well as help marketers prioritize these particular channels.

To do this, you need to know the lead yield of each marketing source. Lead yield is a simple way to compare the value one lead produces versus another on an equal playing field. The formula is as follows: Sales Revenue / # of Leads Generated = Lead Yield. For instance, if you want to know how much value you get in return for a lead from one source (A) versus another source (B), you can compare their respective lead yields as shown below:

Lead Yield

In this particular case, Source B has a higher lead yield than Source A. By focusing on generating more leads from Source B (marketing) and converting these leads (sales), revenue will increase.

Standardize Scoring

Marketing Qualified Leads, or MQLs, are leads that are considered “ready to be worked” by marketing and passed to sales to close. Of course, there are also sales qualified leads, or SQLs, which are leads that have been deemed acceptable by – you guessed it – sales. With only 1 in 2 companies claiming sales and marketing have a formal definition of a qualified lead, differences between what constitutes MQLs and SQLs are a main source of contention between these two groups.

To ensure that these two sets of qualification criteria are aligned, a standardized scoring process must be put in place. An effective lead scoring process doesn’t just consider how many pieces of content a prospect downloads or what types of contacts typically close; rather, it measures the combinations of multiple factors across the entire sales cycle, including industry, competitors considered, deal size, deal velocity, and more. To do this, you need a scientific sales platform with the ability to weigh the significance of these factors and codify them in a way that can be easily adapted into a lead scoring strategy that makes sense for both sales and marketing.

Bridging the Gap with Science

You can’t argue with science. For businesses to succeed in today’s highly competitive and data-driven landscape, sales and marketing must join forces by taking a scientific approach to problem solving. To learn more about how sales leaders can lead the charge to align sales and marketing, download our free eBook, From Art to Science: 5 Steps to Predictable Sales Growth.

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