How to Build a Best-in-Class Partnership Between Marketing and Sales

Alignment in an organization is essential for driving business growth. It is critical for operational plans, brand-related initiatives, and making well informed decisions about content and investments. So, what does a best-in-class partnership between marketing and an SDR team look like?

In a recent episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, Bill Glenn – VP of Marketing at ExtraHop – outlined how to successfully strengthen relationships with your marketing and SDR teams.  

Shared Goals

Marketing and sales should work together in creating shared goals. These shared goals create accountability and foster continual improvement. Alignment across teams also eliminates finger pointing within the organization. Some important questions to consider within your company are: What are our company shared goals? How do those goals relate specifically to revenue? How can we work together to achieve those goals?

Bill Glenn shared a way to maintain company alignment used at ExtraHop. The SDR and marketing teams meet weekly to think about shared goals, define them, and understand what is happening in each other’s worlds. “It helps to talk about what is working and what isn’t,” mentioned Glenn. These weekly meetings allow for more frequent feedback and cooperation between teams.

Building Trust

Trust is essential, especially when striving for cooperation and alignment in an organization. How do you build that trust between your Marketing and SDR teams?

Start with getting to know one another better. The social aspect of work is critical because you work so closely between your teams. Get to know one another personally and professionally. Have both formal as well as informal interactions with one another.

Another way to build trust is through regular communication. Teams who have stronger relationships and awareness of each other are more likely to cooperate and will find greater purpose in contributing to others. Frequent, positive interactions are a simple and effective way to build trust.

High-impact activities

There are certain activities in an organization that are high-impact and those that are low-impact. Once trust is established, it’s important to spend as much time on high-impact activities as possible. High-impact activities are those that drive profitability and success in an organization. They will likely be centered around core competencies.

Focusing on high-impact activities will leave a lasting impression on customers. In the podcast, Glenn emphasized that when buyers walk away from either a first marketing campaign engagement or a first conversation with an SDR, they should have a different mindset in their head. They should be thinking, “This person I just spoke with was really knowledgeable. This person understood my problems and this person seem to actually really care about me. They’re not just here to sell me something.”

Measuring Success

Creating trust and cooperation between marketing and sales will increase success within the organization. There will be greater alignment when working with customers. Lasting impressions and connections will also be made with prospects and key customers.

You can measure your success by asking two questions. First, how many of the people that we reach out to accept our requests for connections? Second, how many of those people are willing to have more than one or two initial conversations? Even if that means you’re not going to sell them something in the next 12 months, you can start to build that relationship early and help it develop over time. That creates trust and long-term play.

Glenn stated, “Professionals should feel confident when they have a conversation with us that not only we would love to sell them something, but we’re here first to help them enrich their lives with more valuable information.”

Put yourself in their shoes

Another valuable step you can take as marketers is to sit in with the sales organization and work with the SDR team. In doing that you will be able to understand sales more intimately. You will be able to understand their pain, the process they go though, and what motivates them. You will gain more appreciation for the work that they are doing.

SDR’s come with a lot of creative ideas. They’re closer to the customer in many ways and they hear things that marketers don’t. That’s the closed loop feedback. SDR’s will help make the marketing in the organization stronger in the long term.

Best-in-Class Results

At the end of the day, success in marketing and sales is a long game. Conversation quality and meaningful connection are the critical steps that help built trust and convert the customer. It’s all about value creation and value delivery as early in the funnel as we can. It’s about creating more true conversations and less transactional interchanges. It’s about getting to know the person on the other end of the line. The more trust you build early on, the more authentic you can be and the more value you can give early with the content you’re creating.

With a best-in-class partnership created between marketing and sales, best-in-class results will be achievable. Greater alignment and shared goals will drive motivation and success. Trust will be created across teams and will lead to greater cooperation and focus on high impact activities. And success will follow.