The goal of marketing and sales alignment is to create a cohesive strategy that leads to company success. In order for this to happen, each team must understand their role, and more importantly, how they can work together.
In a recent survey by Fullfunnel, 58% of B2B companies said aligning sales and marketing was a challenge. This can lead to alienated prospects and lost deals for your healthcare or medtech company. In fact, Harvard Business Review says this lack of alignment can cost businesses more than $1 trillion each year.
Here’s a look at what each department does and how they can help each other out.
What should marketing be doing?
Think of the funnel. Marketing is responsible for the top – awareness, interest, and consideration.
Marketing is more focused on the one-to-many relationship. They’re sitting in the corporate office. The primary message (positioning and UVP) is created and then distributed to a larger audience through different channels.
The main goal of marketing is to create awareness and generate leads for products or services. This is done through various channels such as content marketing, social media, email marketing, and more.
Sadly, data from a Fullfunnel survey said 41% of marketing leads don’t convert to sales and that paid acquisition typically generates low-quality leads. Whether the deal closes is not typically marketing’s problem though (huge issue!).
The old way: Once a lead is generated, it’s then handed off to sales. The job is done.
Think about gated eBooks – what is the intent there? Are they ready to hand off? Are they the right person? Are they even slightly interested in purchasing your medical device or did they just want some content?
The new way: Marketing can help find the right prospect (not just any email) and nurture over the longer medtech/healthcare sales cycle to get the lead warmer.
What should sales be doing?
Think again of the funnel. This time we’re looking at the lower half for sales. They’re responsible for intent, evaluation, and purchase.
Sales is more focused on the one-to-one relationship. They’re in the field. Accounts are researched and follow-up outreach is personalized.
The main goal of sales is to convert leads into customers. This is done through various channels such as phone calls, emails, face-to-face meetings, and more.
In the same Fullfunnel survey, 46% of B2Bs said they struggled with low deal close rates and long cycles. That’s not surprising. As we discussed, many of the marketing-generated leads don’t convert and not everyone is ready to buy in the moment.
The old way: Get a lead from an eBook download, email them twice and give up.
Data shows that 80% of prospects say “no” four times before saying “yes”. However, sales teams don’t have the luxury of time to spend all their time following up with cold leads when there are hot opportunities to close.
The new way: work to properly nurture prior, in coordination with marketing, using the right content and resources. Marketing can handle the top of the funnel, only turning over the lead when there’s real intent (we call this someone “raising their hand”) while sales handles deals ready to close. Spoiler: this is the Emerged process.
How to align sales and marketing teams
Set up a tech stack for success
Marketing works best when it’s able to track leads through the entire marketing and sales process from beginning to end. This allows them to see which marketing campaigns are most effective in generating customers. Sales also benefits from this tracking because they know which leads are worth pursuing.
You’ll want an ESP or marketing automation tool (owned by marketing) to set up email flows to nurture your leads. The goal is to turn them from a cold lead to a viable lead, going from MQL to SQL.
Having a CRM system (owned by sales) is necessary to track closed/won deals. This will track opportunities in the sales pipeline and the 1-1 engagement with current and prospective customers.
It’s important for healthcare and medtech companies to have systems in place that allow marketing and sales to work together. Tools should be synced so this information can be shared between the two departments and everyone is on the same page.
Talk… it’s free!
Holding regular meetings between marketing and sales can help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.
Lay the foundation initially
Who are your customers? Align on your ideal customer profile. What are their challenges? How can we meet their needs?
Bonus: ensure you’re not targeting just one individual – it’s usually a buying committee with gatekeepers, influencers, and decision-makers in the healthcare industry. Each will have a different need or what they expect from your company.
For medtech marketing outreach, an ABM approach could be successful here to ensure you’re targeting the right decision-makers (a challenge for 52%). Create a prospect list both teams agree upon and target them in email, advertising, direct mail, and more (take a look at how we do it).
Revisit marketing and sales performance
For results, sales can share what deals are actually closing. What are the learnings and does our profile or messaging need adapted? What are prospects asking? Is there anything we can proactively address to remove hesitancies?
Prepare content to answer the questions (marketing, we’re looking at you), then seed it over the long sales cycle and buyer journey easily using your email software.
Initially, you can share blogs, articles, and videos to generate awareness. Then as they enter the interest and consideration stage, start to share eBooks, case studies, and tutorials on your medical device. That way, once a lead is turned over to sales it’s more ready to close.
Align on your KPIs
Teams are often measured differently. Marketing on brand awareness or lead quantity and sales on deals closed or new logos. It can create the core problem when it comes to company success.
What does this mean when working together?
Think about pipeline metrics – can your marketing team track scheduled demos instead of eBook downloads? Can sales report back on how many leads were qualified to evaluate success? Your KPI will depend on your company, but at the end of the day, there should be more of an overlapping agreed-upon KPI.
By working together and communicating effectively, both teams can help the company reach its goals. If data and KPIs are aligned, it will be easier for your company to measure success. At the end of the day, both teams should keep the same end goal in mind – company revenue. The work is how you get there.