This is an excerpt from our 17 Top Sales Trends for 2017.

Mastering sales and marketing alignment has been every company’s Achilles heel at one point or another. According to Terminus’ Director of Sales, Tonni Bennett, that alignment is going to be crucial for 2017. Because it’s so easy to start a business these days, competition is fierce and the market is more crowded than ever.

“It’s harder to stand out and to get the right people’s attention, and sometimes your buyer doesn’t know to look for you,” Bennett said. “If your buyer doesn’t know that you exist, how are they going to find you? You have to find a way to get to them.”

And that can only happen with successful sales and marketing alignment. Both camps must pursue accounts with a single plan: for outreach, for engagement and for customizing the buyer journey. “Sales really is going to start working more in conjunction with marketing on personalization,” Bennett said. Echoing Derek Grant’s prediction on sales outreach personalization, she added that an even stronger partnership between sales and marketing is in the forecast.

headshot “Instead of marketing just supporting sales at the beginning, there will be a deeper connection throughout the whole sales process. Sales teams that work with their marketing counterparts in the later stages of the sales cycle will stand out amongst their peers in this competitive marketplace.”
Tonni Bennett | Director of Sales at Terminus

As lead generation becomes harder and competition becomes fiercer, marketing and sales must make every effort to work together using both of their skill sets. “Sales needs to personalize their outreach, and marketing needs to support sales by helping them reach more of the stakeholders in that buying committee across as many channels as possible,” Bennett said. “There are more buyers involved in a buying decision than ever before and more channels that buyers use to access and research information. One-to-one sales engagement to an individual in an account is no longer sufficient to close a deal. When sales leans on that support from marketing, it allows them to be a lot more successful.”

What Next?

Bennett believes the solution for alignment is really quite simple: Sales and marketing need to target the same accounts, coordinate their efforts, and know what the other department is doing. With a deeper and stronger connection between the two departments throughout the entire sales process, sales is also going to have to learn to share their successes with marketing. “They’re going to get a huge benefit from having that partnership,” she said, “but they’re also going to have to give marketing some credit for the deals they’re closing. Expert marketing teams are starting to measure marketing contribution to pipeline and to revenue instead of just number of leads generated.”

Want more? Get our guide to all the 17 top sales trends for 2017 here.