You’ve heard all about how sales and marketing need to be aligned to truly be efficient with your company growth, right?. Maybe you’ve even taken some steps to improve upon that. But how do you know if these two sides in your company are truly aligned? Well, here are seven ways you can gauge if alignment is really happening in your organization.

1. Both sides can speak Lead Stages fluently.

Lead stages are an important component of the buying cycle. It is imperative for both sales and marketing to know where a prospect is in that cycle so that they know who should be doing what. Stages definition that is created and signed off by both marketing and sales is critical to ensure the right processes are being followed and messaging is occurring at the proper cadence. When the two groups can talk fluently about every lead stage, that is a great sign.

2. Marketing can and does perform demos.

When I bring this idea up to organizations, some people look at me as if I come from another planet. “This is a sales or sales engineering function!”, they say, and “How could I possibly expect Marketing to be as competent as Sales on a demo?”. But when you look deeper, and ignore old paradigms that maybe existed, it makes a lot of sense. Marketers are the ones writing content, whether it be blog posts, case studies or spec sheets. Shouldn’t they know the offering as well as sales does? Organizations that don’t embrace this to me are stuck in the past and need to embrace this as a necessity for a well-rounded marketing team.

3. The teams are actually on the same floor, and maybe even work next to each other!

How many times do you see sales and marketing on separate floors, and possibly even separate buildings within an organization. Why is this? Shouldn’t the Revenue Team (because that is marketing and sales’ goal at the end of the day, right?) be in close proximity? Now, if there are multiple offices located across the globe that is different, but in each office the sales and marketing teams should not be separated. They should be constantly communicating about things happening in their world.

4. The VP of Sales (or CRO) and the VP of Marketing (or CMO) actually get along!

This is a little tongue-in-cheek but too many times you see the two heads of these groups not on the same page, sniping at each other, and passing that “message” down to their team members. This does not lead to a healthy relationship between the teams, obviously. Different viewpoints should always be encouraged but not to the point where it drives a wedge in your organization.

5. Your MAP and CRM are tightly integrated.

This is where technology can really help align sales and marketing. A seamless integration gives sales the visibility they need to understand the prospect better, whether it be lead score, digital behaviors, or messaging they have received. Selling to the lead based on where they are in the cycle makes the salesperson more efficient, and in providing feedback to marketing they can continually improve on processes, scoring rules and lead stage migration. It is very important for companies to choose MAPs that integrate with their CRM.

6a. Sales uses terms such as:

    i. “Nurture”

    ii. “Conversion”

    iii. “Buyer Persona”

6b. Marketing uses terms such as:

    i. “BANT”

    ii. “Proposal”

    iii. “Close!”

Think about that. These terms were taboo to the other side not too long ago. The “stay on your side of the fence” philosophy was firmly in place, and each team knew not to infringe on the the other. Today? It’s totally different. It’s dogs and cats living together , without the mass hysteria. It’s truly great to see marketing and sales speaking the same language.

And finally, the 7th way you know that sales and marketing are TRULY aligned:

7. Marketers are included in President’s Club!

This one is the most forward thinking I think I have ever seen in organizations, and I love this. President’s Club in most organizations is generally for the top x% of sales performers in the organization, where they get to spend a week in some tropical paradise because of their performance the previous year. Recently I have seen a few organizations who are now including top marketing performers as well. With technology such as marketing automation, goals and metrics for marketers are as easy to do as quotas for salespeople.

There you have it. 7 simple ways to check your alignment in your organization.

How else do you gauge your sales/marketing alignment? Let me know about some other ways you check your organizational alignment.

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