Did you know that effective sales and marketing alignment can help your business lift revenue by 129%? That’s a pretty powerful result – and it’s within your grasp too. All it takes is a plan.
Unfortunately, many high-growth businesses are stuck in a continuous cycle of misalignment that makes it hard to create – and then stick to – a plan. Luckily, realignment is possible, and there’s a proven process that can help you achieve it (even if you’re veered off track – or were never on track to begin with).
A big thanks to align.me founder and CEO Hugh Macfarlane for sharing his wisdom with us:
What is misalignment and how does it happen?
Simply put, misalignment is when different people in a business don’t have the same understanding of strategy, goals, or other business measures. This can then cascade into a whole host of problems that slow down your business.
Three common causes of misalignment are:
1. A broad ecosystem
Many high-growth businesses outsource some or almost all of their functions. Departments like marketing, HR, and finance may all be outsourced to agencies. So, businesses will have a whole host of contributions from different companies with their own cultures, processes, and values. It becomes fairly easy to get things tangled up with such a broad ecosystem. (Don’t worry, we’re not advocating that you fire you’re agencies!)
2. Poor communication
High-growth businesses have a lot going on – but that doesn’t mean that their people are being kept informed about it all. Without processes in place to communicate effectively, employees are bound to be left behind or confused by new changes in how the business functions.
3. No documentation
Whilst this may be similar to poor communication, there is also the element of businesses not giving employees access to documentation regarding company goals, strategies, and measures. An employee that can’t review documentation may understandably not be able to remember things correctly or stray off course.
How to tell if your business is misaligned
Misalignment can be hard to spot when you’re not looking for it. Many businesses don’t even realise they’re misaligned. But there are three very common symptoms we see in all businesses that don’t have true alignment:
1. Repeated tasks & inefficient processes
Businesses will find that their people often have to re-do tasks and projects because they’ve been misdirected. This inefficiency can slow the entire business down as employees spend time fixing errors and trying to discover the cause of them.
2. Inability to meet goals or build clear strategies
Businesses are distracted as they fix mistakes caused by a lack of clarity of goals and strategies. If one employee has a different concept of a task to another, they’re not going to be able to work together to finish the project correctly. This ineffectiveness holds businesses back from delivering their best work.
3. Delivery gaps
When a business is hampered by inefficiency and ineffectiveness, there are opportunities for gaps to emerge and cause vulnerabilities. Unhappy customers, losing to competitors, and a loss of profits due to delays are just some of the vulnerabilities businesses are opening themselves up to if they’re misaligned.
The key to achieving effective sales & marketing alignment
The good news is, while misalignment can cause some real challenges, it’s not uncommon – and it’s not too difficult to overcome.
There’s a single, solid process that you can follow to get your whole team on the same page. We’ve used this process to help hundreds of high-growth businesses realign themselves, with great results.
Alignment can be achieved through having a common understanding of four important things:
1. Objectives 2. Strategy 3. Tactics 4. Measures
Agreement across the board on these four elements is the foundation high-growth businesses need to achieve alignment and put themselves on the path to growth. Starting this process doesn’t need to be difficult either.
- First, get all the stakeholders in a room (virtually or in person), then;
- Have a guide (a chosen internal leader or an external expert) to walk the group stakeholders through the importance of alignment and the purpose of the session; and finally
- Discuss the four key elements and gain buy-in and agreement from all stakeholders
This might sound obvious, but simply clarity often does. Using this process, you can achieve true business alignment in just a few days (depending on the size or your group and the length of the sessions). And you can start enjoying the benefits straight away, too.
Some of the most beneficial outcomes we’ve observed are:
A business plan with purpose – that keeps the team on track
after undergoing the alignment process, you’ll emerge with a clear plan of action for the next few years. This plan will be accessible and editable – perfect for stakeholders to revisit and then share with their people. It gets everyone on the same page and can keep your business accountable and on track.
A team that works better and smarter (not harder)
It will become clear very quickly how much faster your business and people can work when there’s no confusion about strategies and tactics. By having a clear and effective sales and marketing plan, your people will be able to focus on their roles with no distractions.
Quantifiable sales and marketing lift
With a plan that brings clarity to every level of the business, you’ll start seeing results. The companies for whom we’ve measured outcomes have, on average:
- Doubled their pipeline year on year
- Lifted their marketing-generated revenue by 129%
- Increased their lead acceptance by 108%
It all starts with a plan
If your high-growth business is being held back by misalignment, then it might be time to get everyone in a room together to get realigned.
This is certainly a process you can drive for yourself. But if you’d like a little help, our expert team works with high-growth businesses every week to help them get on the same page to start achieving their goals. In fact, we created Funnel Plan and Funnel Camp for this exact purpose. Whether you chose to DIY your plan or want an expert facilitator to walk you through it, this is a proven, collaborative process that helps get everyone realigned towards the same goals and objectives – and gives you the resources to share your plan with the rest of the team.
Contact us to discuss how we might help your team get realigned.