3 Best Practices to Ensure Channel Sales and Marketing Alignment

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In today’s complex selling world, marketing and sales are less siloed than ever before—and that’s great news. Whether they’re putting together the marketing collateral or out in the field talking to clients and signing deals, marketers and sales staff are both engaged in promotion, and both employ a ton of creativity to do it.

But not every supplier’s business practices have caught up to the ‘un-siloed’ realities of their sales and marketing teams. If a supplier isn’t set up to facilitate collaboration between channel sales and channel marketing, it can fail to take advantage of the unique creative abilities and perspectives that each side can bring to the table when working in concert.   

That’s why it’s critical to get your sales and marketing teams’ goals aligned. The following best practices will help you think about your sales team and marketing team not as two separate silos, but as complementary teams with aligned strategies both aiming at the same goal. Most likely, they’re already thinking along those lines anyway, so these tips will help you enable them both to thrive—together and on your behalf.

1. Use Channel Marketing Materials to Push Conversions

Marketing materials may have a huge brand-building impact, but at least some portion of your marketing should be used to bolster what your sales staff is trying to do directly. That means having both the marketing and sales teams in the room together when strategies are built out and initiatives are created to get input from both sides as to what will be most effective—and give insight to both sides as to what their roles will be in executing the campaigns.

Having sales and marketing aligned prevents confusion on the part of partners, keeping them from receiving disparate information from two different sides of the same business. But the real positive potential of having both the sales and marketing teams involved in structuring campaigns lies in the fact that it enables a business to build out marketing strategies that push conversions. The marketing team can bring a different perspective about how to frame the sales team’s successes and offerings. So having the sales and marketing teams working together on marketing materials that move potential partners to complete a conversion is an important goal for alignment.

2. Use the Sales Team as Recon for the Marketing Team

Just as the marketing team can help the sales team move product, the sales team can help the marketing team understand what’s going on in the field. Salespeople have unparalleled insight into what behaviors the supplier needs out of partners. They deal with their leads directly and lock down those contracts, and so they are uniquely positioned to let the marketing team know what is happening out there in the real world.

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So while channel marketing may be seeing the analytics on a given campaign’s performance—using the metrics on A/B tests to hone their promotional materials and so on—the sales team can serve as a fount of auxiliary information to bring into the fold and inform marketing endeavors. Folding the sales team’s knowledge into the marketing team’s repertoire can help improve not only sales-directed marketing collateral, but can give the marketing team new and more effective ideas for the brand as a whole.  

3. Use the Right Channel Sales Solution

The items we’ve explored so far have been about opening up your business to let your sales and marketing teams collaborate in the best way possible. But there remains a practical, nuts-and-bolts question. You have two teams that want to work together—you have them in the same conference room talking. But when they get back to their desks, how do you set them up to take their ideas and keep working together to bring them to life?

For that, the right collaborative tools are a must. In order for the marketing and sales teams to work together—and work effectively with leads and partners—everyone needs to be able to communicate effectively and in one place. Software is the glue that holds a channel program together, and that keeps sales and marketing aligned.

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