With so many conflicting priorities, is it realistic to align your sales and marketing teams in 2017? Although it may be easy to claim that these parts of your business work together like ‘peanut butter and jelly’, is there any truth to it? For the majority of businesses I would argue this is in fact a falsehood.

As a Product Marketing Specialist at Vidyard I know the struggle of sales and marketing alignment first-hand. First, let’s talk about why this struggle exists. And then I’ll talk about the good stuff—why you don’t need to fear, because there is technology to help bridge the inevitable gap that will, or already does exist in your organization.

Why is alignment so tricky?

An endless wishlist

No matter what assets the marketing team creates, the sales organization will never be satisfied (and rightly so). There is an endless list of blogs that COULD be written, proposal decks that SHOULD be built, and videos that MIGHT be effective in helping push a few deals across the line. The question is not what should be created, it is why! From the marketer’s perspective, they are not likely measured on marketing qualified leads (MQLs) but rather on the ‘quality’ of the work, or how well it aligns with brand. Right from the get-go there are two groups of people being measured on very different criteria. Different criteria coupled with an endless wishlist leads to dysfunction within the organization.

Focus on creation, not on distribution

Equipping a sales team with the best content is very likely on every marketer’s list, though maybe not at the top—let’s call it a ‘nice to have’. Perhaps some of you reading this post have wondered at one point why your sales teams can’t seem to bother locating and sending collateral out to prospects. That being said, how often has your marketing team sat down and discussed a distribution strategy for all external-facing documents? That could ease the process for a sales team that should be focused on what they do best—closing deals! I know it may be hard to hear, but uploading every piece of content you have created into Google Drive is not the long-term solution.

Efficiency over everything

It’s vital to put content where the sales team lives to minimize the time spent retrieving assets. Since every minute of every day can be used towards closing the next deal, they cannot (and should not) have to spend hours of the day sourcing out the right content to use in their cadences. At Vidyard, our team had purchased a piece of technology ease this process; however, it didn’t fully integrate into the team’s daily habits and as a result it never got used. Hard lesson to learn, but a worthwhile one nonetheless. If you are a decision-maker looking to bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams, avoid adding separate workflows as the sales team will, without a doubt, choose the path of least resistance.

What can you do to strengthen your ‘smarketing’?

To start the healing process, and begin to bring these teams together, try the following steps:

  1. Sit down with individuals throughout your sales organization to understand their preferred workflows, and the current gaps that they are experiencing with respect to marketing content.
  2. Since focusing on the distribution strategy for content is paramount, try creating a marketing content directory based not only on the type of content, but on when it should be used throughout a sales cadence.
  3. Evaluate your current sales and marketing technology stack on how well it fits into your sales team’s daily habits, and back away from the solutions that simply do not. Begin to source out alternative products that solve for the gaps that have now been revealed for specific content distribution methods.
  4. As a sales and marketing group, determine the most effective content types that will help sales close more business moving forward, and allocate internal resources accordingly.

We’ve discovered, at Vidyard and among our customers and prospects, that video has been the winning content type, resulting in many organizations investing in software that empowers sales teams to create, send, and track video right from their inbox. As your marketing team begins or continues to create awesome pieces of content, your sales team will inevitably have a few questions. Where can I access these videos? What videos can I use while prospecting? Am I allowed to send out videos of myself to prospects?

With ViewedIt Enterprise, your marketing teams will be able to extend the reach of the videos they are tirelessly creating by equipping sales with an approved content library that they can quickly choose from right within their preferred email client. This will help marketers benefit from more MQLs, increased budget for the next set of videos they create, and the pure joy of hearing how their incredible pieces of content helped close more deals each day. On the sales side, they can finally deliver information to their prospects in the form they wish to consume it (video, of course) and can get real-time analytics based on each prospect’s viewing behavior. Nothing like a win-win, and a great start to helping sales and marketing teams work together to kick off a strong 2017!

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