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How To Get Buy-In For Effective Sales & Marketing Alignment

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To adopt a new sales and marketing alignment process, you need buy-in from each person impacted by the change. Here are the 5 steps to secure stakeholder buy-in.

Patty Parobek, Director of Integrated Marketing Strategy
August 18, 2020

As digital marketers, we know that sales and marketing alignment gets us better results. That can include everything from shorter sales cycles and reduced spend to higher conversions and improved win rates.

To help marketers align with sales and prove the value of digital marketing, we created the guide, 5 Data Exchanges Between Sales & Marketing To Increase Win Rates.

When you’re ready to align sales and marketing by following this data exchange guide, the next step is getting approval from critical stakeholders. Here are the steps to secure stakeholder buy-in before kicking off the new process with your sales and marketing teams.

1. Identify The Key Stakeholders

Identify every single person—from the top down—who will benefit from the new process for exchanging data between sales and marketing. Don’t leave anyone out. Include everyone from the CEO to the IT Manager responsible for CRM updates. Also determine which of the stakeholders can “champion” the new process and lead it from adoption to success.

2. Identify Each Stakeholder’s Barriers & Motivators

Determine the benefits to each stakeholder and what they’ll be most excited about. Also think about what would motivate the stakeholder to quickly champion the process. Or, what may prevent them from adopting it? For example, the CEO may be most interested in closing more sales transactions. While the CRM Manager may be motivated by the opportunity to elevate the importance of his role in the company.

3. Create A Custom Communication Approach For Each Stakeholder

Develop a communication plan with your key stakeholders in mind. Recognize that personality and communication styles are different of each person. Some stakeholders prefer a to-the-point conversation with data and statistics, while others want the whole story with background, context and longer conversation.

4. Meet With Each Stakeholder Individually To Get Feedback

Meet with each stakeholder one-on-one. Take their feedback to heart and incorporate it into the rollout plan. Adding their ideas and feedback makes stakeholders feel like active participants in the structuring of the process. Regardless of the level of participation, co-authoring the plan gives stakeholders a sense of ownership, contributes to faster buy-in and provides motivation to champion the plan.

5. Bring The Stakeholders Together For A Group Conversation

When you meet with each stakeholder individually, most should onboard with the new process before you meet with the entire group. However, there will typically be one or two standouts who are opposed to the new process or on the fence. By meeting with the stakeholders as a group once the majority has bought into the plan, you’ll make stronger forward progress. That’s because the group can address any remaining concerns of the stand-out stakeholders and persuade them to adopt the new process.

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Implementing the new process outlined in 5 Data Exchanges Between Sales & Marketing To Increase Win Rates affects anyone who is invested in the goals of the new strategy. In any B2B company, big or small, the most critical next step to adopt this process is to get buy-in from each person impacted by the change. When stakeholders buy into the new process, they become its champions and the glue that holds the new strategy together.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

With 10+ years of experience in marketing, Patty specializes in search, lead generation, and a customer-first strategy across the holistic buyer journey.

Patty Parobek, Director of Integrated Marketing Strategy

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