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Inbound Marketing with Sales and Marketing Alignment

By Randy Malmquist

COO & Partner + Growth Marketing Expert

Fun Fact: Sneakerhead

Inbound Marketing is the evolution of B2B sales processes, but if we are not aligning our sales and marketing we are not going to maximize our ROI. Sales enabelment is the best way to operate our sales efforts and keep up with today's empowered buyers .

70% of the buying decision is made before the prospect even talks to the sales rep.

In order to start a good sales enablement strategy we need three things, clear goals, a target buyer and a content strategy. We need to increase the time reps spend talking to qualified buyers and minimize the time spent with unqualified buyers.



Shared revenue goals are the single most important piece. Marketing and Sales have to agree on goals and metrics. Unified revenue goals are where we will start, because revenue is the most important metric for all businesses. "in every successful transformation effort that I have seen, the guiding coalition develops a picture of the future that is relatively easy to communicate" John Kotter.

We want to be the largest recruitment growth agency in Arizona. This big vision can be achieved by setting some short term goals. Creating revenue goals that are tied to metrics and calculate how much time and effort it will take. Get Marketing and Sales equally excited about these goals.

A shared Service Level Agreement (SLA) will help us determine how many leads are needed to achieve these revenue goals. We need to know the average conversion rate from lead to opportunity, average conversion of opportunity to closed and the average value of a sale. A good SLA will create a recipe for sustained growth once it has a solid buy in from both teams. Even a very basic SLA will set you apart from your competition in most cases.

A weekly Smarketing Meeting is a highly effective way to keep Marketing and Sales departments communicating with each other. Both team should be interdependent, meaning that they need each other to complete their regular core tasks. These meetings will encourage review of previous shared projects, outcomes and results, and collaborate for future projects and goals. 


Buyer Persona



Buyer Personas and Ideal customer profiles are a fundamental part of the inbound marketing methodology and is equally important throughout Sales and Marketing alignment. A clear definition of who our ideal customer is based on data. An ideal customer broadly describes your target market, and a Buyer Persona defines the specific type of people in that market.

We should be identifying a category of people who are going to benefit from our product or service. These personas have to be created by asking your actual customers and getting their perspectives.

Everyone who has worked in sales knows that sometimes Marketing does not deliver leads that are qualified. We need to agree on fit and sales readiness. Therefore; we need an ideal customer profile.

Lead scoring, is creating a score based on actions a customer has taken during the buying process. A list of attributes can be plugged in to your CRM and leads can be ranked based on their lead score.

Marketing and Sales must agree on the most important actions in order to create a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). Developing a theory and making improvements will eventually get you a usable lead score. What does sales consider a qualified lead? Marketing qualified leads may not be sales qualified, but if we can get both teams to agree we can transform the results of our teams. 

Who do we want to be a hero to? When we know the answer to this question it will give us a huge competitive advantage. We are a hero to small to medium size staffing firms that are looking to scale with inbound marketing.

We should also learn the power of no, meaning that we can't help everyone. Part of developing our target market is knowing who we don't want to do business with.


Content Strategy



We must solve the problems that our customers have. This is what content strategy is. We will create content that our customers are searching for. We are teachers and we need to empower people with knowledge. The glue between Marketing and Sales. If our marketing efforts aren't helping us get more sales, it is time to focus on that.

If we are able to solve problems, teach our customers, or increase sales we are doing better than 80% of our competitors. When we create content that adds value throughout the sales process life becomes so much easier. 

The more education you can provide a prospect with before they talk to sales, the more qualified they will be when they get there.