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Is your Close Rate Falling? It may be Alignment.

Synergy between your internal teams is crucial for a successful marketing strategy. Each department has a specific job when it comes to properly marketing your business, reaching the right people, and making sure it all looks good in the process. But, the efforts of each individual segment of a strategy can go to waste if each team isn’t aligned with the goals of the company as a whole. Communication and collaboration is the most important piece of the puzzle. Alignment between sales, marketing, and design can directly affect your close rates. Don’t leave yourself stuck wondering why you’re struggling to attract and close customers.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

If you’re struggling to close sales, consider the alignment between your sales and marketing departments. On one side, your sales team may not be selling in the same way that prospects are being marketed to. This requires some discussion to improve the sales process and get sales conversations more on target with marketing efforts. 

Prospects that have chosen to engage with your business will have a certain expectation of how you can help them solve their problem. If they’ve made it to a sales conversation, there’s an intent to buy. If your sales team does not sell your product or service in the same way that it is marketed, this can cause these prospects to look elsewhere.

Conversely, marketing may not be providing sales with properly qualified leads. If your marketing efforts are attracting a high number of closed/lost deals, it may be an issue with the marketing itself. This may include messaging and language, delivery methods, or gaps in the buyer’s journey. If your efforts aren’t in tune with your sales initiatives, you could just simply be attracting the wrong people. 

Marketing and Design Alignment

Marketing and Design go hand in hand. You can’t present yourself to your market without the help of a designer. Design goes beyond making something look nice. When it comes to digital marketing strategies, designers need to be able to communicate a message clearly and effectively. This includes having a clear user experience that can visually guide the buyer’s journey through visual queues, calls to action, and attractive design. If the partnership between marketing and design becomes disjointed, your design could be sending the wrong message and leading prospects down the wrong path. 

When it comes to a specific campaign, the two teams need to communicate and create a plan in order to effectively present that campaign on all of the relevant channels. It is up to design and marketing to work as a team to create the online user experience that your customers will progress through. 

Sales and Design Alignment

This alignment may be more obscure, because if sales and marketing are on the same page, the strategy should effectively trickle through the marketing team, into the designer's hands.

Overall, design needs to be able to effectively communicate how a prospect will interact with your business in order to make a purchase. This information should accurately represent the journey that a prospect should expect to take when entering the buying phase. These types of communications should be designed and written in a simple, easy-to-understand way. An example may be, on your website, describing the 3 to 5 steps a buyer will take in order to work with you. These steps should then be reflected in the sales process.

How Do We Align?

Each portion of your team should be able to work together and understand each other’s goals, and ultimately the goals of your company. Having misalignment between sales, marketing, and design can cause frustration and confusion as to why you’re not getting those sales. Here are a few tips to help you ensure that your teams are aligned and working together effectively to make the most out of your efforts.

  • Create a Buyer Persona Together - Your buyer persona is your target audience, your ideal customer. Creating a persona will help each department understand whom you are targeting. Collaborating during this process will ensure each team is on the same page and can provide insight from each team’s point of view.

    Your marketing team may have an in-depth grasp of the consumer, they’ve done the research, and they’ve engaged with prospects via email or social media. But your marketers may not have spoken directly with these consumers. The sales team can offer insights into your prospects’ biggest pain points, or the challenges they face that your business can or can’t solve. Marketing may be able to create a fairly accurate representation of your consumer, but with the personal insight that the sales team can provide, you can further refine your persona and ensure your teams are working together with the same consumer in mind.

  • Track Your Buyer’s Journey - Friction in the buyer’s journey is one sure way to lose the interest of a consumer. Your customers’ journey should be easy, and complete. Consider every avenue a consumer may want to take through your website and identify gaps that will cause friction.

    One major way to create these frictionless avenues is a proper call-to-action strategy. Offer clear calls to action that allow your prospect to engage with you right away. These direct calls to action include things like “Buy Now” or “Call Today”. These CTAs will provide the option to get started for prospects who are ready to take the next step. However, not everyone is ready to talk with you or buy your product. Transitional calls to action such as “Learn More” pages, whitepapers, and guides, are the items that help educate prospects about your product or service to guide them through the awareness stage, into the consideration stage.

    Using your CRM to track the interactions that your users have with your online presence offers the insight that you need to offer your solution to their problem. If you’re seeing a trend of users entering your homepage, visiting your about page, and exiting, you may consider that your website doesn’t offer enough information about how you help them, or at least, not in a clear way. Engaging information to help the prospect learn is key to winning them over.

    If your team determines that you have no transitional call to action strategy in place, it’s up to marketing and design to develop a plan to capture prospects that aren’t quite ready to engage with you. Creating free guides, charts, e-books, and anything that helps educate your prospects will offer them a way to get answers to the questions they may have, without a feeling of commitment. A bonus to a transitional CTA is that you can offer content in exchange for an email address or some other information. This is called gated content. This will allow you to continue to nurture your lead through email marketing.
  • Align Your Language - Oftentimes marketers and salespeople have different ideas of success. A marketer will find success in measurables such as website traffic, likes, email subscriptions, or video views. A salesperson’s measure of success is ultimately revenue.

    While these visions differ, there is one shared goal, to solve a customer’s problem with the solution that you offer. It is critical that your salespeople and marketers are customer-centric in their efforts and language in order to be aligned with one another.

    When a salesperson makes a call or conducts a sales meeting, they need to remember that the conversation isn’t about making the sale, it’s about solving a problem. When a marketer engages with a prospect via email, they should consider the person they are sending to. The email should offer value to the recipient, not just talk about how great your product or service is.

    Keeping consistent customer language will help reform individual sales and marketing goals into the shared goal, of solving problems. When both your sales and marketing teams position your business as a guide that helps solve your customers’ problem(s), this creates a unified message across the buyer's journey that instills confidence in the customer that you are the right choice for them.

Schedule with us Today!

We believe that working together from the beginning, provides you and us with the best chance for success. If you would like to learn more about getting your business into alignment we would love to hear from you. 


Brandon Dillon
About the Author
Brandon is the Graphic Designer at VDG. His favorite hobbies are ATV riding, mountain biking, kayaking, camping, and cooking.
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