What Is A Sales & Marketing Alignment Workshop & Why You Need To Hold One ASAP

6 min read
Dec 8, 2022 7:53:00 AM

It's no secret that sales and marketing alignment is crucial for any organization. When these two departments are on the same page, they can create a powerful force that drives results. But all too often, these two teams fall out of sync, resulting in missed opportunities and lower profits.

What's causing this problem? And more importantly, what can you do to ensure that your sales and marketing teams work together in the long run? In this post, we will briefly discuss why alignment is crucial before we take a deep dive into how a company-wide sales and marketing workshop can kick off a long-term culture change that will put everyone on the same page and cause them to fully buy into the mission, resulting in much higher quality leads, faster sales cycles, and more deals closed. 

Topics Covered In This Article:

Why Is Sales & Marketing Alignment Crucial Now?

What Is Sales & Marketing Alignment?

Sales and marketing alignment refers to the process of coordinating sales and marketing efforts to ensure that both departments are working towards the same goals. This is primarily done by setting common targets (e.g., buyer personas or ideal customer profiles), agreeing on messaging, and sharing resources. By aligning their efforts, businesses can drastically improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

Why Is It Important Now?

This is crucial now more than ever because of the way customers buy products and services. Today's buyers do their own research online, and it is so in-depth that they are already 80% through their purchase decision by the time they contact sales. This means marketing has a much more significant influence on the buyer for much longer than sales. As a result, it's vital that both sales and marketing are on the same page to provide the correct information to buyers at the right time.

A recent LinkedIn study showed that 87% of sales and marketing leaders say collaboration between sales and marketing enables critical business growth. On the other hand, two out of three companies say that poor alignment between sales and marketing has hurt their business.

Why So Many Companies Struggle With Alignment

If sales and marketing alignment is so critical, how can it be that 43% of companies feel that their sales and marketing teams are either not working well together or are completely out of sync, and only about one-third of companies have effective sales and marketing alignment?

The answer is simple. It requires a foundational reset of your company values and corporate culture from business-oriented to customer-oriented. If everyone in the company, from the CEO to the receptionist, is focused on what their customers need and want, then everyone unites behind one single mission. And if you have one common goal to work towards, alignment comes naturally. 

💡Key Takeaway:

While most companies agree that sales and marketing alignment is essential in today's Digital Buyer-driven world, only a few have effectively aligned both teams because successful sales and marketing alignment requires a shift in corporate culture from business-oriented to customer-oriented.

How Can A Sales & Marketing Alignment Workshop Help?

Two out of three change management initiatives fail, mainly because they never had executive buy-in and bottom-up support, or they ignored the corporate culture. According to PWC, 72% of senior managers report that their culture helps successful change initiatives to happen.

Sales and marketing alignment is no exception. It is almost impossible to get sales and marketing aligned organically by implementing small steps at a time. We have found that the best way is to hold a one-day, company-wide workshop to get everyone on the same page and behind one common goal. 

It won't magically align your sales and marketing team in just a few hours. But after the workshop, everyone (even the most traditional salesperson) understands:

  • How the Digital Buyer has changed the way people buy,
  • How that impacts what marketing and sales need to do to be successful,
  • Why alignment is crucial to the success of both teams, and
  • What their role is going forward.

💡Key Takeaway:

Workshops are a highly effective way to kick-start the sales and marketing alignment process as it gets everyone in the company on the same page and behind a common goal.

What Does A Sales & Marketing Alignment Workshop Look Like?

We found that having a one-day workshop works best for a sales and marketing alignment workshop if it is held in person. This workshop can also be held virtually, but we found it easier to break it into two 3.5-hour sessions.

Here is a sample agenda we have successfully used in the past:

  • 8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast
  • 9:00 - 9:15 Workshop Expectations
  • 9:15 - 10:45 Part 1: The Digital Buyer
  • 10:45 - 11:00 Break 
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Part 2: The Big 5
  • 12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
  • 13:30 - 15:00 Part 3: The Selling 7
  • 15:00 - 15:30 Break
  • 15:30 - 17:00 Executive Debriefing

We start the day with breakfast to allow everyone time to catch up with each other, get some coffee, and get all fueled up for workshop day. The workshop starts with setting expectations because we are about to get down to some serious business.

After that, the workshop is divided into three main parts: the Digital Buyer, The Big 5, and The Selling 7. This is an effective cadence of what is happening and why we need to change, what we need to change, and how we are putting this into action. Between each section are plenty of breaks to check emails and get refreshed.

Before the end of the day, we have an executive debrief in which we sit down with the leadership team and the sponsor of the initiative to discuss the outcomes of the whole workshop and the next steps. 

💡Key Takeaway:

In-person sales and marketing alignment workshops can be held in one day, while virtual workshops are more effective when broken up into two 3.5-hour sessions. Always set expectations first and end the day with an executive debrief.

Do You Need An Outside Coach, Or Can You Hold The Workshop Yourself?

We have been holding workshops for six years now, and we see a big difference between holding a workshop yourself and bringing in a coach to do it for you. A coach isn't perceived as a threat or someone with an agenda; they come to help improve something we are all struggling with. 

This often expresses itself in a common reaction we get after a workshop. Usually, the person who requested the workshop (often a marketing person) says: "I have been saying this for years, and no one would listen. And now that we had the workshop, everyone is on board. I don't understand it!" 

No, it isn't that we say anything extraordinary that finally changes their minds. We simply enable your employees to discover the story for themselves as we guide them through the process. Because we are an external force coming in, people are usually more open-minded and willing to listen. Coming from a coach, the message will always be perceived differently and won't sound like "someone from marketing trying to convince everyone."

💡Key Takeaway:

Sales and marketing alignment workshops are much more effective when facilitated by an outside coach, as difficult messages are often received more easily when they come from the outside.

How Much Does A Coach-Facilitated Workshop Cost?

Generally, a coach who holds a similar workshop to what we have described above costs between $2,500 and $10,000, depending on the location and the speaker. Hiring a 3P Creative Group coach to hold this sales and marketing alignment workshop requires a once-off investment of $4,950, excluding travel expenses. 

Because many of our clients are getting remote and virtual employees together specifically for this workshop, it can make sense to combine it with other workshops. This particular workshop can be combined with our Value Proposition & Messaging Workshop to jump-start your marketing refresh! 

What Outcomes Should I Expect From The Workshop? When Will I See Any Results?

By the end of the workshop, you and your team will walk away with a clear understanding of:

  • How the Digital Buyer impacts your sales and marketing teams and why alignment is crucial,
  • How both departments can work effectively together to build a high-performing, content-driven strategy,
  • What high-impact topics you should tackle first, and
  • What steps you need to take internally to build a successful marketing & sales program.

Many companies who do a workshop with us ask us if we could help them implement these steps. At the moment, we are transitioning from being a marketing agency to being a sales and marketing coaching and training firm. This enables us to help you develop the confidence and core competencies in-house to implement the They Ask, You Answer methodology successfully within 12-24 months. After graduating from the program, you never have to rely on a marketing agency for growth. 

How Can I Get Started?

If you want to host a sales and marketing alignment workshop for your organization, please speak to an advisor today, or check out our full workshop page here. Once you do, we will arrange a quick call to see if we are a good fit for your team and answer any questions you might have. If we both decide to move forward, we will schedule a kick-off call to discuss the details.

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