How To Align Sales & Marketing In Manufacturing

Keeping your sales and marketing strategies on the same page can often feel like an overwhelming challenge, especially when you hire a marketing agency. For manufacturing companies, despite the common goal of driving business growth and expanding projects with current customers while acquiring new ones, it can be difficult to align both sales and digital marketing strategies. For many, lead generation often results in misaligned strategies, missed opportunities, and organization-wide frustrations.

But manufacturing marketing doesn’t have to be this big challenge we’re making it out to be. When sales and marketing teams collaborate, supporting the other’s efforts and strategies while enacting their own is possible. With one singular goal of organizational alignment, increased lead generation, stronger customer relationships, and a boost in customer acquisition and manufacturing business can be possible.

Understanding Challenges Manufacturing Companies Face

Manufacturing companies face a unique set of challenges that can complicate their business operations and growth strategies. These challenges range from aligning internal teams to managing intricate product details, all while navigating long sales cycles. Addressing these issues is important for optimizing lead generation efforts and ensuring sustainable business success.

Different Objectives for Different Roles

Often, one of the greatest hurdles for organizations with separate sales and marketing teams is that each team has its own set of priorities, objectives, and metrics. Your sales team will be focused on attracting and nurturing potential customers while marketing for manufacturing might be focused on protecting customer loyalty while keeping your brand top of mind. 

With different objectives for each role, misalignment in sales and marketing efforts is common and can be a serious pain point for manufacturing businesses.

Long Sales Cycles

Many of our manufacturing clients say the same thing, “our sales cycle is long.” 

Some product sales take up to two years to come to fruition, so it can be difficult when sales is playing the long game and marketing is tackling the right now

This extended timeline can create a disconnect between sales and marketing activities, so aligning these timeframes and teams is essential for developing a winning lead generation strategy.

Complex Products

Manufactured products can often be complex and complicated to understand. With varieties of materials, coatings, finishes, and manufacturing processes available, the buyer journey often includes some form of product education, which might not get passed along to all members of your team. This makes it difficult to sell and market your products, especially when your sales team is positioning your products one way, while marketing is positioning them another.

Marketing Strategies for Alignment

It doesn’t have to be difficult to align your sales and marketing teams, giving your organization one concrete goal: amplifying your current business goals through sales and marketing efforts. The manufacturing industry is a dynamic space, so establishing aligned sales and marketing strategies can help your organization stand out within the noise of the manufacturing space and make an impact.

Create Unified Goals

When developing business goals for your manufacturing organization, consider both focuses of your sales and marketing teams. Creating clear, unified goals makes it easier for both teams to develop strategies that reach the goal in mind while achieving each team’s individual metrics.

When creating goals for both your sales and marketing teams to strive toward, you might wish to consider:

  • Who is your target audience? How does that relate to your ideal customer? Do you have established buyer personas?
  • What are you aiming to do? Increase brand awareness? Engage and delight prospective clients? Nurture leads in the pipeline? Continue engaging current customers?
  • How will leads be determined as qualified leads? What events will you consider to be conversions?
  • What are your metrics for each team to be measured upon?

Develop Integrated Sales and Marketing Plans

With unified goals in place, develop integrated sales and marketing plans that outline how each team will contribute to achieving these objectives.

To create your integrated manufacturing marketing strategy, you should consider:

  • How will your sales team work toward your goals? Will they attend tradeshows? Will they engage in outbound marketing such as LinkedIn Prospecting, cold calling, or cold emailing?
  • How will your marketing team work toward your goals? What content topics and strategies will you use to support your marketing efforts? Which marketing channels will you use to execute these strategies?
  • How will both teams collaborate on deliverables? Will you include some form of inbound marketing such as content marketing?
  • How will you use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to reach these goals? Will you create remarketing ads for previously engaged audiences? Will you consider using thought leader pieces to establish your manufacturing company as a leader in the space? Will lead generation format ads be used? If so, which whitepapers, case studies, or other forms of educational content will you leverage?
  • How will your teams use email marketing methods to reach your goal? Cold outreach? Nurturing current contact lists through monthly or quarterly newsletters?
  • Which social media platforms will you reach your target audience with?
  • Will you use a/b testing for your marketing efforts? How will the results be conveyed to sales for product positioning during the sales process?

Integrate Technology to Facilitate Collaboration

While having goals and integrated marketing and sales strategies are essential, so is further collaboration down the line. By integrating technology such as CRMs that track leads throughout the sales funnel and other marketing and analytics tools that track the effectiveness of your marketing tactics, you can ensure that both your sales and marketing teams stay on track with your strategies. 

With accurate tracking for website traffic, advertising, and other marketing tactics, you can have a clearer picture of whether your sales efforts and marketing campaigns are resulting in high-quality leads, or if they fall short and require a more data-driven approach and adjustments.

Ensuring clear and open data sharing across teams also protects your goals, as both teams can see events leading up to conversions and understand where potential clients are straying away from your organization, helping you adjust the sales and marketing process to increase sales.

Establish Scheduled Check-Ins for Your Content Strategy

One of the most important steps for manufacturers trying to align sales and marketing efforts is executing the actual plan. With a strong partnership between the sales and marketing teams, make sure to schedule regular check-ins between both teams to evaluate the progress of your content strategy and to make necessary adjustments.

By fostering a strong partnership between your sales and marketing teams, you can periodically check on the status of your marketing campaigns and ensure that your efforts contribute to achieving your marketing goals.

Why Align Sales and Marketing?

In today’s competitive business landscape, the alignment of sales and marketing is no longer just a strategic option—it’s a necessity.

Improved Customer Experience

When sales and marketing teams are aligned, they can deliver a seamless and consistent experience to customers throughout their journey. From initial awareness to post-purchase support, cohesive messaging, and coordinated efforts enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Enhanced Lead Generation

Alignment ensures that marketing efforts are targeted toward attracting high-quality leads that align with the sales team’s priorities. By working together to understand customer needs and preferences, both teams can optimize lead generation strategies for better conversion rates.

Streamlined Communication

A shared understanding of goals, objectives, and target audiences fosters better communication between sales and marketing teams. This alignment reduces misunderstandings, minimizes duplication of efforts, and promotes a more efficient workflow.

Maximized ROI

When sales and marketing efforts are aligned, resources are utilized more effectively, resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI). By eliminating silos and optimizing collaboration, companies can allocate resources strategically and achieve better results with their marketing spend.

Increased Revenue

Ultimately, the alignment of sales and marketing leads to increased revenue generation. By working together towards common goals, companies can capitalize on opportunities more effectively, close deals faster, and drive overall business growth.

Gain an Unfair Advantage with Grey Matter

At Grey Matter, we specialize in marketing for manufacturing companies. We work to empower manufacturing marketers to gain a competitive edge through innovative lead generation strategies. 

When you partner with us, we give you the upper hand in customer acquisition with our data-driven marketing practices and campaigns. Whether you need a team for your search engine optimization efforts, PPC campaigns, social media marketing strategies, developing educational content and whitepapers, or a mix of everything, our team of skilled marketers listens to your specific needs and stands at the front lines with our personalized effective marketing strategies.

Marketing for manufacturers’ success doesn’t have to be unreachable. See how we take the science of decision-making and transform it into high-quality content and marketing strategies.

Get your customer acquisition down to a science — Get in Touch to see how Grey Matter can deliver results in your online marketing strategies.

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