Edition 3: Cultivating Alignment

Edition 3: Cultivating Alignment

Empowered teams with an understanding that “pipeline is a team sport” make miracles happen. With teams working together to generate a strong pipeline, what boosts the revenue team’s performance is alignment.

Unfortunately, when it comes to closing deals, misalignment is all too common. I’ve heard it from colleagues, I’ve seen it in my own company – when everyone is not marching to the beat of the same drum, revenue takes a hit, or you have an unhappy team – most likely both. 

Statistics say that only 37% of misaligned companies meet their revenue goals! So how do we fix this? We ensure that EVERYONE is aligned to close effectively.

Here are 3 tangible nuggets that we have been successful in our company for creating alignment: 

1. “It Takes a Village…” 

Just like building a pipeline is a team sport, achieving revenue targets is a sport as well.

Sales has always been seen as competitive, where team members are shown their ranking in a leaderboard, with their stats and rankings on display for all to see. While we all can agree that competition has its merits, and we should keep a competitive environment, collaboration can be our secret weapon. If done properly, these are not mutually exclusive.

To close deals effectively as one, we need to bring in the appropriate people to the table early on. I’ve seen it happen time and time again – a deal falls through because we were hung up on a department that should have been looped in earlier.  

By closing deals as a team, we can create a more comprehensive strategy to handle complex deals, which includes a cross-functional team with representatives from sales, marketing, customer service, and senior leadership to collaborate throughout the sales cycle. This can instill comfort and confidence in a customer, giving them the final nudge to sign on the dotted line. 

2. Align Incentives to a Common Goal 

Let’s talk about the alignment of incentives.  At the executive level, “alignment” is the big buzzword we keep hearing – but how does one align their team? We create a culture of alignment. We want everyone on the same page with goals, priorities, and motivation. Make sure everyone’s focus is on one thing – the client’s success. 

If your sales, engineering, customer success, and product teams are all incentivized based on the client– they’re all going to work together. We can unify our teams through a shared communication system, strategy, and goals that enable them to operate as a single function. 

You can also have your compensation driven by behavior and incentives. Your team will win together with your buyers. A perfect scenario, isn’t it?

Whether closing a deal, effective onboarding, or account growth – each team is going to want to collaborate to ensure the customer is achieving their goals. 

3. Unified and Aligned Systems & Processes  

Let’s discuss the importance of our revenue systems being integrated. 

By ensuring that our processes and systems are aligned, every employee and department has the ability to share information seamlessly– which is essential. It increases productivity and accuracy, and lowers time spent on tasks, as all data is flowing and being communicated through one source. 

We also need to ensure everyone knows which role they play. Are your Rules of Engagement (RoE) clearly understood by all? How are your leads distributed? Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to which reps work which accounts – and when – throughout your customer lifecycle. 

Also, check that you are properly tracking your revenue attribution, matching the specific marketing costs to the sales revenue your company receives. If done accurately, this can inform all teams of your customer’s preferences, what content to push, and how to close deals together. 

When a company succeeds in aligning its teams, the benefits ripple outward: revenue increases, the sales cycle shortens, and conversion rates improve along with forecast accuracy.  

On the other hand, unaligned teams can result in potential setbacks.  A lack of communication or haphazard handoff of leads can affect a buyer’s perception of your business, resulting in lost deals and decreased revenue. Alignment is worth the investment. 

Actionable Takeaways

So, let’s recap. To see a culture of alignment thrive, we need to be able to confidently answer these questions:

  • Am I aware of what my teams are facing (pipeline, deals in the funnel, roadblocks)? Am I ensuring that the right people are involved at the right time (including finance, legal, etc.)? 
  • Are my teams compensated and motivated in a way that everyone wins, including the customer?
  • Have we made sure our systems are integrated, and the revenue systems are humming like well-oiled machines?

Trust me, if you truly align your teams to a common goal and your culture is strong, you are going to see a dramatic improvement in all your revenue KPIs – pipeline, win rates, and, ultimately, revenue achievement. I hope you’re able to incorporate this advice and see an influx of many profitable deals in your future.