Marketing & Sales Alignment

Inspiring Collaboration Through Great Storytelling

Maybe it was the 2 weeks of political conventions or the master class in oratory delivered by Bill Clinton at the DNC this week, but I’ve got storytelling on my mind.

Act I: State The Challenge

One of the key elements that marketers consistently struggle with is managing and coordinating demand generation programs across digital, sales enablement and events channels. We intuitively know that there is strength in numbers. We dare to dream about multi-layered campaigns where our digital efforts are synchronized with and supported by sales activities/initiatives which in turn align with what we do at in-person events. The goal, of course, is that these activities are meaningful and significantly different across channels while still supporting one consistent story.

This all sounds great, but there are challenges that make it difficult to execute in this fashion. One of these challenges is that these three channels do not always report into marketing. So what is a marketer to do? The good news is that this is nothing new.

Act II: Reaching Across The Aisle

One of the core competencies of Marketing is the ability to execute initiatives cross-functionally without reporting authority. Our expertise is in goal alignment and then developing a plan collaboratively with our cross functional partners and then executing on that plan — as a team. But it’s not only about aligning on goals. No, we need to rely more heavily on another expertise for this particular challenge.

Act III: Use Your Story To Rally The Troops

I’ve written before of the importance of telling a story. A clear story increases the likelihood that your message comes across loud and clear to your target audience. But a good story can also inspire internal groups to rally behind your plan. So as you put together your cross channel initiatives, don’t overlook the importance of a clear vision and making that vision come alive for your cross functional partners. This more than anything else may significantly contribute to your plan’s success.


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