• Date: December 2022 •
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Head of SMM & Community at Twistellar
The miscommunication between marketing and sales departments is one of the major issues that businesses face today.
By making sure consumers are aware of the product and its advantages, marketing increases sales. Sales, however, can produce useful information that enables more targeted marketing.
Although it is a positive feedback loop, it can only function if both departments can successfully communicate and work together. Neither department operates to its maximum capacity without this bridge. To achieve greater success on both sides, businesses must figure out how to close the gap between sales and marketing.
That's why we decided to talk about it with the undisputed guru in this field – Kristina Alexandra. She is 10x certified Pardot Marketing Automation expert, a Salesforce Marketing Champion 2020, who has been working in the Salesforce space for about 10 years. Kristina founded her own Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) Pardot & Salesforce Consultancy and created a Pardot online course.
So let's turn to her for an answer to the question of "How to bridge the gap between Marketing & Sales?". Don't forget, you can download these check-lists to make sure you don't have those typical problems in your company.

1. How to understand that Marketing & Sales are not synchronized? What problems can businesses face due to that?

Both teams should be inseparable, if a business wants to reach high profits and high demand for its services and products. The cohesion between the marketing and sales teams is vital in the business world as it allows concerted efforts, speeds up sales cycles, and optimizes the rate of return on investment.
Sales and marketing teams must be aligned and have well-developed communication, strategy, and goals that enable them to operate as a unified team. Working together, aligned teams can deliver high-impact marketing activities, boost sales effectiveness, and ultimately grow revenue.
To recognize if that is the case in your business, invite team leaders from both the marketing and sales teams and ask them the following questions. This is a checklist of them.
Read the article to clarify whether your business needs MCAE (Pardot).
Checklist of Sales and Marketing teams alignment​
Checklist of Sales and Marketing Teams Alignment
If the answer to at least 1 question is "how is this even possible", that's already a red flag.

2. How can Pardot help to bridge this gap? How can Pardot help define and realize your lead qualification strategy?

We can here dwell on the fact that Pardot is one of the best nurturing tools (not only an email platform) and how it can and should be used for pairing marketing and sales teams.
After Pardot implementation and use for some time, teams can better calculate Prospect Velocity (how long it takes on average to close the deal from the moment it enters the system until the Sales team sets the Opportunity as Closed Win).
The most common mistake made by businesses is a lack of shared goals and strategies. When both teams are aligned on priorities, know the best types of customers, and have clearly defined buyer personas, it's much easier for the Marketing team to execute the right campaigns, and the Sales team has a well tested and crafted strategic approach for how to close them as soon as they come in.
You can use this To-Do List to check which components can maximize Lead Qualification.
To-Do List for Lead qualification enhancement
To-Do List for Lead Qualification Enhancement

3. What is Pardot Scoring & Grading? Common mistakes of use/misuse/underuse.

The most common mistake is that businesses don't really get to the bottom of this feature and create any actionable processes and automations around Scoring & Grading. Both features have massive potential, and can act as alerts for action.
Here are some principles that each business can follow:
  • Do you have a defined Scoring model that helps marketing teams to distinguish Prospects for distinct type of Nurturing (New, Needs Nurturing, Ready for Sales, Returned Back from Sales, Existing client: Ready for cross-sell/upsell, Approaching Renewal, Ghosting, etc.)
  • Should all Prospects enter CRM upon creation, or should they reach a certain Score before
  • Is Einstein Scoring aligned with your Prospect Scoring
  • Do you reset Scoring back on long term inactivity
  • Are your Marketing & Sales actions (call scripts, email dynamic content, etc.) dependent on the Prospects Grade? Or does everyone get the same treatment from you?
  • Is your Grading working for all Prospects (very often, businesses miss scenarios that set Grade for their Prospects)
  • Do you prioritize Prospects based on their Score or Grade?
If business can't answer the questions above, I would consider these as alerts for untapped potential.

4. How to set up Automation Rules/Engagement Programs that will work for effective lead qualification and existing Prospect nurturing?

The most effective question you can ask before setting any automation rule is, "Is there anything me or my marketing team needs to do repetitively?" This will result in numerous work-team and load reliefs.
Businesses benefit greatly from Engagement programs when they cater to:

EPs for different stages at their lifecycle, for example:

  • New/Onboarding
  • Needs Nurturing
  • Ready for Sales
  • Returned from Sales
  • Existing client: Ready for cross-sell/upsell
  • Approaching Renewal
  • Contract expired
  • Ghosting

Separate EPs (or combinations with Dynamic Content (country)) for different businesses:

  • Services/products (e.g., interest-based nurturing)
  • Geo specific (services/products/use cases/case studies/success stories)

5. So, we have set up everything right. How to avoid pitfalls that can ruin the interaction of Marketing and Sales?

In general, the question is: how do we understand that this strategy doesn't work? What are the examples?
Even when everything is set up and Pardot MCAE implementation is complete, it's not a healthy mindset to think that now Sales and Marketing teams don't need to do anything.
Especially in our forever changing world, both Marketing and Sales need to always have an open mind and innovate.
So when the revenue figures are plunging, marketers complain that sales reps are not doing justice to their leads and need to up their game to get more conversions. Salespeople feel that marketing is not generating enough reliable leads. This finger-pointing keeps going around in circles. Unfortunately, it is too late.
To avoid any of the above, each business must:
  • Create a Sales and Marketing Strategy
  • Set a Common Goal for both teams
  • Develop easy to use channels for instant Communication
  • Set recurring alignment, work done, and feedback meetings

6. And the last question: Pardot or Marketing Cloud Account Engagement?

Of course, Pardot. As a Latvian working in a Salesforce space, I am proud that the Latvian name has been used to label the product in this billion dollar industry. I have actually made publicly available a video about a brief Pardot history here.
Follow Kristina on Social Media.

To wrap it up:

We hope that this article has provided you with actionable insights of bonding your Sales and Marketing team, and how MCAE (Pardot) can help to archive your common business goals.
You can download these checklists in PDF to send them to your colleagues and make sure you don't have misunderstandings and red flags. Thanks to Kristina for this professional conversation!
Learn more about Twistellar's expertise on implementing MCAE and what you will gain from it with the assistance of our team.

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