If you are a member of your life science company’s sales or marketing function, “sales and marketing alignment” and “effective sales enablement” are likely topics you’re familiar with. An online search for “is sales or marketing more important” yields 737 million links in .51 seconds. That’s almost 2x the amount of links delivered when searching for tacos. The amount of content available for this topic showcases the perpetual rift between sales & marketing teams.

In life sciences, this is no different. Many sales teams or MSLs feel like they’re not equipped with engaging content from marketers. Marketers feel like sales and field reps aren’t utilizing the collateral they spend time creating. Both teams struggle to understand what’s working or what’s not. And if there are process challenges between handing off content to sales or MSLs, these tensions are exacerbated. Here are three common roadblocks to effective sales and marketing alignment and strategies to overcome them. 

“Bad” content

As a life science marketer, how do you know the materials you’re creating are valuable to sales? Not all sales teams are vocal about how content is performing in the field. Marketers may have to do a little digging to uncover these impressions and gather anecdotal feedback (note: qualitative feedback is helpful), but it’s also important to look at your content data

Gathering data points on content usage (what content is being used vs what content is not being used) is a great starting point. Then, talk to sales and ask:

  • For content that’s used most often: what do reps like about this content?
  • For content that’s not being used: why aren’t reps using this content? How can this content be improved?

Marketers can then leverage this intel around content effectiveness to inform future content creation decisions, ensuring your team is focused on creating the highest-value content possible.

Poor communication

When sales reps and MSLs aren’t aware new materials are available for use … well, that’s a problem.

Improve your overall sales enablement process by creating an open line of communication between sales, medical, and marketing teams. Schedule recurring check-ins between teams to share information about content availability and changes, identify what’s working, and analyze content usage metrics together. The more information and intel sharing, the better. 

Wrong tooling (or lack thereof)

When you create a piece of sales collateral that will help add velocity to sales cycles, how do you alert your sales team to its existence? Send an email and pray they open it? Manual processes like this are error-prone and tend to cause frustration. 

Having an MLR system linked with sales enablement tools will instantaneously distribute approved-for-market materials to your customer-facing representatives. As the average buyer becomes more informed, sellers need to adapt and have engaging conversations with prospects. Reps and MSLs need to be able to find approved content, immediately, as conversations progress and pivot in real time.

There is no one way to approach or improve sales and marketing alignment, so think of these strategies as starting points and revise based on your organization’s unique needs. 

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