There is a persistent disconnect across Go To Market teams. Does any of this sound familiar?

  • Marketing develops branding and messaging that isn’t used by DemandGen or Sales 
  • BDR teams set meetings that Sales views as poorly qualified and a waste of time
  • Sales develops talk tracks and slideware that are nowhere on the website
  • No one outside of Customer Success has any idea what’s going in Customer Success

In the current challenging economic climate, this lack of alignment across GTM teams could mean the difference between weathering the storm or the ship going down. 

But, as Dean Leffingwell, one of the ‘OGs’ who contributed to the key concepts that are “Agile,” has said many times: “alignment is hard.” 

So, what are some steps we can take to find and fix misalignment?

1) Is there regular cross team collaboration? 

From goal and budget setting, segment targeting and account planning, reviewing data, having a seat at the product roadmap table, these are all regular ceremonies that can and should be co-owned. 

2) Is there a common language and culture across teams?

If not, better communication is often a first step. Not necessarily MORE communication, but what Harvard Business Review refers to as disciplined communication. Disciplined communication consists of (3) elements; a regular cadence of cross functional meetings, focused on major opportunities, problems, and action plans. The third element is having processes and guidelines that help GTM teams know when and with whom they should communicate. A couple of examples that HBR points to are “You should involve the brand manager whenever the opportunity is above $2 million,” or “Marketing will be invited to the top ten critical account reviews.”

3) When things don’t go right, are the teams playing the blame game?

We often say that “top of funnel is everyone’s responsibility,” but it’s more than that. In high-performing GTM teams, the performance of the entire organization is seen as everyone’s responsibility, recognizing that where each team sits on the RACI chart is variable. 

It’s an old saw, but it’s true, we have to incent the behaviors we want to see. Are the goals and reward systems across teams aligned? Often, a closer look will reveal that we have built systems that are in conflict.

These suggestions are just a start, there is no shortage of content that has been written on organizational alignment. 

But as the macroeconomic climate continues to present challenges many of us haven’t experienced in our professional lives, getting and staying aligned will become even more critical.

We would love to hear from the community: what are you doing to get and stay aligned?