Aligning Pharma Sales, Marketing, and Product to Business Goals
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Usually, the organization has functional and geographical priorities isolated across the sales, marketing, product, and services teams. A lack of alignment in go-to-market planning results in isolated planning; each function planned only for what it was best at and focused on areas in which the team members knew they could succeed. Each team usually possesses a list of tactics to execute, with little alignment with business goals. The marketing department relies on traditional marketing approaches that do not have a proven impact on achieving business goals. It is necessary to recognize that the entire organization cannot perform optimally without aligning marketing to business goals and fostering a close working relationship between marketing, sales, and the product.
In such cases, there is a need for a methodology, like the one recently brought out by Forrester, to align sales, marketing, and product from the earliest planning stages to ensure that goals and objectives are cascaded down from the business and that the teams would work together to achieve the same business objectives. To start, it is necessary to collect information and insights to understand organizational goals, particularly in terms of revenue targets and the revenue source breakdown. Thereafter the need would be to examine the external factors like the competitive environment, market opportunity, and cultural landscape, as well as the internal factors like team sizes, resources and talent, and technology.
Implementing simple strategies like the one highlighted above helps the team achieve the objectives of gaining tighter interlock and alignment across all organizational functions. It creates a shared understanding and buy-in regarding what marketing will focus on in the upcoming year. This would navigate both sales and marketing throughout the year, referencing marketing’s approach and activities to meet the business goals. Sales leaders will be able to understand and better focus on Marketing and appreciate what marketing is doing at each stage to drive the business and will accordingly guide the sales team. For example, when anyone from sales has an activity request for marketing, the sales leader would check the plan to see if the requested activity aligned with what was agreed upon before sending the request to marketing (or declining the same). The marketing dashboard is also used to report on the attainment of marketing goals established in the plan and ensure ongoing communication and alignment with sales.