Research shows when Sales and Marketing work together, the results include better leads, a smoother conversion process, increased profits and increased growth. This is because when these two teams work together, they raise a shared and consistent awareness of your business’ brand, product offering and client service position that helps customers to trust and engage with what your business has to offer.
Despite this, research also shows that in most organisations the Sales and Marketing departments have been grumpy neighbours, rather than solid powerhouse partners. This is despite the fact that their goals are most often similar – generate leads, connect with customers, make or facilitate sales, and ultimately grow the business.
The reasons for this uneasy relationship are numerous, not least being the Sales complaining that Marketing does not supply relevant sales content and Marketing noting that, despite loads of content, Sales seems less than keen to use what is on offer. Whatever the reasons, there are a number of ways to encourage a stronger and more efficient relationship between Sales and Marketing in your business.
Three ways to build a strong Sales/Marketing relationship:
1. Co-lab and co-op on sales content. Relevant and effective sales content is essential to the sales enablement process. But too often, Marketing develops these materials on their own and Sales doesn’t feel they fit quite right while having spent unnecessary time searching for material they think will work, without Marketing’s insider knowledge to lend a hand. Sales and Marketing teams should be encouraged to work together (using their experiences, expertise and a healthy dose of feedback) to create content that does want it’s supposed to do – educate and interest ideal clients, solve their problems and help sales to go more smoothly.
2. Develop a lead management system. What kind of leads are you looking for? What makes a Marketing Qualified Lead move to a Sales Qualified Lead? These can be difficult questions if both teams aren’t on the same page about identifying your ideal customer, how to capture high quality lead details and when to move these individuals down the sales funnel. This means Sales and Marketing should be in an ongoing discussion about their lead conversion position and strategy as well as how they go about lead scoring – all the elements that help create a closed loop lead management system. Indeed, a full CRM is probably the way to go if you’re serious about sharing contacts, tracking and measuring lead activities and results, and making sure both parties are invested in a lead management system that works.
3. Know what’s going on ‘over there’. If Sales and Marketing go about their daily tasks without considering and communicating with the other party, there are bound to be inconsistencies, miscommunication and missed opportunities. In order to bring the skills and strengths of both teams to bear on the processes of lead generation and handling, it’s important to have regular meetings with proper agendas and discussions points. It’s also important to encourage a less formal space to catch up and find out how each department is progressing with targets and KPIs and so all team members know where and when they can best help the other team get their job done.
While some organisations allows for cross-overs between Sales and Marketing, many still operate these departments as separate units, effectively halving their power and potential to grow your business. Working together, Sales and Marketing can achieve so much more when it comes to identifying and generating leads and delivering to your ideal customers.