4 Ideas to Spark More Effective Collaboration Between Sales & Marketing
Pardon the pun, but sales and marketing often function like oil and water. But why?
In a lot of cases, these two departments are rarely in sync, often operating under different strategies, KPI’s (key performance indicators), and a different understanding of the customer profile and buyer persona.
If we look at this recent survey it shows “51 percent of marketers are not satisfied with the level of communication between the teams and 53 percent of sales professionals are not pleased with marketing’s support.” This may also be why 90% of the content created for sales by marketing is never used by sales.
These challenges stem from miscommunication and conflicting goals between the two teams.
Marketing typically aims to entice and enhance the customer experience by providing volumes of highly valuable content. Sales, on the other hand, has the main operative of convincing prospects into buying the company’s product or service.
But if we look past the surface level description of each department’s main goal, we find that they are one in the same; to turn prospects into life long customers by providing an optimal user experience.
Download The Ultimate Inbound Marketing and Sales Playbook to start the new year off right and get your sales and marketing teams on the same page.
In fact, companies who have aligned their sales and marketing teams have not regretted it, and 36% even report higher customer retention rates.
We want to help your marketing and sales team, as well as your overall business, communicate more effectively, work more efficiently, and drive better results. To help you do that, we've highlighted three unique ways your sales and marketing teams can work with one another, rather than against.
Establish a Common Understanding
Similar to advice you may have heard about your love life, a healthy relationship cannot exist solely through electronic communication.
Of course beginning a beneficial relationship between sales and marketing will consist of a few communication baby steps such as CC’d emails and G-chats.
However, in order to take the sales-marketing relationship to the next level, the teams must get together in person. This is the easiest and biggest first step toward establishing open lines of communication between the two departments.
The biggest thing that getting together for a meeting or luncheon will accomplish is working toward a common mission and company understanding.
Everyone knows what a KPI is; however, does your marketing department look for the same KPI’s as sales? Do the KPI's mean the same thing to both teams? What type of overlap exists between all of these KPI's?
For example, both sales and marketing care about the rate of lead generation and user engagement. So there needs to be an overlap in KPI's that provides insights for both teams.
This will not only help both departments gain understanding about the other, but also sets a common language to use and the same goals to strive toward. With a common objective comes teamwork. The benefit of a healthy sales-marketing relationship can be found in the overlap.
Consider scheduling a weekly or monthly joint meeting between the two departments as a great way to bring up challenges and issues that may exist. This will inevitably happen as sales and marketing have a tendency to point fingers at the shortcomings of the other in the event that a deal or campaign goes awry.
Airing grievances is important before moving forward and does not have to be a frustrating practice. By identifying the weaknesses between sales and marketing, everyone can begin to work together to bridge this deficit.
It is also important to promote an optimistic and affirming outlook by highlighting the strengths and skills that each department possesses. This will give both sales and marketing teams the chance to understand what they must work hard on, and reassure them that they have the skills to accomplish such a task.
The benefit of a healthy sales-marketing relationship can be found in the overlap. A common understanding of key objectives and strategy will yield a higher success rate than two teams whose understanding of the market are clouded by their own narrow perspectives.
Start Working on a Joint Project
Now that your teams have established contact and community, it’s time to put your working relationship to practice. Start by working on a bipartisan issue, such as creating or refining buyer personas.
Buyer Personas are typically thought of as a task for the marketing team. However, you’re already behind if you’re not utilizing the input of your sales team too.
Marketing is in the business of knowing the multitude of in-depth data, habits, and intricate pieces that make up a customer. Sales, on the other hand, have the most face-to-face experience with actual customers.
This gives the sales team the knowledge to predict trends where data may fail. By combining their expert insight, sales and marketing can better figure out who’s buying, what they’re buying, and what is motivating them to buy.
As one salesperson once said to me, “Any time you’re struggling to fill your editorial calendar, talk to the sales team for 10 minutes or join them for one customer call.”
Create Better Content Together
Following the creation of more accurate buyer personas, sales and marketing can work in tandem to make better content overall.
In today’s technological age, marketing can no longer be looked at as a one-way communication tool. With the use of data analytics as well as insight from the sales team, both sectors can work together to create more targeted and valuable content.
For example, during a meeting the marketing team can consult with the sales team about the most common pain points customers experience. With these pain points in mind, marketing can create articles that both address these struggles as well as provide solutions along with a call to action that leads them to understanding why your company’s product or service would be a good fit to their problem.
With sales and marketing working together to create content, the buyer’s journey will be smoothed by a unified brand voice.
Don't let frustration get the best of you when working with your sales or marketing team. Instead, communicate openly and honestly, meet frequently, and establish common KPI's and a shared language to work together more effectively and efficiently.
If you're ready and willing to make the concerted effort to take your sales-marketing relationship to the next level, then download The Ultimate Inbound Marketing and Sales Playbook brought to you by DMTraining and IMPACT Branding & Design.
About Jennifer Clark
Jennifer Clark is a senior International Studies student at Fordham University and a Content Marketing & Social Media Intern with DMTraining. Prior to joining the DMTraining team, Jennifer helped various start-ups market themselves on and off campus. This summer, she hopes to add value to DMTraining by assisting clients with digital media education, using her status as an industry newcomer to her advantage. Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys creative writing, making art, and petting every dog she comes across.