Whether you are working in a modest team or running a Fortune 500 company, the chances are there is more that could be done to get your sales department and marketing working more closely and constructively together. Amazingly, in a time where we have more communication tools and analysis than ever before, this is something that is regularly not done to its full effect, and huge amounts of talent and resources can be wasted.
Sales and marketing are effectively two parts of the same funnel — two cogs in one machine — and if sales teams and marketers not working effectively together as part of your strategy and sales process, then your business is going to suffer as a result.
Understand One Another's Roles
I can’t stress enough how helpful it is for your sales teams and marketing teams to understand what the other is doing on a day-to-day basis and how their jobs work. Sales are implementing the materials created by marketing and marketing should be tailoring it to the needs of sales. It is bizarre to think how these two are so often segregated and don’t consider the roles of the other party. Without cooperation and understanding, you will simply not reach as many customers and see your projected revenue growth.
It is especially useful for the marketing teams to understand the role of sales in many industries. The sales department is often armed with the brainchild of the marketing department and understandings how to close a sale can help them to create relevant materials and even drive warmer leads to help with the overall goal of increasing sales and driving revenue to a business.
Have Joint Goals
Working together on set goals should be a way to ensure that your business functions to the best of its potential. Historically, many team managers or business owners have set separate goals for sales and marketing as they aren’t always working closely enough together. In this scenario, it is easy for sales to get a certain percentage of conversions or for marketing to drum up a certain amount of leads and take their foot off the gas as they have achieved their target.
Separate goals have less effect than one clear, overall goal of ensuring that a business grows. Being jointly accountable can work wonders for this and lead to the two departments working closely together to make progress instead of seeing each other as separate entities, and only looking after their part of the bargain.
Exercise caution with joint goals and ensure they are things that both parties can impact, otherwise, you may see rifts appearing with one team blaming the other. Brainstorm the goals and KPIs you plan to use to track success together with both departments to ensure there is no disagreement.
It feels like such a basic thing, but it is so often not considered in businesses. Communication between departments is always nice, but some departments in large businesses actually have very little to do with each other. I can understand in these scenarios communication being forgotten about. In the scenario of sales and marketing, they need to be working closely together. Something as simple as knowing who to talk to regarding an issue is important.
Communication makes it far more likely for ideas and commonalities to crop up between the two departments, and for a set focus or technique to arise and become key to driving revenue. One department can’t function as well without the other so it is purely common sense that they should be able to discuss what is happening in the business.
Work Together on Sales Content
This follows on from the idea of communication and takes it one step further. In business, sales content is often created by the marketers for use by the sales team. It is unthinkable that it wouldn’t be created collaboratively. The sales team will be able to give valuable advice on what the marketing team should be pushing and vice versa. The marketing team can communicate their ideas more clearly and make them simpler to implement.
So much of the effective use of sales and marketing is being on the same page, implementing the same strategy and understanding where the other is coming from. Making sales content together is a sure-fire way to ensure that the brand message stays the same throughout and that new ideas are being generated to drive business.
Culture and Morale
This is important in any business. If you run a large business and have implemented some of the strategies above but aren’t getting results, think about the culture and morale within the two ‘camps’ of sales and marketing. All too often in business departments can become cliquey and even blame the other. Having a culture of joint accountability and succeeding (and failing) together can help with the overall ethos and, in turn, drive morale.
Culture is also important when it comes to delivering upon promises and having a clear message running throughout your brand. It can be easy to have different ideas of what is being sold and how you are going about it if the company culture isn’t clear. Communication is one aspect of this, but an overall company culture is another. Nurture this, even if it comes at the expense of a few hours of work. Team building exercises can feel a little contrived but there is plenty that can be done around the office (or even out of the office) to help different departments function better as a team and with more motivation.
A good sales funnel incorporates both sales and marketing. The bigger a company gets, the harder it can be to monitor and ensure that everyone is clear and communicative as well as focused on the same end target. The tips above are aimed at keeping spirits high as well as effective tactics. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a business that doesn’t utilise two of the most important departments just because of simple oversights and not getting the basics right. Every business is different, and if you are in a senior position, discovering what works for your business and implementing the appropriate strategies is likely to drive your team in the right direction.