The benefits of having your sales and marketing teams aligned and working together
It is quite common in businesses and working offices that the sales and marketing departments can become segregated and isolated, miscommunicating whilst working towards their own independent goals.
It is not that they are necessarily doing wrong, but that they are not helping themselves to immerse themselves in an environment that allows them to achieve better efficiency.
And to perform in a more organised, strategic and logical way.
– The organized communication process of a lead through the sales process. The sales team is responsible for the physical selling process of a product or service and catalyzing the exchanging of a commodity for money through various stages.
– The strategy, exposure and initial communication with prospects, raising awareness of and about the product or service through a range of creative and structured channels with the intention of generating leads to begin the sales process.
It should not be a case of sales versus marketing, obviously.
They are a mutual partnership that needs to be synced for ultimate performance – the sales process cannot begin without a marketing foundation and marketing efforts cannot convert without sales procedures.
Marketing team needs to generate opportunities for sales.
The sales team needs to make the most of these opportunities.
The end goal is the same – maintain alignment between those teams, so that both are able to get the most out of their activities, increasing the potential for generating revenue for a business.
- Improve the experience of your potential customers;
- Streamline the passage of leads through the sales funnel;
- Ensure good business opportunities;
- Have more objective and transparent goals
- And more benefits…
However, where it differentiates is the role in which it is played in getting a prospect and a lead to that final stage.
It is the strategy earlier in the funnel, the preparation, targeting and exposure of who is going to be sold to and how to get them to your sales team.
The role of Sales and Marketing in a business
It is very easy to understand the role of a sales team in a company: selling.
However, when we talk about Marketing, the answers are the most diverse: make people know about your business; attract leads; take care of branding; manage ads; take care of communication channels, and so on.
But, at the end of the day, these actions are just the means by which the marketing team reaches its goal, which is: to make the company sell more.
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The marketing team needs to generate new opportunities for your sales team through all those points that we mentioned above, and many others.
Marketing correctly will allow the sales correspondence to become a lot more fluid and clean through more targeted and appropriate leads, meaning they will progress and convert with less difficulty.
Making sure that these two departments are working towards the same goal, using the same guideline and allowing each other to progress through feedback and experience.
Working as a unit rather than an individual function to ensure that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, creating cohesion and fluency.
It is important because it is a statement of pulling together as a team psychologically and strategically.
It is easy to have a tunnelled focus on your own specific area of work as there is so much to do and to look after.
People’s skills and understandings are not always naturally suited to other roles and people can instinctively avoid contact with extended, non-mandatory parts of the role.
But there are many ways in which you can align your sales and marketing teams to achieve a stronger output overall for your business.
How To Align Your Sales And Marketing Team
1. Scheduled Joint Meetings
Scheduling frequent meetings, involving your sales and marketing team members can instil a habit and consistency.
Keeping everyone updated, communicating individual opinions which can be brought to attention and reacted to.
Weekly – brief weekly meetings to reiterate the common goal and align the short term targets of the week.
Make each department clearly aware of the other’s intentions and vice-versa.
Monthly – a more detailed strategy talk, analysing situations in greater complexities. Receiving ideas from both departments and analysing previous results.
2. Group Brainstorms and Deliberations
Further to scheduled meetings, incorporating the whole team in creative brainstorms and new approach deliberations can contribute to a clearer understanding of upcoming projects, targets and strategy.
Bringing more togetherness and team feeling rather than separation, ie: you do your job we’ll do ours.
Instead, pick each other’s brains and find out new information to improve.
Sharing ideas, thoughts and opinions through previous experience, gathered by speaking to people in different scenarios through various channels.
3. Friday Night Drinks
Alongside these meetings, implementing an informal, Friday evening debrief/discussion (or drinks) can be a fantastic way to share the success stories and positive points of the week from sales, marketing and other areas.
This keeps everybody in the loop and you can enjoy everyone’s progress, achievements, and hard work in a transparent, relaxed, and enjoyable way.
4. Occupying the Same Office Environment
Sales and marketing representatives occupying the same office space can breed an understanding and united experience.
Learning and collecting the habits of one another, naturally, by overhearing and joining in with conversation.
Ultimately, indulging in the atmosphere of the opposite role, increasing overall industry knowledge.
5. Sales and Marketing Group Chat
A sales & marketing group chat can be used for dropping quick fire ideas and messages across to each other from department-to-department, for general check-ups and information sharing.
Either using Slack for complete functionality with integrations or a more informal chat feature for morale purposes.
Maybe a member of your sales team has a huge exposure on LinkedIn which could be an excellent outlet for a marketer’s content. You could ask them to share it.
Little contributions like this, working together for complete alignment.
6. Visible Progress and Qualification
Create a clear and visible system which lets everyone see when there is a lead, a progressive lead and a sale.
This brings togetherness and a sense of achievement.
It is very important to have a hub for everyone to use as a focal point.
If a marketer’s referral has converted, they want to be made aware of this rather than sitting in the dark, hoping their lead generation is making an impact.
Email alerts of analytical updates and Key Performance Indicators should be made readily available to access – to create a responsibility for your actions and an accountability both positively and negatively.
When you do well you want others to know, and the pressure of under performance not to be highlighted accelerates work-rate and intuition.
7. SLA — Service Level Agreement
The SLA is the set of rules that determines the actions and deliverables at each point of contact between departments, preventing subjective factors from causing one team to blame the other if objectives are not achieved.
When this type of rule is well defined, the roles of each department are clear and measurable.
And of course, SLAs need to be reassessed from time to time to see if they can be improved so that they can bring even better results.
8. Interlinked Commission or Reward Scheme
Having a joint commission or fairly distributed reward scheme for marketers and sales representatives can create ultimate cohesion and teamwork, propelling the motivation levels in the company for greater overall impact.
Each position plays a key role in the journey of a sale, even if the marketer’s input is less directly involved with the lead. But with proportional bonuses, it can spur mutual creative thinking to establish new ideas to convert more.
9. Role Reversal Flexibility
There is no reason why each member of the sales and marketing wings should be unable to jump in on each other’s roles, from time-to-time.
They may not be experts in every aspect, but many of the ideas should be interchangeable, even if the skills differentiate.
For an example situation – marketers should be encouraged to pick up the phone, take a direct interest and speak with clients and leads, picking up first-hand insights into the thought process of the customer.
10. Your Sales and Marketing Roles
You don’t need to have outright ‘sales people’ and ‘marketers’ – this immediately is conforming to the separation stereotype.
Business development professionals – using this alternative title removes the natural intention psychologically to solely sell or market but to involve in business progression as a full process and encouraging all-round contribution.
Of course, it needs to be disciplined and channelled into specific areas and responsibilities, but it can bring the team a lot closer and more orientated.
Sales and Marketing: the signs of misalignment
Marketing and sales are different areas and this means that each has a different perception of success.
While the marketing team is focused on getting more and more leads to hit the target, sales need to close a specific number of customers to get their benefits released, such as commission, among other bonuses.
That said, the main reason for a problem between teams is related to the maturation for sale, that is, how prepared the lead is to be able to purchase a product from your business.
With the marketing team failing to get enough leads for sales, things can proceed in a not so pleasant way for the business.
Maybe the marketing team will want to bet leads without sufficient preparation for the purchase and try to get them to raise their hand to achieve their goal, for example.
This may be some of the signs that show that there is no work aligned between the teams, as well as:
- Marketing-qualified leads that don’t convert to sales;
- Marketing actions criticized by the sales team;
- Sales team does not understand marketing work and has never seen results in any action;
- Infrequent meetings between marketing and sales teams;
- Little or no integration between the marketing automation tool with the CRM;
So, if you already have contact with any of these situations, it may be time to start listing actions to bring both teams together.
This integration between the areas serves for everyone to speak the same language and use the same tone with the customer in order to provide a better experience of the company.