Sales and Marketing
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, therefore not producing the optimum results for the company.
It is not that they are necessarily doing wrong, but that they are not helping themselves to immerse in an environment which allows them to achieve better efficiency - and to perform in a more organised, strategic and logical way.
- The organised communication process of a lead through the sales cycle. The sales team are responsible for the physical selling process of a product or service and catalysing 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 v marketing. They are a mutual partnership which needs to be synced for ultimate performance - the sales process cannot begin without a marketing foundation and marketing efforts cannot convert without sales procedures.
You can't have one without the other and sustain success. A marketer's end goal is the same as a salesperson's - to make a sale.
However, where it differentiates is the role in which 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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Event Attendance and Social Interaction
There are many events which align the interests of both sales and marketing. Keep an eye out for these opportunities and go along together, get involved, socialise, interact and learn.
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.
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.
Re-title Your Sales and Marketing Roles
You don't need to have outright 'sales people' and 'marketers' - this is 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.