Many people believe that sales and marketing are completely different entities, with their own separate agendas. In reality, they have a symbiotic relationship: marketing creates consumer awareness, which drives sales; sales generates data that allows the marketing team to focus its efforts. In order to maximize the full potential of this relationship, both departments must work together. That can be difficult when they are often at odds with one another.
It takes communication to work together effectively. Sales and marketing departments will be most effective if they follow these strategies:
- Define success for both departments. Figuring out how to measure success in both sales and marketing is an important first step. Establishing KPIs together is a great way to open up the lines of communication, which leads us to…
- ..and communicate some more! Communication is instrumental. Whether you opt for weekly meetings or structured discussion formats, regular communication allows you to address what is important and solve issues together as they arise. Brainstorming sessions are another great way to get everybody on the same page.
- Make sure goals and metrics overlap. Salespeople are often focused on individual goals in order to meet quotas, while marketing reps may be focused on A/B testing or other campaign-specific metrics. Set goals that overlap so everybody understands their connection to one another.
- Choose a single leader. One person who has a singular vision can unite the team and bridge the gap between sales and marketing more effectively than two people, who might end up clashing.
- Create hybrid team designs. Ditch the traditional divide between sales and marketing by creating hybrid teams. Group both teams together in a common pod and encourage equal contributions by aligning commission structures to eliminate any tendency to focus on individual accomplishments.
- Interview sales representatives. Because they are on the frontlines every day, sales reps know which questions customers are asking and what objections they have. Talking to them regularly is a great way to recognize their expertise and shows that both departments are on the same team.
- Develop the right messaging. Marketing campaigns depend upon delivering the right message to the right audience. The sales team should have a solid grasp of the language your target audience uses and can help craft effective stories that will improve conversion rates and deliver quality leads.
- Implement account-based marketing. Account-based marketing involves identifying and prioritizing accounts, contacts key messages in order to develop targeted marketing initiatives. It’s another great way to bridge the gap between sales and marketing.
- Utilize the same technology. Adopt technology that meets the needs of both departments instead of relying on separate tools. This will foster collaboration and create a better understanding of the role each team plays.