There is way too often a disconnect between sales and marketing. So, before we align them together, it’s important to know their definitions and the differences between sales and marketing.
What exactly are sales and marketing?
Sales is basically the exchange of a commodity for money or it’s the action of selling something.
Marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
If we broke it down to the basics, marketing is everything that you do to reach and persuade prospects and the sales process is everything that you do to close the sale and get a signed agreement or contract.
Differences between sales and marketing
We all know that after Marketing has reeled-in the leads, it is up to the Sales department to close them.
Both are necessities to the success of a business. You cannot do without either process. If you work to strategically combine both efforts you will experience a successful amount of business growth. However, by the same token if the efforts are unbalanced or departments don’t communicate it can detour business growth.
Marketing’s projects are often long-term – common marketing goals include setting a foundation with strong branding, and generating qualified leads. Marketers are looking at metrics. Their campaigns tend to focus on increasing brand recognition, and scoring and nurturing leads for the long term.
Salespeople, on the other hand, move at a fast pace – they tend to have monthly or quarterly quotas to meet. They are looking for opportunities to help solve a problem for a prospect, or be the personal touch that someone is looking for. They want to know what the marketing team can do for them now, so that they can make the sale today.
How to obtain the perfect relation between sales and marketing?
Sales and Marketing are heavily interlinked and their strategies within a business should always be united. If not then the consequences are really terrible to be faced. For example, a sales employee could be approaching customers that the marketing team have not identified as their target audience, thus wasting time and money.
So, while the two teams can feel like they’re fighting different battles, they should rather be supporting each other. Hence, to increase sales productivity, There should be a symbiotic relationship between these two departments. And here are few tips on how to go about it :
The silo mentality occurs when several departments or groups within an organization do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals in the same organization.
This silo mentality, where important departments such as sales and marketing operate as individual units, has become a major problem in the Business-to-Business selling space. Few methods have to be implemented to vanish this mentality.
You, as a boss, should give a good introduction between the two teams and make them collaborate with each other as much as possible.
The lack of communication can cause organization-wide disconnects, missed opportunities, and lost revenues. But it’s not as simple as just increasing communication between two groups. More communication can be expensive. It eats up time, and it prolongs decision making. We advocate instead for more disciplined communication.
The relationship is often so frayed that a regular social cadence can literally help to set that top-down alignment. So, they could communicate not only about work but feel friendly and talk about various matters as well.
3) Add Sales in Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to bring in ideas from the sales team.
By finding out what’s happening in the field and what actually works to win and retain customers, marketers can write the content that targets specific audiences.
Also, to get the content, marketers would communicate with the salespeople, hence increase their bonding. In fact, a salesperson’s insight can clue marketers into what type of content will spark customers’ interest and turn awareness into revenue.
Real collaboration requires regular discussions and a mutual sharing of knowledge. Weekly meetings between marketing and sales will ensure consistent messaging and keep each team apprised of what campaigns are ongoing.
This can allow marketers to know how Sales is doing with their quota and goals, as well as offer support or help when needed. Marketers could also ask for content ideas and recommendations for their future offers and blog posts during their meetings.C
Conduct various events in which both the teams can take part. Whether it’s an industry meetup group, happy hour in your office, or an organized conference, they can spend time together and get to know each other as well.
5) Mutual Understanding
Sales is Marketing. Marketing is Sales.
This understanding must be present between the two teams for the betterment of the company. There shouldn’t be any misunderstandings between the two, which could cause problems to the company as well as the customers.
It’s proved that we can be a lot more effective by changing our perspective and to think about these sales and marketing challenges by focusing on the customers.
Lunches, outings, and celebrations could help build trust among both the team members and ensure that people feel comfortable leaning on each other for support.
6) Help Each Other
Marketers should take some time during their off time, to sit next to your sales team and listen to their calls. This is a great learning experience that will help you get ideas for future content creation and how to build some of the follow-up emails of your offers.
Also, marketers could not only learn but they could also help sales people by taking their calls for them. They can illustrate the business use of your product or service.
The salespeople in return could help the marketers in content marketing as mentioned in one of the points above.
Sales teams are experts in doing product demos, and getting a feedback can only help them for the better.
Let the salespeople ask the marketers, for feedback about their demos and the marketers could in return ask the salespeople about their marketing skills. Thus, it’s a win-win both ways. This makes sure the awkwardness between them vanishes.
If there are still some kind of a misunderstanding between the two teams, then you be the peacemaker. Don’t allow the problem to grow, rather reduce it by taking neither of their sides. Remember, no preferences or partiality.
Designing a Metric is not a tough job. It’s easier to construct a set of metrics if the marketers’ as well as salespeople’s purposes and tasks are clearly outlined.
If you still face difficulties in making metrics, then you could do the same on an excel sheet or via emails or through many tools available. This can not only reduce the blame game between the teams, but also increase the stability of your company.
Also, they must learn to embrace social media to connect with each other. This will definitely make them more friendly as well as it can take the relation to a next level – long term aspect.
Forrester research shows that only 8% of Business-to-Business companies have tight sales and marketing alignment. However, alignment, with shared goals and metrics, can result in 25% increases in quota achievement, 15% increases in win rate, and 27% faster three-year profit growth, emphasizing the need for collaboration.
Thus, the main ingredient for a perfect relationship between sales and marketing is balance.