Unifying your sales team and marketing team starts with communication. Currently, sales and marketing departments can combine leadership principles together with top tech. Below is my core strategy for bringing these teams together.
Sales Team Versus Marketing Team
Integrating sales and marketing processes streamline their efforts. Whether they are separated into two departments or positioned under one executive, their functions always overlap.
Marketers promote products or services to prospective buyers, salespeople close deals quickly. In this arrangement, sales and marketing departments meet frequently, refer to the same data, and align their goals. They complement each other’s efforts.
Businesses can create this collaborative environment using several tactics and tools. Below are my top tips
- Compare information on Buyer Personas to actual customers
- Facilitate a faster feedback loop
- Develop better content by agreeing on messaging themes
- Format proposals and agreements to save time
- Analyze results together
In a practical sense, there are several steps businesses can take to make this collaboration a part of both teams’ daily activities. By integrating each of the practices, you can facilitate better communication between sales and marketing.
Establish Regular Meetings
Don’t relegate data to an easily-deleted email. Set regular meetings to review the information and explore areas for improvement. This meeting should challenge participants and force discussion.
Don’t just review figures.
Each department must put their numbers in context. Then, both groups can work together to adapt their strategies for cohesion. This creates a list of tasks, generated during the discussion.
- New products, services, or features
- Challenges or barriers to generating customers
- Total marketing leads
- Number of sales touchpoints
- Overall closing rate
After the meeting, both departments will work on their prospective assignments and report back. If any challenges or questions arise, participants should bring up concerns quickly.
This approach does create some healthy tension. However, both sales and marketing can align their efforts for maximum impact.
Unfortunately, gaps and redundancies plague sales and marketing departments because they are so closely aligned. Redundancies are easy to find when you compare the activities of both departments.
For example, both departments may be generating content to reach prospective customers. Also, they may be pulling similar reports or conducting similar market research.
Also, there may be important areas that both departments are missing. For example, reselling to current customers may fall into a grey area between the two departments. Both sales and marketing may assume the other team communicates with this easy-to-reach group.
An analysis of each team’s activities might reveal a need to reorganize responsibilities. They should align with each teams’ strengths. Then, they can both focus on their tasks without redundancies or gaps.
Integrate your Software
With so many options available, businesses must find software that integrates the core functions of sales and marketing. Otherwise, communication breaks down between the transition of marketing qualified leads to the sales team.
Feedback from the sales team to marketing on lead quality can become lost or skewed.
Measure Results Together
While most organizations talk about data, few measures result consistently across both sales and marketing. Instead, they look at the information in silos without considering the impact on the other team. For maximum effectiveness, two main figures must be measured consistently.
First, marketers should strive to produce a high volume of marketing qualified leads. Feedback on the quality of leads from sales must inform future initiatives. Second, salespeople should aim to follow up on every lead quickly. Any delay in contact allows the lead to grow cold, lowering the chance of a sale.
Implement a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Accountability starts when both sales and marketing develop a Service Level Agreement (SLA). For marketing, this equates to a specific number of leads delivered to the sales team each month. For sales, the team must commit to working a certain number of leads generated by marketing each month. Together, they can assess performance by reviewing the percentage of marketing leads that resulted in sales.
- Total sales goal as a percentage
- Sales deal amount (average)
- Lead to customer closing rate as a percentage (average)
- Sales cycle length (median)
Such an agreement creates a natural dialogue. The sales team will work the leads in a timely manner, delivering their feedback on lead quality faster.
Similarly, marketing can adjust their strategy to deliver more or different leads based on that feedback. Instead of both teams working in a vacuum, they can help each other meet the ultimate goal of increased sales.
Celebrate Common Goals
Often, executives force sales and marketing to compete with each other. Typically, sales blames marketing for the quality of leads. In turn, marketing blames sales for letting leads grow cold.
This creates a rift between the departments as each defends their tactics and threatens the other team.
However, celebrating common goals promotes unity between the teams. Leadership can fix this. Shift the focus from blame to collaboration — centered on the rising sales.
Ultimately, a rise in sales should be attributed to both departments. While sales teams close the deal, the leads started with marketing. Similarly, marketing benefits from sales people who move a lead through to a final purchase.
Instead of pitting the teams against each other, they should both be credited for their hard work.
Also, each team should be held accountable for their responsibilities in the SLA. Over time, this will motivate both departments to work together and challenge each other in a healthy way.
Get Your Sales Team to Work With Your Marketing Team
The key to getting your sales and marketing teams on the same page? It’s communication. Executives can combine solid leadership principles and smart processes to reach their goals.
Start the Change Now
- Establish regular meetings that force important dialogue.
- Integrate your software to shorten the feedback loop.
- Measure results consistently by linking marketing leads to completed sales.
- Implement an SLA, promoting accountability for both departments.
- Celebrate common goals to unify departments and avoid blame-games.
If you take these steps, your teams will be able to communicate better.