Once upon a time, product designers learned that they can save money and time if they consulted with their buddies in the manufacturing department, instead of just throwing new designs over the wall.
These two functions realized that it was not enough to just co-exist— not why they could collaborate and work together in order to create more value for their company and for their customers.
Now, you would think that sales and marketing teams— whose work is, frankly, deeply interconnected— could have discovered the same thing.
As a rule, though, they are separate functions within a company. And even if they do work together, they do not always get along.
When sales statistics are disappointing, the marketing team blames the sales force for the poor execution of its otherwise awesome rollout plan. In turn, the sales team claims that marketing people set prices too high and even uses too much of the budget, then they think should go to hiring more salesperson or even paying the existing sales representative higher commissions.
The sales team think that marketers are out of touch with what is really going on with the customers. And marketing, well, marketers think that the salespeople are narrow-minded and are too focused on the experience of individual customers, unaware of the bigger market and tend to look blind in the future.
To make the story short, each team often belittles the other’s contributions.
In the end, this lack of alignment hurts corporate performance.
But, what happens when they work together?
Sales and marketing are both important in their own right. And no one— absolutely, no one— is going to argue with that. With that said, these two groups are far, and I mean far, more powerful when unified.
The 2016 Harvard Business Review revealed that marketing and sales working together sees substantial improvement on crucial performance metrics including market-entry costs go down, sales cycles go shorter and the cost of sales is reduced.
Proper alignment between the two departments also leads to 32 percent higher revenue, retains 36 percent more customers, and has 38 percent higher win rates, along with 24 percent faster growth and 27 percent quicker revenue growth.
Companies with a “strong alignment” between marketing and sales have generated and closed more leads, retain more customers, shorten the sales cycles and made better forecasts; to say nothing of the $1 trillion misalignments is costing organizations yearly.
Ending The Rivalry Between Marketing and Sales
So, how can you stop the friction between sales and marketing and make them work together as they supposed to be?
- Sales Content Creation Collaboration
A recent study found out that 32 percent of a sales person’s time was spent in creating or looking for sales content. Creating content which the sales team can use in their proposals and during the selling process is a crucial factor in a sales enablement strategy.
Both teams need to work together in order to understand their target audience and create more targeted content which speaks directly to the customers, executed at the right time in the buying cycle.
Marketing helps shape the contents which are engaging and relevant to the audience, while the sales team can develop contents that are customized and personalized to the individual prospective customers. This kind of collaboration should create a perfectly-balanced content that can drive leads all through the funnel.
- Buyer Personas Development
Marketing and sales serve different purposes in terms of buyer personas.
The salesforce will know who is buying and why they are buying.
Marketing, on the other hand, understandstheindustryatalargescale, whotheyneed to target, the external factors of how people buy and what exactly motivates these people to choose a brand over the other.
Thus, the best buyer personas are built from the combination of sale and marketing research and paired with the real-life insights from your company’s customer base.
So, instead of one department showing off more accurate notes than the other and proving their point, the better approach is to compare these notes in order to come up and develop a unified vision for a buyer persona which ticks all the boxes.
- Informing Outbound Emails
In a perfect world, all sales will have inbound customers lining up in order to get their hands on your services or products. In reality, however, at some point, sales require to be in charge of contacting and sourcing their own leads.
In order to do this, sales need to work with marketing people to be knowledgeable about what materials are already available. Both teams can also work together in order to create a dynamic and new material that focuses on the winning strategies of each team. This results in the creation of a unified brand voice and image.
Take note, however, that there are some differences in what each team should handle. Marketing people need to create a voice positioning and the general feel of the outbound email content. Meanwhile, sales need to take that content and personalize or customize it to the lead.
Customization is the key to outbound, however, it should not come at the cost of a single brand image.
- Brainstorming Crossover KPIs
KPIs, short for Key Performance Indicators, of your sales and marketing teams, should never exist on separate islands. And brainstorming crossover KPIs which are significant to both teams can help increase ROI across the board.
Not all KPIs should remain the domain of one team or another. Marketing and sales can collaborate in order to develop a crossover performance indicators which are important to both worlds. Remember conversion rates, lead generation, cost per social media engagement and lead matter to everyone.
- Hold Regular Meetings
Even the most aligned and amicable departments require actual face time in order to develop internal relationships and get a sense of how the other team works.
So, make sure to hold a regular meeting in order to discuss new strategies, learn more about each department’s processes and go over the results of current campaigns. Regular meetings also allow exchanging feedbacks and insights on each other’s agenda.
In addition, if you want to facilitate communication and sharing of the 2 teams, why not try this out:
Arranging social events.
It allows for each team to like and get to know each other. Not only that, it also removes the pressure of work, keeping your teams relaxed and be themselves, driving bonds which can extend inside the workplace.
In general, marketing teams and sales force seems to have always to have a beef against one another. However, if you wish to ensure the success of all your strategic campaigns, you will have to end the war between the two departments, get them to buddy up and tackle the sales goals they have in common for the betterment of the company goals.
Two teams, one dream!