Perhaps the inherent skill sets, personalities, and immediate goals of marketers and salespeople are different enough that the two have never naturally meshed. Marketers are the behind-the-scenes shepherds of the brand. Data drives them, and they’re consumed with crafting the right messages to the right audiences via the right channels. Their goal is to create brand awareness and engagement among new prospects and maintain it among current ones all while never having their own faces or names “out there.”
Salespeople are all about face time. They rely on personal interactions, networking, gut instincts, and their innate abilities to connect one-on-one with qualified leads. Their immediate goal is to move the lead from prospect to customer — to close the deal. They don’t use media channels to deliver their messages; they are the channels — and it’s up to them to lock in company revenue.
Without marketing teams’ efforts, sales would have no warm leads to nurture and convert. Without sales, all those marketing-generated leads would die on the vine. The two depend on each other to achieve the ultimate goal: revenue generation. Recognizing the symbiosis, today’s savviest company leaders no longer let marketing and sales operate in their own silos. Instead they have a “sales and marketing department” — singular — with salespeople and marketers working collaboratively.
- Marketing experts dial in to what the competition is doing and can share such information with sales. This knowledge is invaluable when convincing leads that your company is above the rest.
- Marketing professionals can make sales team members’ jobs easier by arming them with the right collateral materials, like brochures, videos, infographics, and more, to share with prospects.
- Sales leaders can help drive marketing messages by sharing qualitative data mined “in the trenches.” If prospects consistently express confusion or pushback about a product or service, salespeople should provide that feedback to marketers who can, in turn, retool the message.
- Those in the sales department can best measure the quality of leads their marketing department counterparts generate.
So, how does a company leader go about uniting two departments that have grown accustomed to working autonomously? A few tips include:
- Have key decision makers from marketing and sales meet regularly to share results, discuss ideas, and brainstorm collectively. When appropriate, bring all marketing and sales staff members together — even if it’s just for an office social. This can help break down borders between the teams.
- Use the “customer journey” as the focal point for collaboration. Marketers and salespeople all have their parts on the path prospects take from initial brand exposure through purchasing. Focusing on what that experience should be for customers helps sales and marketing teams work toward common goals and establishes consistency through all phases of the journey.
- Allow key salespeople to be a part of content creation. Marketers mapping out their content strategies — from blogging to social media and digital marketing — may find sales team members’ fresh or different perspectives goldmines for new and unique content.
- Allow key marketers to see networking up close. Invite select marketers to networking events or conferences so they can see firsthand the interpersonal exchanges required in the sales arena. This also may inspire new ideas to take back to the marketing team.
- Adopt a technology platform that works seamlessly for both sales and marketing. One central hub where marketers track metrics, store leads, and measure results can help everyone speak the same language and see the same “bigger picture.”
Marketing and sales are closely intertwined and codependent. Thus, it only makes sense these professionals work as a cohesive unit. Sharing ideas, perspectives, resources, and knowledge among marketing and sales teams can exponentially bolster a company’s sales-and-marketing success and, ultimately, the bottom line.