The vitality and success of a business depend on having effective marketing and sales teams. Companies look to their marketing team to research target markets and bring back viable leads. The sales team takes over and turns those leads into paying customers.
At least that’s how things should work.
Too often marketing and sales departments come up with their own goals and fail to include each other in their plans. This lack of unity leads to missed opportunities to bring in new business.
Disharmony Decreases Sales
The explosion of the internet has shifted the role of sales and marketing. Potential new customers now go online and do the type of research traditionally done by a salesperson, making them more informed than consumers of the past. Marketing teams must make sure that any content produced answers the questions already in the minds of these customers. The salesman must be prepared to provide the customer with information and value that can’t be obtained from an online search.
When marketing produces leads that get overlooked by sales because those leads don’t match up to the audience they feel the company should target, that’s potential revenue lost. When marketing fails to account for the feedback provided by salesmen because they feel it’s contrary to their own research, it undermines the potential for growth.
Alignment Increases Success
Effective management from the executive level is the first and most important step to take in implementing successful marketing and sales alignment. Management must provide clear direction to both teams about the direction in which they want to take the company. They must be receptive to feedback from both departments and work valid suggestions into any new efforts to promote the company.
Additional ways to improve sales and marketing alignment include:
- Sharing Terminology – Outline terms for use by both sales and marketing. This keeps everyone on the same page when referencing specific products or services.
- Regular Meetings – Get marketing and sales together on a frequent basis to go over what each department is doing. This helps eliminate the information silos preventing the teams from effectively promoting and selling what the company offers.
- A Shared Content Creation Process – Put a process in place that allows salespeople to offer their perspective on what gets them excited and where they believe new opportunities exist. This lets the marketing team take the feedback into account when designing their tactics and doing their research. When the final marketing effort is rolled out, both the sales and marketing team are on the same page, increasing the chances of making that strategy a success.
- Incorporating ROI – Demonstrate the importance of a successful alignment by tying the ROI to leads generated by the marketing department successfully followed up on by sales. This provides tangible results to both teams and encourages them to continue their joint efforts.
No matter if your marketing or sales team is 1 person or 100, be proactive in taking control and implementing sales and marketing alignment. Don’t continue to let disjointed efforts by both teams hurt the company bottom line.