Discover how to bring the sales and marketing strategy of your business together and ensure the departments are working in sync and on-message.
To boost lead generation and grow customer bases, it is imperative that Sales and Marketing are brought closer into alignment. According to Forrester, there is a…
increase in annual revenue growth for aligned organisations, while there’s a…
decline in revenue for less aligned companies.
The issue for many companies is that the two departments are traditionally wary of each other – and that’s the first issue that a proactive CEO must deal with.
1. Deal with the identity crisis
It’s essential to recognise the mental and physical divide between the two departments. Not only do they usually work in different offices within a corporation, but they also work in silos – effectively ignoring each other. The resulting mindsets? Sales think Marketing’s leads are bad while Marketing believe Sales aren’t good enough at chasing its hard-fought leads.
2. Stop the burning of bridges
Interdepartmental meetings should be held on a regular basis to build trust and relationships with team members from each department. This simple but effective approach is an ideal opportunity to create a joined up sales and marketing strategy, with both sides discussing and sharing knowledge. Marketing is perfectly placed to discuss sales opportunities and key prospects based on their data, while Sales can offer valuable insights into frontline issues such as business pains and customer personas.
3. Define roles and define terms – don’t just ignore them
It’s essential that both departments are singing from the same hymn sheet. For example, Marketing needs to define and understand what a good lead is in the minds of the Sales department, and Sales need to understand the entire pipeline that Marketing is following with its lead generation process. By taking a unified approach to the revenue cycle, the departments will be brought closer into alignment with one another.
Same Terms, Different Definitions?
Ensure that common terms mean the same thing in the minds of both departments – sit down together and draw up definitions of the basics such as lead generation, lead scoring and lead nurturing.
4. Avoid the Negative, Focus on the Positive
The push for alignment isn’t going to happen overnight – so ensure that you celebrate any win which was based on the new closer working relationship between the two departments. A lead from Marketing that turned into a Sales success should be highlighted to build enthusiasm, encouraging increased alignment and further underlining the commitment to the new sales and marketing strategy.
5. Don’t Leave Them Hanging
Keep communicating. Marketing must ensure it checks-in with Sales on a regular basis to monitor how their leads are performing. For instance, follow up on a lead given to Sales to ascertain its resulting performance, closing the loop on each and every lead even if it turned out to be fruitless. Deploying this tactic will aid in honing the lead generation process and, for those leads that fell flat, lessons can be learned together to further hone business pains and customer personas.
6. Two Departments, One Vision
Software solutions offer the perfect backbone for building a closer relationship between Sales and Marketing. The creation of a virtual dashboard that both teams can access in real-time will enable them to see and feedback on what each department is doing. This is an optimum alignment solution. CRM systems offer this functionality effortlessly – boosting productivity in the process.
According to research by Aberdeen Research, marketing automation capabilities such as lead generation, scoring and nurturing are proven to bring sales and marketing closer together.
- Bring sales and marketing together via regular meetings; bust those silos.
- Feed off each department’s knowledge and skill set to maximise sales and marketing’s potential.
- Define roles and common terms so both departments are working from the same ‘brief’.
- Celebrate successes and learn from failures together, not apart.
- Deploy software solutions such as CRM to drive your aligned strategy programme.
Discover how to boost sales success with our free eGuide: ‘The ultimate guide to: increasing sales performance’.
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