We are in the 21st century and Sales and Marketing still don’t get along well. It’s the age old story where both teams play the blame game, or indulge in nitpicking and accusing each other of not doing their job properly. Well, we all know the root cause of the conflict. You hear the sales team complain about the quality and volume of the leads generated. On the other hand, the marketing team is always complaining about the sales team’s inability to convert the high number of leads and achieve the projected revenue.
Content creation is another common point of contention. For various reasons, the sales team might not get on board with the content produced by the marketing team. The result is marketing that is too scared to experiment with new ideas. Of course, these quibbles can often be resolved by both teams sitting together and simply clearing the air. After all, conditions can be significantly improved by making sure that both teams are on the same page. It’s also not uncommon to see them going at each other over the sales and marketing budget shared by the company. So the scope for trouble is unimaginable and, as a business, the sooner you bring an end to any internal strife, the better. Bridging the gap between sales and marketing is key to growing your business.
So, let’s look at some tried and tested ways to combine sales and marketing effectiveness.
Defining proper goals for your sales and marketing
In a cross-functional team, it’s easy to let people from different departments engage in areas not assigned to them. While this has its own advantages, it’s important to set clearly-defined roles for members. The same applies to people in Sales and Marketing. The job of a marketing team is to generate leads and increase the return on investment from various marketing channels. Salespeople have the role of closing as many deals as possible while leveraging the sales funnel and shortening the sales cycle. Make sure the people in your teams know what is expected of them, feel valued, and know that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
Making sales and marketing work together
While rectifying problems in sales and marketing may look pretty easy on the surface, in reality it’s a lot of hard work. First up, you need to set up regular sales and marketing meetings. Studies show that marketing and sales teams rarely get to meet each other, let alone have actual meetings. Getting both teams to meet up on a regular basis will certainly improve the communication between the teams and help them get to know each other better. In addition to helping each other understand marketing goals better, it’s a great way to get everyone involved. On the technical side of things, such meetups will help all team members to think critically and fix major problems in the sales funnel. More importantly, the creative collaboration between the teams will help you develop a more scalable lead generation plan.
So let’s look at some ways to get your sales and marketing divisions to work together.
Schedule regular meetings for sales and marketing
Catching up once in a while, just for the sake of seeing how well things are going, will do your business more harm than good. In order for things to work out well, you need to make your teams meet on a regular basis. Get your team to turn this into a habit so that you don’t have to remind yourself to do it over and over again. Remember, you can’t build a great sales strategy in a single day. You should meet the team members and agree on a meeting time that works for everyone in both teams. Ensure you have everything in place and make sure that everyone shows up for meetings on time. Keep in mind that with bigger teams coordination could prove difficult.
Have a clear agenda for meetings
Setting up an agenda for the meetings will help you stay organised, meaning that the meetings will be more specific and to the point. This way you can actually avoid last minute brainstorming sessions and instead focus on solving real problems. Having a template ready for the meetings will also make sure that you’re not distracted or side-tracked by irrelevant issues. The first few meetings will tend to be longer, especially due to the broad range of questions that may come up. However, once you hit the ground running and pick up the pace, meetings will get shorter. Now, with a clear agenda in place, you should be able to cover all the key stuff in less than 30 minutes.
Alright, here are some key components that you should include in your agenda:
Budget – What’s the total amount spent on sales activity? How is the money distributed or allocated across the teams? What’s the projected ROI?
Lead volume and quality – The total number of marketing qualified leads that were turned into sales qualified leads last week. What’s the quality of SQL and what’s the main source of the leads?
Content – Finalise the type of content required for your business. Make sure to have an editorial process in place. Review current campaigns and upcoming projects.
Events you may need to go to for business growth.
Share invaluable books, insightful blogs and useful podcasts.
You must act with a high level of transparency. You should lead from the front and urge team members to follow suit. If you find any types of problems, you should immediately get down to addressing them. When everyone in the teams works at the same level of transparency, there will be greater levels of mutual respect. For instance, transparency in your operations means that even if someone makes a mistake, they will be comfortable talking about it with team members. It’s not a healthy practice to let team members hide things from one another.
Make your contributions
Even the smallest contribution can make all the difference. Just as a business works better when sales and marketing teams work together, your meetings will benefit from everyone making a contribution. Instead of wasting your time picking faults in others, try to find out the reasons why and look to solve them.
You should assign tasks to all team members so that each of them is accountable. Make sure to update the meeting agenda on weekly basis and don’t just rehash the same one every time. Get all the content ideas and any educational resources gathered in advance. The idea is to get every team member involved and contributing something. to the important.
Of course, you may find various different ways to bring the sales and marketing team together but you need to find a strategy that works and use it to grow your business. Setting up regular meetings will become a springboard for marketing and sales teams to get to know each other and work together. Getting your sales and marketing people to collaborate can result in a much better lead generation and conversion rate.
Now, how about sharing this article with your sales and marketing heads and getting a discussion started?