Marketing and Sales: Siblings in Nature
Working in an agency environment, I’ve been involved in a slew of accounts that need marketing support, particularly to help drive their sales efforts. The ones that have been the most successful are those that see the need for marketing and the imperative coexistence between the Marketing and Sales teams. The reality is that these teams are essentially siblings, where it’s not always easy to get along but when they work together, they are a strong force.
From an agency perspective, I am finding it hard to comprehend why they often play on opposing teams when they should be in concert. While their roles are drastically different, they work in tandem towards achieving the same goal: increasing revenue for the business.
To try to nail down the primary disconnect (out of several), I decided to interview a sales expert and marketing professional at the same time. Although good friends, the topic quickly sparked a debate. A few minutes into the discussion, I realized that the teams are desperately lacking communication, both internally and externally. The messaging isn’t consistent (or sometimes non-existent), the collateral is used incorrectly, the sales teams are not brand-compliant and their systems are not shared (CRMs, marketing automation, etc.)
The Communication Process
Whether you’re a startup or an established business, communication is key to collaboration. The process has proven to be successful for many years:
- Marketing performs in-depth research (product or service features and benefits, competitive landscape, need of the target audience and value proposition)
- Marketing crafts messaging and positioning to differentiate the brand and its offering(s)
- Sales provides feedback based on field experience
- Marketing develops external communication plans and sales collateral
- Sales works with marketing on establishing an organized and efficient CRM
- Marketing implements all strategies, executing across all platforms essential for Sales’ success, including generating leads
- Sales discusses with Marketing whether or not the strategies are working
- Marketing and Sales collectively gather and analyze metrics – from brand awareness, lead generation through the sales and customer lifecycle
- The business begins to meet and beat revenue goals
- Teams expand and the foundational, consistent messaging is available for new employees to sing the same tune
- The business builds a respected reputation
Work smarter, not harder. Get your marketing and sales departments out of their silos and on the same page. Get past the sibling rivalry and your business will reap the benefits, see the results and ultimately the gain the sought-after reputation.
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