As it has always been said that when two teams are united there is always a bigger achievement as compared to a single team. In this case we are looking at marketing and sales working together, what and how much can they actually achieve? and how we can actually get these teams to work together.
Sales and Marketing teams both work towards fulfilling the same goal that is securing business and helping their company grow, however the way they execute their duties is what differs.
How do you understand marketing and sales? Do you know the difference between the two? Let us break these two words down and explain each one of them differently as we proceed to the main topic of this article.
Sales refer to a direct contact in which the sales representative engages the customer in a conversation that motivates and encourages them towards making a purchase. This could be in person or face to face, over the phone call, or it could be done while using digital communication media channels like email or social media where people can easily exchange a conversation like facebook, whatsapp, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn or even YouTube.
The process of selling could be long while discussing at different times and days as the sales representative learns or gets to know about the behaviors of the customers, their preferences, interests and likes while showing them how their product could be of help in respect to addressing his or her needs.
The process of selling can also be short in a way that the prospective client could have been looking for that certain service or product and therefore no need to first elaborate how the product or service is going to be useful to them because they already have prior knowledge about it, thus selling to such a client would be a single conversation as the sales representative lays out the terms of the deal and processes the sale.
Marketing is designed to increase awareness of a brand or product to the target consumers or individuals. Marketers don’t usually deal with people or customers face to face instead they employ methods that reach out to as many people as possible.
There are several methods employed by the marketing teams and some these include;
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Organic traffic and search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay Per Click ads
In many companies, marketing and sales teams don’t work together but instead operate independently and this has been big stumbling block to so many companies for quite a number of years. Here is a list of the major challenges that disregard the proper alignment of sales and marketing teams.
- Inaccurate shared data regarding accounts and prospects
- Poor communication between the two teams
- Differences in metrics used
- Defaults in processes
- Bad accountability
- Differences in reporting
However if companies want to achieve an awesome and substantial improvement in performance they must unite the two teams to work together. According to research by Sujan Patel, Proper alignment between sales and marketing could lead to a staggering 208% jump in marketing revenue, as well as 38% higher win rates and 36% better customer retention. Additionally, it is reported that companies with marketing and sales teams that align together get an average of 10% more of their salespeople meet their quotas compared to other companies according to CSO Insights.
Here is what you can do to get sales and marketing teams get started to working together.
Knowing each other is key and important especially for the people working together and more so for people in different teams that need to work together for the success of the company. Usually when people they get to know each other it becomes easy to collaborate and work together as compared to when they are strangers. Collaboration will make everyone more effective at their jobs thus casual meetings have to be done always as you try to explain to both teams why you are trying to unite them to work together, what you expect them to achieve as a result of working together and collaboration, how it’s going to be implemented. This will give them a sense of value, recognition, feeling positive about what is happening and will be excited about the opportunities.
Let both sales and marketing teams understand that they have the same goals
Both sales and marketing teams are more less the same and almost they all have similar goals of growing the company through sales. Making sales doesn’t only benefit the sales people but also those in marketing because that’s significance that there is actually brand awareness on the market. If both the sales and marketing teams find a common ground to work together it will be easier for them to find more customers, increase brand awareness and more profits.
Sales leader and the representatives can always give Feedback on Marketing Efforts and vice versa.
Marketers usually do the work of sending out messages to prospective clients or those who are potential clients already and it’s always difficult for marketers to truly gauge how well-received their marketing messages are. For example, some marketing companies send so many irrelevant emails to their clients which is irritating and this could lead to blockage of the company’s email meaning that this certain client won’t be accessed even when he or she is urgently needed. when such cases are found and feedback passed back to the marketing team, they can rectify serious issues like this. It’s also important for sales to pass back any other general feedback on how the prospects are receiving the marketing messages to help marketers improve their efforts. If the prospect likes the marketing efforts, they will be much more warmed up and open to making a sale when they meet the sales team, so it’s beneficial all around.
Casual meetings for both teams are important.
Causal meetings are important these help to enhance communication which is a vital aspect in all the walks of life. Regular meetings help to review what was done very well and what wasn’t achieved depending on the agreed plan of the previous meeting ( performance review). They also help to resolve any upcoming issues or any problems, more ideas to easy their work and also hit their goals are always found in such happening regular meetings. These meetings can be done on a daily basis, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis depending on the company’s structure however experts from HubSpot recommends weekly meetings. They even suggest mixing up desks so that sales people and marketers sit together and have a better understanding of what everyone does.
Praises should go to both teams
As a matter of fact everyone wants to be appreciated and as humans that is what we love and it motivates us. Humans will always want to feel that people are acknowledging their work that they have put in thus appreciating one department that was directly involved on the ground for example sales team only would make the marketing feel less appreciated and de-motivated. A success for the sales team is a success for the marketing team and vice-versa. This kind of thinking needs to be reinforced and will help boost productivity as well. Furthermore, credit needs to be given to both the direct and the indirect involvement whenever there is a success in the business.
Teach one another about the differences
Many people confuse marketing and sales and sometimes the people who are involved into marketing and sales don’t understand the difference between the two. People in sales are meant to generate leads and turn them into prospective buyers, talking to the existing potential customers and building relationships with them which keeps the company moving while marketing people are more engaged in brand awareness, handling data, analytics and the future of the project. These two groups are therefore likely to clash if they don’t understand their roles very well however discussing with each about their respective responsibilities and the differences that exist between those two positions would be a good deal to build a stronger and lasting relation of both the sales and marketing teams to work together.
Make sure that both teams speak the same language.
As earlier said communication is an important aspect between marketing and sales teams. Speaking the same language doesn’t mean that all those people in marketing and sales should speak Luganda, it simply means that the information they give to the clients out there should be uniformly the same because if there are variations it might cause problems of trust to a company’s products thus losing out on the market. If you are going to get people to work together, then the first step would be ensuring that they can understand each other (marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads) and the company’s product information.
Marketing team should inquire from the sales people about the best marketing content.
People in sales are the ones who are involved into ground work and so they know the customer’s preferences and interests thus it would make sense to advertise or market something in line with what customers want to hear or see as contrary to something that would sound new into their ears. It becomes easy for the salesmen to pitch a sale if the target customer already has prior knowledge about it and that would be easing their work. Marketing content is what draws customers and potential buyers. It acts as the first point of contact long before a salesperson steps in. But, it is not only used by the marketing department. Salespeople utilize the marketing content as they go about their business. Marketing content should first be evaluated before it is put out and these are some of the areas that should be given a core focus.
- What content is available?
- What content should be used for marketing?
- Who should use this content first?
- Where this content should be used?
- Why is this content preferred over the other?
- Will this content give us the best we expect out of it?
- Finally, is there anything left untouched?
The evaluation should be done by both teams to ensure there is no contradicting information. Some studies have found out that sales teams at time create their own information and honestly this would impact your performance on the market.
An example of the best marketing content
Sales representatives should help Marketers Better Understand Customers and their needs.
The salespeople spend all their time interacting with the customer, learning what challenges they face and what they want out of your products/services. Therefore, the sales team can give a unique insight into what makes the customer tick from firsthand experience.
Using this information, marketers can then create more tailored strategies that target these issues and show how your company can solve them. By targeting their main wants/needs and offering solutions to their challenges at this early stage, you will find more leads are generated through marketing efforts.
Final thoughts and words
When two hands are together they produce something that is awesome as compared to a single hand, when two teams are united upon the common cause then it’s achieved in bigger amounts. I therefore want you to ask yourself, what is sales team without marketing and what is the marketing team without the sales team? They both compliment each other and they both need each other thus should always keep the knot tied.
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