If you’ve read any of the content on this blog, you’ll know that we are massive proponents of a strong relationship between marketing and sales in a business. It’s not just because marketing departments tend to be smaller and if you buddy up to sales you get more people on a night out (although that is true) – it’s beneficial to the wider business too.
If you’ve any hope of really nailing your sales and marketing strategy – it has to be joined up. Doing one without the support of the other is a bit like putting together a big bit of IKEA furniture on your own – sure, you might get there in the end, but it’s going to be frustrating along the way, and the end result might not be as sturdy as it could’ve been.
Right, I’m going to stop talking about IKEA furniture before I start getting horrifying flashbacks. Without further ado, here are 4 reasons why your sales and marketing team need to coordinate efforts.
A consistent message
Obviously, it can be very confusing for a customer or prospect if they’re receiving one line of messaging from your marketing output, and one from sales reps. I’ve worked in a business before where some salespeople actually referred to the name of the business differently to marketing. This is a pretty fundamental problem with inconsistency that can be addressed with the right communication and collaboration between the two departments (not to mention a proper brand strategy). It’s not just about things like names either – it’s about being sure that marketing and sales are presenting a united front to their audience – that they hammer home the same features, benefits and USPs so that they stick in the customer’s head. I’ve seen success in the past with providing marketing-driven battle cards into sales – a pretty standard document, granted, but it’s very useful in giving sales a marketing approved approach to speaking about the features and benefits of your product or service.
No duplication of efforts
Another common problem. Sales don’t know marketing are hitting the prospect base with an email. Marketing don’t know that a salesperson behind on their target is hitting a section of that prospect base with their own email blast. I’ve seen it happen so many times, and it can hurt both the sales and marketing efforts if the customer or prospect feels they’re being constantly bombarded with communication from you which doesn’t look or feel consistent (see above). This duplication of activity makes a strong case for having a clear process of feeding sales with leads – they shouldn’t have to send out their own email campaigns if you’re serving them properly, and they should also understand that if there’s an appetite to do a particular campaign, that they should go through the right channels. It is very difficult to break the habits of individual salespeople, and it can also be difficult to ask a busy marketing team to be tactical when they’ve got a plan to stick to. That’s why it all comes down to having a solid process to build on.
Better leads for everybody
As I covered off in my previous blog post, there’s a clear benefit to having a distinction between marketing qualified and sales qualified leads and a process that logically moves people from one to the other. I’ll try not to repeat myself here, but being able to give sales a complete picture of how a prospect has interacted with your website, campaigns, messaging, etc before they get them on a call is invaluable. For marketers, seeing this journey and having that feedback loop from sales helps them see what’s working and what isn’t, allowing them to refine their strategy and get even more MQLs into sales. Sales can stop wasting their time on cold leads, marketing can stop wasting their time on activity which doesn’t generate decent leads. It’s a win-win. It also leads to easier reporting, and can help both departments point to gaps and areas where they need more resource or need to dedicate more time and focus.
Focus on results, rather than activity
When sales and marketing speak to each other, they can start measuring together. Whether that is a common language of MQLs and SQLs as I mentioned before, or pipeline growth, value, velocity or closed revenue that you often see in an account-based marketing (ABM) approach. Whatever your marketing approach – great communication between sales and marketing will lead to the metrics that matter. That can only ever be a good thing in my book.
Time to team up
Whether you’ve got a dedicated marketing team or your marketing effort is more agency-based, having them sync up with sales just makes sense from a commercial and strategic perspective. If you’d like more help and guidance on how to effectively integrate sales and marketing, the Inflowing team have worked with businesses large and small where we’ve overseen a successful relationship between sales and marketing. Just get in touch to find out how you could move your marketing forward.