Why should there be two departments within a business who historically tend to clash, and yet are both working towards the same goal? A lot is down to simple misunderstanding and lack of clarity in terms of role definition and process. Some marketing departments will believe that sales are all about pushing their product to purely meet their short term commission, while some sales teams consider marketing are just there to order branded golf balls!
Below are five tips for building a more productive relationship between the two essential functions in any business.
1. The winning partnership: the two teams should have mutual respect and moreover mutual agreement in how they can both meet the company’s objectives. Sales and marketing should understand the company’s strategy and tactics in generating and growing revenue, for both short term and long term targets. This way will they be far more successful in working together for the same goals.
2. Understand the customer lifecycle: from prospect through to warm lead, from to new customer to loyal customer. Both parties must know how they are segmenting their contacts according to the relationship between the company and the contact. Appropriate targeting and messaging is then applied according to the stage of the customer lifecycle. Both sales and marketing should agree a plan of communication for each segment and work together by using the most appropriate method depending on whether an early prospect needs more brand awareness, right through to a long-term customer managed as a key account in sales.
3. Effective campaigns: it is so important that sales and marketing agree on the most effective campaigns for the various market segments and business need. Whether it be lead generation, lead nurturing or a promotional initiative, both functions must be fully aware of communications going out to the market with the agreed messaging and calls to action. This will ensure mutual focus and consistency.
4. Attributing value: the various customer segments will have a potential revenue value to a company, and both sales and marketing should be accountable for their actions in how they optimise the full value. By attributing this value to each department, it will help both parties understand they are contributing to the company’s revenue targets.
5. Accountability: each department must take accountability in measuring ‘successful outcomes’. While it is obvious when sales have financial results from winning business, marketing sometimes struggles to prove how it has contributed to the bottom line. Therefore, all marketing activity must be measured and leads tracked throughout the pipeline. This way ROI can be attributed when a lead which has been generated from marketing, is passed on and converted to business by the sales team.
See also our blog How to create an effective sales proposition: http://www.vgandassociates.com/top-tips-on-how-to-create-an-effective-sales-proposition/