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5 ways to boost sales and marketing join-up

We’re all familiar with the stereotypes that revolve around people working in sales and marketing. There’s the sales director that is obsessively focused on getting high quality leads and closing deals. Then there’s the marketing manager who is interested in developing the brand through events and beautiful collateral.

As with all stereotypes there is a grain of truth in all of this. And stereotypes provide a rich source of humour. But while it is enjoyable to laugh along to these jokes, they also have a darker side – they tend to reinforce difference. And in the case of sales and marketing, this division is far from being a laughing matter.

Conflict between sales and marketing departments can have a very damaging effect. When sales and marketing don’t connect, an organisation will notice a negative impact on its Return on Investment (ROI). With a lower ROI than anticipated, the teams are likely to blame each other and a vicious circle begins.

There are a number of ways that ROI can be impacted. An organisation may be spending money on marketing teams generating leads, but without a proper joined-up strategy. The sales department may also feel that the leads it is receiving aren’t properly qualified and just not worth pursuing.

There’s also the risk that the budget may be frittered away on tangible resources such as collateral or communications which aren’t used by sales because they don’t believe them to be targeted correctly.

Given all of these factors, it is absolutely critical that sales and marketing communicate. But how do you get two factions that are often warring to end hostilities and collaborate? Here are five ways you can improve communication between the two:

1) Recruit like-minded people

Dynamic alignment can be determined from the beginning: the hire of the individuals themselves. You should aim to recruit sales and marketing staff that are like-minded, work to the same ideals and are keen to work in similar ways.

2) Improve understanding between the departments

It is extremely valuable for marketing and sales departments to gain a solid understanding of the work that the other department conducts on a day-to-day basis. This could extend to marketing teams joining sales teams for sales visits and also listening in on sales phone calls. A ‘day in the life of’ job swap could also encourage improved join-up.

3) Put in place new systems and processes

It’s also advantageous to consider what systems and processes can be established to facilitate a more integrated relationship between the two teams. This could take the form of a rewards-based ‘deal’ between a business and its employees. The business plays its part by ensuring that its own sales targets and ambitions are adequately reflected in the commission plans it offers sales staff, and the budget allocated to the marketing department for resources. In return, these departments agree to the implementation of KPIs or performance-based targets.

4) Focus on the customer

It is vital that while facilitating a smoother relationship between sales and marketing, the customer is not overlooked. Your business should strategise campaigns in collaboration with both sales and marketing teams, so you can guarantee your messaging is clear, coherent and aligned for your customer.

5) Investment in tools

Budgets can be spent on events, inbound marketing and demand generation, but if you’re not clear on how you aim to use these tools to best effect for both sales and marketing goals, then they are wasted. Again, opening up dialogue between marketing and sales can really help to qualify what they need, and ensure that these teams are working with the same focus.

By adopting these measures you can significantly improve the relationship between your sales and marketing teams. To get more pointers and tips on how to boost collaboration between marketing and sales, download a copy of our white paper:

Download: The challenges of sales and marketing join-up and how to overcome them