It’s like oil and water. Cats and dogs. Apple and Microsoft. Some things just don’t go together.
Sales and Marketing however, shouldn’t be on that list!
Although wired very differently, sales and marketing have historically overlapped quite a lot in their expedition towards overall company growth. Marketing, seen as the “protector of the brand” has ventured from an almost completely outbound approach including the use of print ads and telemarketing (those annoying calls at dinner time, remember?), to a majority inbound approach with the evolution of technology. Sales has also been transformed from a cold calling and list scraping unit to one that is more engaged and targeted in reaching out to relevant prospects (can I get an amen?).
Both teams are vital to the success of a growing company and can be impactful separately sure – but when they are aligned and can work together they are like the Batman and Robin of growth (swooping in to save the day with a solution to rival all others!).
So why then is there still a great divide between the two teams and how can companies avoid it? Besides a shared Batmobile (which is never a bad idea!) some of the ways to make sure your teams are functioning collaboratively are as follows:
Parlez vous Francais? Parli italiano? It’s always a nightmare if you don’t understand what the other person is saying right? So SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE! Make sure that you have the same definitions of what an MQL versus an SQL is or how a lead is defined. You’ll be much clearer in both the sales and marketing planning if both teams know what the other is saying.
Be best friends…no really! You should be meeting at least once a week to align strategies, tactics and to get an overall sense of what each other is focussed on. There is no benefit to working in silos - especially as a startup or small business since resources are usually scarce. Sharing insights and feedback will benefit your team and company as a whole and ensure seamless functioning within.
To agree or not to agree, that is the question. Make sure you decide amongst the teams, who is responsible for what. Discussing the responsibilities within the growth teams and agreeing upon them will make sure there are no assumptions made when it comes time for assessments. Open talks on OKR’s, KPI’s and SLA’s can make the difference when it comes to meeting your goals at the end of quarter rush ;)
Know your stuff! This seems like a simple request but you wouldn’t believe how many marketers I’ve come across who can’t demo their own products or how many sales people I’ve met who have no idea where their inbound growth is coming from. EVERYONE in a company should be able to sell their solutions, services or products –and they should understand the primary source(s) of their lead generation. Period. Pointe finale. The end.
If the plan doesn’t work change the plan, not the goal. Make sure you are aware, aligned and adventurous as a sales AND marketing team – yes you are a team! The more cohesively you function, the easier it will be reach all goals across business units and the better the outcome will be. Leveraging each other’s’ expertise gives you the opportunity to see the full scope of your growth and allows you insights into your existing customer base. Whether you are developing buyer persona’s together, creating exciting co-marketing initiatives or hosting an event including both customers and prospects; the team that works together, wins together.
📣Read more of my marketing musings at marketbound.io