Sales and marketing teams, in general, have been known to have some beef — just take a look at this recent survey, that shows “51 percent of marketers are not satisfied with the level of communication between the teams and 53 percent of sales professionals are not pleased with marketing’s support.” Ouch! This rivalry can really harm your business's growth. However, when sales and marketing work together, metrics soar, costs decrease and life cycles are more concise.
So, how can you get your sales team and marketing team to buddy up and tackle the goals they have in common? Make sure they know that they have the same end game and have them collaborate in these five ways. Two teams, one dream!
- Collaborate on Content.
A major factor in an outstanding sales enablement strategy is to create content that sales can use in their proposals and throughout the selling process. Both sales and marketing need to work together to understand their audience and create targeted content that speaks directly to customers and is executed at just the right time in the buying cycle.
The best way to create content like this is for marketing and sales to work together. Marketing informs content that is relevant and engaging to the target audience, while sales can inform content that is personal and customized to the individual prospective customer. This type of marriage will create perfectly balanced content that will drive leads all the way through the funnel.
- Inform Outbound Emails.
In an ideal world, all sales would be inbound. But the reality is that, at some point, sales needs to be in charge of sourcing and contacting their own leads. In order to effectively do this, sales should work with marketing to be knowledgeable on what marketing materials are readily available. This creates a unified brand image and voice.
Marketing should create the positioning, voice, and general feel of the outbound email content, while sales should take that content and customize it to the lead. Personalization is key to outbound, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of a singular brand image.
- Systemize Lead Scoring.
Marketing and sales need to have an on-going conversation about lead conversion — what’s working, what’s not working, who it’s working for, etc. Creating and converting MQLs to SQLs and, ultimately, to won deals is a constantly moving target — that’s why it’s important to ask these questions, to figure out why it’s working or not working.
Both teams need to create one system for scoring and evaluating. The system is completely conditional and depends entirely on the product, the audience, and the buying cycle. Turning an MQL into an SQL too soon can hurt conversion, so you need to find the sweet spot in the life cycle. This can only be found by trial and error, communication, and evolution.
- Develop Buyer Personas.
Sales is the front lines of any company. They know who’s buying and why. Marketing understands the industry at large and who they should be targeting. The best buyer personas are born from a mixture of marketing research and insights from your actual customer base.
The sales team can provide important insights and generalizations on the leads they’re interacting with most, while marketing research can inform broader insights like patterns and commonalities. Sales and marketing must direct their efforts at the same prospects and be completely aligned on decisions and pricing.
Together, they need to create comprehensive buyer personas in order to better target their ideal customer, increase acquisition, and create targeted ads and pitches that are totally symbiotic.
- Establish and Maintain Company Culture.
When sales and marketing don’t get along, strategy suffers. They both work to grow the company, get more awareness, and increase revenue so when there’s discontinuity between the two, customers definitely feel it.
For example, if a customer is reading an email or following the company on social media and then they get a sales call with a completely different tone and personality, it’s off-putting and detrimental to their buying process. When sales and marketing don’t work together it creates not only a divided office, but a fragmented brand image. If sales doesn't act as the left hand to marketing’s right, growth is a whole lot tougher.
Some great ways to encourage collaboration and camaraderie is to have regular meetings, create standard processes, and agree on mutually beneficial goals. Like Peter Drucker says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”