When it comes to the cooperation between marketing and sales, one thing is already clear: those in marketing are only theorists who have no idea about the product and customers. With senseless campaigns, they throw the money out of the window that the sales department has so laboriously brought in and otherwise only post colorful little pictures on social media. Conversely, the sales team is just a bunch of arrogant know-it-alls who constantly find fault with marketing. All they can do is complain—not even turn the leads that marketing brought into customers. So it’s best to keep to yourself and do your thing because the other team doesn’t get it right anyway. Exaggerated? Unfortunately, that is the reality in many B2B companies.
The fact that marketing and sales compete is a matter of honor. Both blame each other for the sluggish acquisition of new customers. Silo thinking is the order of the day. This is by no means goal-oriented. Because competition does not increase sales because everyone wants to outperform the other. Instead, it blocks potential and resources and, on top of that, gets on your nerves. Better collaboration could make so much difference—for example, a better understanding of the target group and optimizing the customer journey. But also a more efficient use of resources because sales only get promising leads. The bottom line is top lead management, improved customer contact, and more sales. But what does it take? Here are the five most essential to-dos so that marketing and sales go hand in hand.
Get A Clean Slate First
Communication is the basis of any good relationship. Both sides should get together for marketing and sales to work in the future. Resolve some open questions. Clear up disagreements. Express criticism openly so you can work on it in a targeted manner. The main questions here are:
- What does the sales team need/expect from marketing – and vice versa?
- Where are there conflicts because expectations do not match reality?
- What are the realistic expectations of the other team? What can marketing and sales achieve, and what is just wishful thinking?
- Where should it go in the future?
With such a conversation, you cleanse and create a blank sheet of paper. Future cooperation can be built on this much better than on a foundation of reluctance, misunderstandings, and offended feelings.
Marketing And Sales Should Exchange Information Regularly
The exchange should take place regularly from now on. This is the only way you can be sure that both teams will pull together in the long term. One idea would be to discuss monthly goals to align the measures accordingly. What are sales trying to achieve this month, and how many leads should marketing bring in for that? What does marketing estimate that charges are coming this month so that sales can adjust? Are there bottlenecks in sales?
So should marketing curb lead generation so salespeople can “work through” the leads that have been brought in so far? Does the sales team have new ideas from discussions with customers about what should be in the editorial plan shortly? An internal email distribution list for marketing and sales staff would be just as effective. Where was there success? What has changed? Where is there an urgent need for improvement? Such a summary brings everyone to a consistent level, so there are no gaps in knowledge.
What Are They Doing All Day?
An insight into each other’s day-to-day work is undoubtedly helpful for a better mutual understanding between marketing and sales. If a sales employee looks over the shoulder of a marketing colleague, he will understand lead generation better and see where potential customers are coming from. This can easily be incorporated into sales pitches. Conversely, the marketing employee could sit next to her when her sales colleague calls a customer. In this way, she learns first-hand what customers are concerned about and can use this for marketing.
Marketing And Sales Should Plan Lead Generation Together
Even if the way of working is different, in the end, there is a common goal: customer acquisition and retention. For the customer journey to run perfectly, it should be planned together with the lead generation process by marketing and sales. Ideally, lead generation runs automatically. This makes them less error-prone – marketing must remember to hand off a lead to sales, and contacts go directly to the CRM. In addition, it is transparent and traceable. Marketing can quickly check which topics bring in the most relevant leads and refine the strategy. But back to the jointly planned lead generation. The first step is to define responsibilities.
For example, Marketing brings in prospects and uses a funnel to develop them into Sales Qualified Leads. From then on, the fault lies with the sales department. It is essential to have clear agreements about when contact is sales-qualified ( lead scoring ). Otherwise, the accusation that marketing is providing sales with the wrong leads will quickly arise again. And speaking of false charges: For marketing to hit the right nerve in the course of lead generation, input from sales is needed! What are the customers’ problems that the salespeople keep revealing in conversations? What are frequently mentioned wishes and goals? All this information is essential for correctly addressing the target group in marketing.
Just Eat Together
And last but not least: How about the marketing and sales team do something together? The work can be something other than the focus. A lunch break or a beer after work helps warm up to each other. Then it quickly turns out that those in marketing aren’t as far removed from reality, and those in sales aren’t as condescending as you might think. On both sides, there are just people who want to do their job well.
Also Read: Conversational Marketing, What Value It Brings A Brand’s Business