Once upon a time there was a king called Sales and a queen called Marketing who ruled the business kingdom. But unlike all great love stories, the romance didn’t blossom quickly, grand statements of love were replaced with sniggering and internal tension, sweeping gestures of collaboration gave way to fractured teamwork, promises of trust never happened and respect for each other’s qualities and skills quickly dissipated.
Despite being voted the couple most likely, Sales and Marketing have developed a tumultuous relationship over the years. They often undervalue each other’s contributions to the business – Sales aims to fill demand while Marketing creates demand, making their work so deeply interconnected. The thing is though, Sales and Marketing can’t live without each other, they need each other to thrive, prosper and deliver quality outcomes for their business. Without this, results are more likely to drop due to a lack of alignment in their strategies. In this blog we aim to provide ways to get Sales and Marketing working together.
Sounds simple right? But how many times does this get overlooked in your business? A lack of communication from both sales and marketing is bound to end in tears. By communicating clearly, Sales can assist Marketing by providing valuable information on sales obstacles, consumer objectives, customer feedback and competitive activity from out in the field. By communicating insight into the challenges they face, Marketing is able to help by providing solutions for Sales to close the deal.
Sales needs to uphold the brand’s style guide, brand promise and values set out by Marketing in every sales meeting to ensure consistency of messaging. A streamlined message and brand theme will assist the sales process by establishing trust and condensing sales features. Professional and consistent marketing collateral further exemplifies the brand’s promise and perception.
Plan for Integrated Sales and Marketing Strategies
Sales and Marketing meetings need to occur on a more frequent basis to discuss problems, ideas, opportunities or upcoming promotions. It is vital to have Sales and Marketing strategies aligned to ensure the goals and objectives are in sync and working together to meeting the overall business goals.
There is no point in these two functions working independently of each other, otherwise you could potentially end up with wasted dollars and missed sales opportunities. A yearly or monthly calendar which outlines all the sales activity, targets and objectives, gives marketing an indication of when to roll out marketing initiatives or when their budget is required to support in-store or online sales activity.
Build Sales and Marketing Relationships
Team building is important for any business and is even more vital for small business, where employees are often doing more than one job and are working in each others pockets. Creating trust and respect between Sales and Marketing (and other employees in general), will assist in quality working relationships where all employees are working to achieve the same goal and are there to support each other where needed.
Define a Sales Ready Lead
Ultimately, the marketing roles are there to support the sales team in making a sale. However, we often hear the sales team complain about the types of leads marketing generates for them through either trade events, online banner advertising, social media advertising or email campaigns to name a few. Small businesses need to define their buyer personas and establish when a lead generated through marketing initiatives can be handed over to the Sales team. Determining where your lead sits within the buyer’s funnel, will help the marketing team understand what more the person needs before they are ready to buy.
Rely on Data
Emotions far too often get in between Sales and Marketing due to building pressure, unaligned goals and objectives, missed sales opportunities and unpromising leads. By relying on what the data is telling you, will help create an equal playing field between the two business functions. Having a daily report or dashboard which analyzes web data from either your online store, social media networks, or email enquires, will allow for a transparent overview on a daily basis of where leads and opportunities are at.
By allowing the time and effort to build team relationships, establish clear and defined business goals and align Sales and Marketing activities together, small businesses will be able to streamline their lead capture and sales process.