Bridging the Sales and Marketing Divide – Thoughts from Inbound 2015

Author: Jack Martin

Although sales and marketing are both key factors in any successful business, history has shown a deep divide between the channels. But these two game changers have been enemies for too long. It’s time for collaboration, respect and alignment in efforts for sales and marketing departments.

But how do you connect marketing and sales departments, and why? This was the key theme from Greg Linnemanstons(President/Partner at Weidert)talked at Inbound 2015. It’s also something we rely on heavily in our marketing onboarding process.

Why align sales and marketing?

It’s important to realize that your sales teams hold the keys to customer pain points. Being that sales are a direct line to current and new customers, they are able to find out what they know about your company, common misconceptions, and service areas they’re not aware of. Meaning that, “Sales holds the keys to great content ideas that will be relevant for potential customers.” Marketing can tap into the wealth of information that the sales department cultivates by engaging with your customers.

ClickZ.com has a great overview of what it means to align sales and marketing, from definitions to outline key campaigns where sales and marketing need to work together on. Below is a good starting point for understanding the relationship between sales and marketing.

Further Reading: Aligning your Traditional Marketing with Digital

If sales and marketing are not aligned, there are many threats a business can experience:

Sales could be receiving “bad” leads
Sales might be not be congruent with the marketing promise
Marketing could be promoting the wrong messages (or irrelevant messages).
Marketing’s goals could be far from the sales team

Being able to overcome these conflicts means being able to clearly define the roles of your sales and marketing teams, and what those roles contribute to the other side’s success. Making sure both teams know how they are benefiting the others iskey.

Goals and Benchmarks for Aligning Marketing and Sales

Marketing teams bring in new leads for the sales team. The goals of marketing are actually quite simple:

Increase brand awareness (via SMART goals)
Increase leads (into the hands of the sales team)

If the Marketing team can succeed in bringing the sales team a consistent stream of qualified leads, they have done their job. Tapping into the sales channel to help nurture current and past customers is an effective strategy to help the sales teams rather easily.

The goals of sales can be boiled down to a few key points as well:

Sales
Proposals written
Activities logged (i.e. calls made, emails sent).Focusing on how the activity is moving a potential customer in the sales funnel
Lead time, and value

When your customers get into the sales funnel they are at the point where they will give you the most valuable information. Sales are in the position to gathering pertinent information because the engagement on their end is all value based. Those values can then be translated into marketing content that can be used back at the top of the funnel.

If you would like to learn more about how to align sales and marketing,Marketohas a TON of resources to view. Otherwise sign up for our newsletter to receive tips like this directly to your inbox, add your name to the list (The scrolling box on the right hand side of the page!).