Can’t We All Just Get Along? Part One: Sales & Marketing
Over the past several years, I have attend conferences and networking functions across the country. At these events, I have had the ability to network with individuals and ask them about their experiences, in addition to learning about the latest trends in digital marketing. At almost every single event, I encounter marketing professionals who are frustrated with the lack of support they receive from their salespeople. Common complaints that I hear are:
- Sales isn’t following up with the leads that we provide them.
- They complain that all marketing does is spend money, while they’re out there moving the needle.
- It seems like we’re both off doing our own things.
Why? Aren’t we all after the same goal? Don’t we all want the company to do well? Can’t we all just get along?
Ultimately, this frustration and resentment seems to stem from a fundamental lack of communication. Marketing gets its directives from the CMO and sales gets its own set of goals from the Vice President of Sales. At a high level, these plans may seem to be perfectly congruous, but as we delve deeper into the everyday tactical approaches of each of these divisions, the discrepancies come to light. Rather than pointing fingers at each other, team members should physically sit together and determine why things aren’t working as well as they should. During this meeting, each side should ask important questions that get to the root of the problem.
If sales isn’t following up on the leads that marketing is providing, there is a greater underlying issue that needs to be addressed. If they are receiving quality leads, it is in their best interest to act on them quickly. Perhaps your lead scoring system needs to be adjusted. Maybe you don’t have a lead scoring system and need to implement one to ensure that only the most qualified leads are being sent to your account managers.
Complaints About Roles
If departments are pointing fingers and disparaging each others’ work, they are going to become frustrated and ultimately resent each other, allowing the vicious and negative cycle to continue. The only way to solve this issue is for each team to understand the roles and capabilities of the other. Once everyone is on the same page, people are more likely to work together and leverage the others’ strengths in order to achieve company directives.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are many different software packages that help marketing and sales work together. When integrated with your business systems, these packages can become even more robust, allowing the entire business to leverage a complete dataset of customer behavior. If you have a CRM system (which you should), make sure that it is integrated with your ERP or sales data. If you use an ESP or marketing automation system, be sure to feed that information to your CRM so that salespeople can view how their customers interact with marketing materials in order to better customize the sales experience for that individual.
The great thing about these technologies is that they don’t have to be expensive. There are a bunch of free CRM systems that work wonderfully for small-to-medium businesses, and there are plenty of email service providers that integrate with them.