It’s one of the most infamous rivalries in commerce. In fact, the sales and marketing gap is almost as old as the system that created the two professions.
Sales professionals often see marketing departments as detached and out of touch with customers and finance. Meanwhile, some marketing employees consider those in sales to be short-sighted and ignorant of anything that doesn’t relate directly to quotas and bottom lines.
Below are some pointers on how the two can set aside their differences and unite in the pursuit of a shared goal.
The old cliché of an ivory tower would probably come close to what many salespeople think of their marketing department. They don’t talk to the customers, they don’t understand them, and they don’t get down to the nitty-gritty of selling to them.
Chances are that most salespeople believe they could do the job of the marketing department better than the current team. After all, they know the people who need to be marketed to better than anyone. They've sold directly to dozens, hundreds or even thousands of customers, so surely they know how to market the brand effectively.
It’s fair to say that marketing professionals often underestimate salespeople, seeing them as focused on those all-important numbers that are just at the end of their noses. They’ve got a job to do, but they never look at the bigger picture, meaning that they don’t know the context behind leads acquired through marketing activity, from SEO and PPC to social media and email campaigns.
This can be frustrating to marketing people, perhaps leading them to think that they could sell directly to customers better than the current sales team, simply because they know the brand so well.
Good sales figures are often also a key performance indicator of the marketing department’s progress. This means that steady increases in sales pay off for both departments.
To achieve this, constructive feedback from salespeople can make the marketing department more responsive. Marketing should use first-hand insight and implement it in a way that will benefit the company as a whole.
Whether it’s how leads respond to certain messages, changes in demographics, new buyer behaviours, or even just the slightest tweaking of sales literature, this input can have a huge impact.
Marketing underpins sales. A successful marketing department should create a positive context where it is easy for salespeople to do their jobs. This includes unique benefits of a product or service for a range of customers types, making the sales conversation more tailored and relevant.
Keeping the sales team in the loop regarding campaigns can make a big difference too. Imagine if you told a salesperson that you’d watched their new YouTube video, only for them to say they hadn’t seen it yet. Suddenly you’ll have a lot less confidence in their knowledge of the brand and how it will benefit your business.
Finally, the marketing department should provide strong sales leads that can be clearly followed up, rather than countless generic contact details obtained through aggressive data gathering methods.
By following these tips, your sales and marketing departments should be able to close the gap between their job roles, resulting in a more fluidic customer acquisition process.
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