Today we’re discussing relationships, and I’m not talking about the mushy stuff. I’m talking about business relationships. But while we’re on the subject, if you are married then you have probably heard the phrase “Relationships are built on trust and communication”. That saying rings true for both personal life and business. Although I’m not qualified to be your marriage relationship counselor, I am qualified to be your marketing relationship counselor. The relationship between sales and marketing is analogous with a marriage. You both occupy space under the same roof and must work together toward a common goal: profitability for your organization.
Marketing and sales are indeed fighting in a war. But, they’re not fighting against each other. They are fighting a common opponent, the obstacle of overcoming and obtaining business growth (revenue and brand value). Here is my quick requirement of the role:
Organizations who are sales-driven tend to produce results. Results now are good in the short term, but may not be effective long term. This is why working together with marketing can achieve increased results. Here is an overview of the sales role:
As we can see, just like in a marriage, this marketing and sales relationship, sometimes referred to as Smarketing, has to work together to be successful. Sure, in some situations sales can run along on its own and maybe close a few deals. Just like Hank the husband can run off with his buddies on a golf trip weekend and have a good time. But, is that a long term and viable plan for Hank’s success in life? Probably not. All kidding aside, you can see the story line here – work together.
Speak the same language: You’ve probably read or heard about the book The 5 Love Languages. Some of that can be applied to any interpersonal or organizational relationship. We have to respect and trust each other, applying that through clear communication. Marketing needs input from sales to do its job right and set forth a winning marketing strategy. Sales needs input and support from marketing to present the best possible brand and to help generate new interested prospects. Together we can practice mapping the ideal customer journey (new and existing). Try bringing in a consultant to help guide that process. Using the same scale for measurement for goals and objectives the path will be easier.
Work together to gain customer feedback: The sales team has intimate knowledge of the existing customer base and is able to gain feedback and personal stories. This is critical information to help shape and determine both marketing and advertising strategy and targets. Marketing can help plan and execute on needed campaigns, bring forth industry data and deliver creative ideas to better engage customers based on the feedback from existing customers.
Support each other in the execution of any campaign or marketing strategy: It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about core brand messaging or a new digital ad campaign, marketing and sales must be in line with communicating and staying consistent. Marketing often casts a large net, but we need to coordinate with sales to refine campaigns and gain the most traction. Consistency between marketing campaigns and sales outreach will help shape ROI in any campaign.
It is not always easy to get two groups who are used to working independently on the same page. This is typically more difficult for the sales team because they are like a lone wolf who thrives out in the wild and on the hunt. But, when these groups come together, communicate effectively and follow a plan the sky is the limit.
This article is geared toward organizations that maintain separate marketing and sales business units. Some of the perspective for this comes from a business to business (B2B) model.