How to align marketing with sales
He said, "So you have come here to sell to me!". I was mortified! I don't sell, I market! I was simply presenting an opportunity for Silicon Graphics to market themselves to the IT industry in Queensland and to gain profile. Then, my job was to ensure that they received the publicity and profile that is commensurate with their dollar value sponsorship.
"No, I have come here to provide Silicon Graphics with a marketing opportunity. I am a marketer - not a sales person," I said defensively.
"What's the difference between sales and marketing," he said.
"Quite simply, marketing provides the forum for sales to occur!"
And it was as simple as that... another clash on what is the value of marketing when it comes to achieving sales. Are all marketers really sales people?
Improving marketing and sales alignment is an age-old challenge. It is the cause for much frustration not only between sales and marketing teams, but also for senior management who often get caught in the cross-fire and find that the results they are looking for don't come into fruition. Sales and marketing just don't talk - they clash. They HATE each other. Marketing sits in a pod of snobbery sitting behind their degrees and ability to build a brand, while Sales knows that without them, marketing doesn't have a job. It's like the chicken and the egg.
Ways to improve marketing and sales alignment in your small business.
1. Ensure better understanding of each departments work and what they need to do to reach company KPI's
2. Get buy-in from sales when marketing campaigns are developed
3. Set up workshop's with both parties prior to any new campaign to get valuable feedback, input and required outcomes
4. Ensure that the timing is right for campaigns and that each understand the basic fundamental of how marketing and sales 'think'. Marketing is looking for "Mr Right" and Sales is looking for "Mr Right Now".
5. Define what a lead is, as one of the big issues that Sales face is that they feel that they are continually passed on 'bad leads' which waste their time.
6. Better communicate the benefits of CRM programs (technology) to ensure that Sales has a greater 'buy-in' to what technology platform best suits the needs of the organisation
7. Make marketing content more relevant. They say 80% of marketing content is never used by sales.
8. Conduct regular feedback sessions and document it.
9. Ensure that every person in the equation is focused on outcomes not deliverables.
10. Get your marketing team to be 'sales people' for a day and vice-versa. A new found appreciation will occur in an instant!
It's always challenging to understand the Mexican stand-off that Sales and Marketing continually have, but as we all know, without either party, we don't have a business. Keep the communications open and provide platforms for both teams to appreciate the work that the other does.
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