We all know marketing is responsible for lead generation and the sales team is responsible for turning that lead into a customer. So what’s the problem? The problem is, more often than not, sales and marketing are on completely different pages. In order for your company to grow and new business to thrive, sales and marketing must align. But how can they align?
Alignment can be difficult at first, especially if the two departments have not worked together at all. Here are four easy steps that you can take to make sure that your marketing and sales departments align:
Marketing and sales must communicate! First and foremost, the two departments should be “one.” In order to align, both departments should have monthly (if not weekly) meetings to discuss where they are at with goals, objectives, and processes. They also need to study the marketplace and discuss trends that are currently happening in the industry. Marketing needs to ask the sales team questions such as: What qualifies a lead? What questions do you find being asked over and over? Why have prospects chosen us over a competitor? Knowing these types of questions can help marketing better align with the sales team. Also, in order to communicate more effectively, marketing must also fully understand what it takes to sell. Sit in on a sales phone call once a week, meet with the sales team to understand their process of selling, or go out into the field with a salesperson. Either way, marketing needs to fully understand the bottom-line sales objectives.
2. Provide Resources!
Marketing should also create tools for sales people to use during their conversations or presentations. The sales team should always have a stock of resources that they can use to keep buyers interested throughout the entire sales process. Asking the appropriate questions during sales/marketing meetings can help marketing create new materials that will better enable the sales person to be engaged with the lead. The sales team should have materials that they can use throughout the entire sales funnel. Sales people should not be afraid to ask for more content…after all, they are the ones communicating with the prospective buyers. When sales teams are not aligned with marketing, more often than not, they will create their own content. The issue with sales creating their own content is that it could interfere with the
branding efforts that marketing is executing, or they could be using images without the proper rights (the list could go on). Bottom line, marketing needs to create tools or the sales team.
Marketing and sales should collaborate on lead reporting. Marketing must continue in their efforts to provide quality leads to the sales team. In order to do this, marketing must send the proper message to the appropriate audience. To find quality leads, marketing must maintain their efforts in branding, promotion, and content. When communicating with your sales team, they should know your goals for leads. Let’s say marketing’s goal is to provide 200 quality leads this month. Sales should be aware of the marketing lead goal and create their goals around those.
Source: Profiles International.