Home > Marketing, Sales > Sales and Marketing: Why can’t we all just get along?

Sales and Marketing: Why can’t we all just get along?

Over the past 15 years helping clients wage war in the technology marketplace, we’ve come to appreciate that the first battle for marketing is often the one fought inside a company between sales and marketing. Let’s face it, the two functions are often at odds due to the he fundamental schism of one function primarily rewarded for delivering near term results, i.e. get sales this quarter, and the other function primarily rewarded for creating competitive advantage and building brand preference. It’s no wonder there’s a lot of finger pointing in the hallways and conference rooms across America. But when internal struggles consume cycles, it’s always with the collective company back to the customers and prospects vs. forming a customer-facing united front, the only winners in the fight are competitors who have figured it out. So here’s a few consideration for marketers on how to enter the battle – arms locked – with sales.

First, start every year and every quarter with joint sales and marketing management review of goals and objectives: what are the key sales goals, key customer targets, key initiatives sales needs to achieve?

Second, review all the ongoing and planned marketing activity and the how results are tracking, by activity, campaign, program, etc. This is the ideal time to discuss what’s working and what’s not, what to abandon and where to “double down.”

Third, start “drilling down” into what’s not working and why. E.g. is a particular marketing program not delivered enough leads, enough quality leads, or both? Are leads not progressing from interest to a qualified opportunity for a particular reason that can be adjusted, e.g. not the decision maker (wrong target) , no a real customer pain that needs to be solved today (not a compelling value proposition), or not currently in the market to buy (time frame). Each of these reasons suggests a different adjustment, the latter may be to find out whether the prospect is willing to engage in a cultivation program to stay in touch with the company when they have a project to fund, etc.

Finally, marketing needs to get sales to commit to a consistent activity level of follow up for the agreed upon priority campaigns. For example, if leads are scored from A through D, then perhaps sales will follow up on all A & B leads and provide marketing feedback within a week. C & D leads can be addressed either later, or if the company has some level of inside lead nurturing capability , via telesales reps and/or marketing automation software. There are many other ways to achieve sales and marketing alignment, but regardless of which approaches are adopted, you don’t have to like each other to work together, but you have to work together to win.

Categories: Marketing, Sales
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