Marketing sees salespeople as being arrogant, while sales see marketers as being indecisive and usually wrong. In this Expert Insight Interview, Gerri Knilans discusses the importance of alignment between sales and marketing. Gerri Knilans has more than 40 years of experience in sales and marketing. She is an entrepreneur, author, educator, and recognized as one of the top marketing communication professionals.
The interview discusses:
- Processes to Team Up
- How to Team Up Virtually
Even though marketing and sales jobs became way more interconnected and overlapped in business nowadays, there is still a lack of communication and collaboration between these two departments. The reason is the mistrust they have in each other. The key to success is both departments recognize the need for the alignment. One thing that marketing can do to encourage the alignment is to include sales in the planning processes such as joint meetings, planning sessions, cross-training, looking for new markets, and working on 4 marketing Ps. The inclusion of Sales team in these processes will lead to a drastic shift in marketing messages to the audience because the marketing team will have a better understanding of the buyer’s motives to make a purchase. Furthermore, these two departments have different mindsets. Sales team is very numbers-oriented, while the marketing team does not think of profits and revenues. However, data analytics can bring these two teams together. If teams collect and analyze data together, it will be easier for them to make decisions together as well. Some of these data could be sale cycle duration, size of targeted companies, social media engagements, ads responses, numbers of repeat sales, etc. And lastly, by working together it would be easier to come to a more detailed understanding of the company’s target buyer.
Team Up Virtually
Covid19 pandemic made us all start hiding in our homes and rely on technology, but physical distancing does not have to mean the total disengagement from other people. There are so many networks such as Zoom where marketing and salespeople can have joint meetings and continue their work together. Quarantine time is not an excuse not to be creative. Sometimes little things make a big difference. A great idea is for example sending a direct mail, or brochure, or a book to the customers signed by both sales and marketing teams. Now is a great time to improve the quality of the relationship with your customers simply because people remember the company’s behavior during challenging times. Also, now is a great time to show empathy towards colleagues. People from both teams should reach out to each other and show interest in knowing how they are doing. That is how teamwork gets build.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.