In today’s business enterprises, marketing and sales are commonly divorced.
In fact, their behavior can actually parallel that of a divorced couple—constantly bickering and blaming each other over lead quality and quantity.
Marketing will assert that sales just isn’t following up the leads they have and is wasting them, while sales, following their sales strategies, will claim that marketing is providing too many leads that just don’t pan out.
Forward-thinking companies are realizing that such a situation is only hampering their progress. Worse, it is resulting in an unresolved situation with regard to leads—with this more or less permanent lack of communication on the subject, there are leads that are going by the wayside, falling into a “black hole” between sales and marketing.
Here are 4 benefits of bringing sales and marketing into accord:
#1: Agreement on Strategy
Sales and marketing typically operate on differing strategies. Marketing is constantly seeking new sources of leads, and crafting messages that will cause interest in the company’s products and services from as many quarters as possible. Sales, on the other hand, has brought about best-practice sales strategies of turning leads into closed sales.
The strategies differ in one important way: marketing is more of an “experimental” frame of mind, while sales are only seeking stability of lead quality and don’t wants to hear about “experiments.”
If the two factions were in cooperation, marketing would be fully apprised of what the sales force means by “qualified lead” and sales would have a clearer understanding of marketing’s mission and what they’re trying to accomplish. Instead of conflicting, their strategies could be aligned for a smooth march forward—and upward.
#2: Full and Shared Understanding of Buyer Behavior
While marketing may have a broad understanding of buyer behavior within an industry, salespeople have an on-the-ground understanding that can only be obtained through personal contact. For this reason, salespeople often complain about marketing campaigns that “don’t speak to the buyers.”
Therefore another benefit of sales and marketing cooperation is a shared understanding of buyer behavior. This allows marketing to speak more accurately to the various types of buyers through promotional materials.
It would also behoove marketing to speak directly to buyers themselves, and gain a firsthand understanding of their motivations, needs and wants. If the information is gained which salespeople don’t already have, it can be shared with the sales force.
#3: Marketing Support of Sales Strategies
A sale moving through the sales process (sales pipeline or sales funnel) can often be assisted by marketing collateral materials that apply to particular stages of the sales process. Through the right CRM solution these can be made available to sales reps as they are needed, and a salesperson can simply click and have them sent to the prospect company.
When sales and marketing are not aligned, such materials can be hit or miss; marketing may assert that the buyers need a particular message, and the sales reps will argue back that it is actually the wrong message and won’t assist the sale. But when marketing and sales are in full agreement as to what those materials should communicate—having reached a mutual understanding of buyer behavior—the effort and funds then expended will actually achieve the goal.
#4: Closing the Chasm on Leads
As noted earlier, with sales and marketing more or less in opposition, there are leads that simply don’t get followed up. Sales is asserting they’re not worthy of sales force time and effort, while marketing is claiming that sales simply isn’t taking the time to turn them into sales.
When sales and marketing are working in accord, methods are found to address all leads so they don’t get wasted.
We will be addressing the particulars of each of these areas in our next series of articles—for only with sales and marketing in full agreement and alignment can a company find success in the 21st century. It is a key component of all sales strategies.
For sales and marketing to work in total accord, a leading-edge CRM solution is required. Find out all about it here.