Many mid-size and large companies have in-house sales departments and separate marketing departments. Although the phrase ïsales and marketingï is commonly used in the business setting, these really are two different teams working toward different goals. At least it can seem that way. In the end, the best way to make sales and marketing play nice is to make them each understand the other. Let’s take a look at some strategies for reaching this goal.
The sales and marketing teams likely have their own sections of the office, and they may rarely cross the boundaries into uncharted waters. It could be that managers have to make a concerted effort to even get the two groups in the same room together to have a conversation. But, if that task can be accomplished, it’s a good starting point for introducing them. Facilitators should explain what the goals and values of each group are as well as which goals the two have in common. After all, everyone is working toward the success of the business, right?
Meet Together Regularly
It likely will take a continued effort, however, to make sales and marketing play nice. One way to do that is to structure regular meetings with members from both teams. Each department is striving toward common goals for the company as well as facing obstacles that they both share. They can plan joint strategies for reaching revenue objectives, and they can discuss ways to support the other team so that everyone succeeds together. If this seems a little too ambitious of a goal at first, at least starting with mutual meetings is a first step. Remember, marketing is concerned with the customer experience now and in the future while sales is focused on making revenue now by overcoming objections and pricing barriers.
Conversation About Leads
One of the shared discussions when sales and marketing play nice is about leads. Marketing works toward finding leads, and the sales team is supposed to close them. However, the two departments may not agree about what constitutes a solid lead and when is the optimal time to make a move on it. Staff members on the marketing team may feel as though they are handing the sales staff leads on a platter, but meanwhile the sales team knows it’s too early in the process to push products. The two teams have to decide on what constitutes a sales-ready lead and which potential customers will take more time to tee up for a sale.
It might help if there are some alternative ways for members to learn how sales and marketing play nice. Perhaps some marketing members go out on sales calls with that department’s employees. Or maybe salespeople can work a marketing booth to see what customers are really saying about the product without trying to sell them anything. Maybe it’s just a matter of mixed team members having a beer together after work, or switching around their desks so each isn’t so pigeonholed. Whatever the approach is, managers should not be afraid to try innovative methods to get the two departments to understand and cooperate with each other.
Look Toward the Future
Again, both sales and marketing department employees want the same thing: for the company to succeed and remain financially viable. Sales is about the now; the whole department is focused on bringing in revenue today, this week or this month so that the company will still be open in a year. Marketing employees are all about the future; they know if they don’t attract new customers by spreading brand awareness and support, there will be no clients for the sales staff to target. The departments are mutually exclusive, and getting employees to understand that is most of the battle. They might even have a few ideas rattling around in their brains that would benefit members of the other team. Or, they can offer an outsider’s view along with possible improvements. The relationship between these two specialists shouldn’t be adversarial. It’s up to management to pave the way for a beneficial partnership between the sales staff and marketing department. With a little extra understanding and setting of shared goals, harmony among the groups is possible. In addition to learning how to make sales and marketing play nice in the business setting, you can learn how to make solid hiring decisions and improve your companies using the resources at Mighty Recruiter as a guide. There are dozens of topics to choose from, and more added all the time.