Peanut butter and jelly. Shoes and socks. Rum and Coke.
While it seems like marketing and sales would naturally go together like everything else in the list above, the fact is: they often work at odds from each other. This is a struggle I’ve seen in million dollar companies up to billion dollar companies.
Marketing staff is focused on branding and lead generation, while sales zeroes in on closing the sale and boosting conversion rates. One’s in it for the long haul, while the other is looking for instant gratification.
Is it any wonder that marketing sales communication is often riddled with problems?
And yet, when the two departments can work in harmony, beautiful things happen. The sales process becomes more streamlined. The branding and lead generation that marketing teams do spurs more sales. Sales teams can piggyback on marketing campaigns to close more deals.
All of these benefits are highly desirable by both factions, so let’s look at how the two can align for better marketing sales communication and results.
Step 1: Join Forces
Sales and marketing teams are usually pretty busy, each working on its own set of objectives. But taking the time to collaborate can pay off for everyone.
Start by holding a meeting for everyone on both teams to address how you will work together towards the company goals. With so many voices, the meeting could easily derail, so make this a high-level discussion with specific points to address. You’ll break out into smaller meetings as needed later.
Your goal here is to make sure that sales and marketing staff know one another and know who to contact for specifics. Ted in Sales may be glad to know who manages the blog, since a customer suggested a topic that he wanted to pass along. Martha in Marketing may want to know what promotions are going on so she can share them on social media.
Step 2: Develop a Promotions & Content Calendar
Martha was smart in wanting to know about promotions; employees handling social media, advertising, and content will benefit from knowing what promotions or sales are happening, and yet that’s often not the case.
Work with both teams to create a calendar around sales and marketing promotions. Brainstorm on blog topics, ad campaigns, and social media updates that will support sales efforts and ensure that the promotions are spread far and wide across all marketing channels.
Marketing may take time to come around to the idea, but the sales team does and should have a voice in blog topic, campaign, and promotion ideas. They work closely with the audience and should be considered a voice of the customer.
Step 3: Work on Campaigns and Goals Together
For each marketing or sales campaign, staff from both sides should meet. First, establish goals for each department for a given campaign. Sales may want to increase revenues by 5%. Marketing may want to get 200 new email subscribers. Both are valid goals, and when both side can see and understand the other’s goals, they can work together to accomplish them.
A campaign process that includes both sales and marketing team’s approval and sign-off will be far more successful than one run in a silo or only giving a passing notice to sales before launch.
Step 4: Review Results Together
While working together to establish campaign goals is important, so, too, is reviewing results. The best marketing and sales results happen when teams look at what went wrong and what went well, and use that data to plan future campaigns.
Step 5: Modify Future Efforts
Using that data from past campaigns, ensure that future sales and marketing efforts better target customers. As an example, if the last campaign promoting a 20% off deal didn’t fare well, the next campaign might offer a larger discount or reduce the price for a specific product. You can then compare results from one campaign to another to see which your audience responded best to.
Sales and marketing are on the same team, though it may not always seem so when communication fails between the two. Partnering to tackle goals from two directions is the best way to help a company grow.
This post was originally posted on AllBusiness.com.