Marketing and sales – there is one common goal between both and that are to engage prospects and turn them into customers. When this goal is met, more revenue is created for the business. This is why many businesses rely on both marketing and sales teams in their efforts to facilitate higher profits and company growth.
There are differences between the two business functions, of course. Marketing is about attracting leads to a company and sales is about sealing the deal, via phone calls, video call apps, and face-to-face meetings.
Unfortunately, it’s the case for many businesses that marketing and sales teams work separately. Both teams have insights that can serve one another but when they don't synergize (combine forces), there’s a disconnect that can have negative repercussions for the business.
What Happens When Marketing and Sales Teams Don't Connect
When the two teams don't work together, it can be difficult to pinpoint the reason why sales aren't always made.
Is it because the marketing team is using the wrong customer engagement strategies within their digital and offline marketing processes? Are they targeting the wrong demographics? This can sometimes be the case, especially when there has been a lack of research or data crunching at the outset.
The problem could also arise from the sales team’s side. If they aren't following up on the prospects handed to them by the marketing team, then those sales figures will be down.
The fault may also lie in the lack of communication between both teams. If the sales team doesn't offer feedback to the marketing team on potential bad prospects, then the marketers will continue to target the wrong kind of customer.
If the marketing team doesn't let the sales team know the messages they’re pushing, then the sales reps may cause confusion for their leads if they’re pushing a conflicting message with their cold calling scripts.
This is why synergy is so important. When the two teams are better aligned, there is the potential for more conversions when engaging prospective customers.
What Happens When Marketing and Sales Teams Connect With One Another
Businesses don't function very well when there is a lack of communication. This is something that can be said about most business processes, including those that involve discussion between different departments working for the same company. As we’re seeing, problems can arise when marketing and sales teams don't connect with one another.
If both teams were to connect, two things can happen:
- Marketing campaigns would be better realized, as the marketing team would have greater insight into what customers wanted after using the sales prospects acquired by the sales team.
- The sales team would have more sales-ready leads as, using the data provided, the marketing team will have generated better leads with digital marketing methods tailored to their consumers.
A higher conversion rate and an increase in profits are the consequence of both teams collaborating effectively. If communication channels then remain open, adaptations and improvements to marketing and sales processes can then be made.
How To Ensure Synergy Between Marketing and Sales
We’ve established the importance of marketing and sales synergizing but how does this work in reality? Let’s take a look.
Provide Learning Opportunities
As is true for all aspects of business, it’s always important to foster a culture of learning. This is key to business success as the better-equipped team members are, the better they will be at their jobs.
To educate both teams, it’s important to put them into one another's shoes. You can do this by bringing both groups together so they can share information with one another.
For your marketing team to understand the sales world, your sales team should discuss their goals, key initiatives, and the work that goes into their customer calls, where applicable. They should also explain their frustrations when given bad leads and give feedback on why they sometimes struggle to make a sale. For greater insight, the marketing team could spend a day watching the sales team at work and listening in on the sales calls that take place.
For your sales team to understand the marketing world, the marketing team should talk through the methods they use to determine demographics and gather sales leads. This could include an explanation of the benefits of AI in digital marketing when sharing how information is sourced.
They could also discuss the ways in which they engage potential customers with specific marketing messages as the sales team could try to replicate these messages with their sales pitch.
After learning from one another, it’s important to continue training for both groups. While some aspects of training will be tailored to one team over another, there can also be training opportunities that both teams attend.
Encourage Regular Collaboration
Collaboration between the marketing and sales teams doesn't begin and end after an initial meeting of minds. They should regularly collaborate with each other to ensure greater success for both departments.
One way to do this is to combine the AI-driven data used by the marketing team with the real-time information gained from the sales team. This will give both groups the opportunity to assess what they are doing and will give them the incentive to make changes where necessary.
When sharing data, a target persona can be created for the ideal customer. This will give the marketing team reason to pursue new demographics and will ensure that better leads are found for the sales team.
Both teams can collaborate further when changes need to be made. Through regular meetings, your marketing team can explain changes to the marketing messages they are using to attract new customers. This information can be used by the sales team when they are tailoring their methods of persuasion to close sales.
Your sales team can also feedback on the leads that aren't producing results as this might give the marketing team reason to change their marketing tactics.
Increased collaboration can be time-intensive so it's important to remember that information isn't only passed on through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, and emails. If your IT team could use their no-code business automation skills to create a business intelligence tool, both your marketing and sales staff could share data. Each team could then assemble this data for the purposes of more informed decision-making.
Ensure Each Team Asks the Right Questions
When meeting and collaborating with one another, both teams should ask each other relevant questions.
Questions your marketing team should ask the sales team include:
- What objections do sales prospects have?
- Which marketing materials have resulted in the weakest/strongest leads?
- What can we do to help you close a deal?
- What do your prospects say about our competitors?
- What could we be doing better?
The answers to such questions will help the marketing team develop the strategies they use to reach new customers, such as making changes to the business website and taking steps to increase engagement through video content. They will also have a better insight into the challenges the sales team is facing. When sales deals aren't being closed, for example, the fault might lie in the way the product has been marketed.
The marketing team will then have the incentive to market their product in a different way to develop a greater understanding of its benefits to consumers.
To improve their sales pitches, the sales team should ask the marketing team some of the following questions:
- What need or issue does the product solve?
- What message are you marketing to our prospects?
- Why did you choose these particular leads?
- What taglines can we incorporate into our pitches?
Such questions will give the sales team greater insight into the people they are pitching to and why they are pitching to them. They will also have the opportunity to stay on-brand with the message that’s already being promoted to leads.
By aligning marketing and sales, you will create a relationship that is tailored to serve the needs of one another and the greater needs of your business.
Create a service-level agreement (SLA) that establishes the deliverables each team should provide to one another. Then schedule occasional meetings to ensure lines of communication are being left open between both teams.
By taking these steps, your marketing team will have a better understanding of the consumers they should be targeting, and your sales team won't waste time talking to prospects who won't bring money into your business. True synergy.
Severine Hierso is EMEA Senior Product Marketing Manager for RingCentral Office, the leader in cloud communications and business VoIP service solutions, and is passionate about creating value, differentiation and messaging, ensuring a better experience for customers and partners.
She has gained extensive international Product Marketing, Market Research, Sales Enablement and Business development experience across SaaS, Telecommunications, Video Conferencing and Technology sectors within companies such as Sony, Cisco, Cogeco Peer 1 and Dimension Data/NTT.