If your business has a marketing and sales team, then it goes without saying that you work for (or with, or own) a customer-oriented company. In a customer-oriented business, you know just how weak your interactions with your customers can be when those two teams are not working in sync. Thus, it is always important to pay close attention to how well sales and marketing are interacting. You may be wondering, just how important is it to pay such close attention to the cohesiveness of these two sectors of business? Well, in short, it is very important. There have actually been studies that support results that say that unproductive interactions between marketing and sales can negatively impact a company’s annual revenue! Whether this concept is directly relevant to you because you need advice or are simply curious about this intriguing idea, here are ten tips for helping marketing and sales work together.
Utilize a CRM Platform
CRM, an acronym for customer relationship management, is a technological platform specifically designed to help a business manage relationships with current customers and future customers. Utilizing something like a CRM for small business can help your company streamline certain tasks so that the people can get back to doing their jobs best without smaller tasks on their plate. Of course, you need to do as much research as possible surrounding a decision like this. When it comes to picking a CRM platform, you want to make sure that it aligns properly with your company’s needs. This means that you should look into whether or not the technology offered by different CRMs would work best in its mission to save the labor of your sales and marketing employees. Some ways to utilize a CRM platform that would help in minimization of labor, including increasing sales productivity, lead conversions, decision-making processes, and customer satisfaction. By instituting CRM software, you could take some stress off of your employees, making things like communication and success much easier for everyone. Give it a shot and see how it goes in your business.
Try Team Building Exercises
Team building can conjure up cheesy images of trust falls and ropes courses. While these exercises have their merit and their place, they are not what this tip is referring to. Instead, think of some creative ideas for your teams. Use whatever communication platform you have to subtly deepen interactions! For example, you can create a channel of communication between sales and marketing that has a fun name. Then, you can institute themed days that engage everyone and lead to increased productivity and employees having more pride in their work. One idea for a themed day could be that every Friday, the sales team and the marketing team compete by trying to tell the funniest joke over the communication platform. Whichever team wins then owes the other team lunch next week! Small but enjoyable exercises such as this lead to great things between teams. Awkward barriers break through casual conversation, fun competition ignites, and people feel more comfortable communicating with one another.
Open Up Communication Channels
Communication is absolutely key when it comes to relationships of any kind. It is often said about marriages that most issues can be traced back to one thing every single time: a lack of clear and honest communication. The workplace is truly no different. From personal to technical, many issues that arise can be traced back to a misstep in communication from someone. It is why opening up communication channels and keeping those communication channels open wide can be so useful in building solid relationships between sales and marketing. For example, on one hand you have marketers who can be geniuses in coming up with materials for getting consumers on the hook and having those consumers want to come back to your business over and over again. However, those marketing geniuses may tend to lack charisma when it comes to in-person marketing. This is when you need salespeople. Salespeople have that great charisma in person but may not have that deep intellectual background that marketers have. One can not function at its best without the other! Ensuring that there is a line of unbiased and clear communication between the salespeople and the marketers during projects big and small ensures that both parties can work their skills to their utmost advantages while leaning and relying on the other party to fill in for their weaknesses. Due to their differences, it may be hard to have consistently clear and honest communication, but it sure is not impossible. Just keep that group chat open and encourage daily conversation about casual topics. That way when it comes time to get down to business, everyone feels a lot more comfortable with one another.
The Company’s Vision
You know how some people say that the fastest way to unite a group of people is to rally them against a common enemy? While this strategy may be fast, it definitely will not last. This is why it is much wiser in the long term for your business for you to unite two groups together under a unifying vision for your company. The best way to do this is for your marketing team and sales team to understand the company’s ultimate goals clearly. You can disseminate clearly written memos on general goals, such as increase lead conversions and make the customer experience the best that it can be. You can also give specific goals surrounding each task or project that stem from those general goals. Ultimately, your employees should know the company’s motto and make sure that their every decision goes back to that concept. When they do, it is almost like they are fighting a battle for the same goals which instills a certain sense of intra-department camaraderie no matter what challenges may come.
Don’t Wait To Solve Issues
If there is one thing that will harm the interface between marketing and sales, it is letting problems fester for a long time without any solution. Sometimes you have to take an issue to human resources to be talked out in a safe atmosphere. Other times, there is just a slight miscommunication between two or more people that needs to be mediated and resolved before it grows into something harmful to the team. No matter what the issue is, you should instill in all team members that avoidance is never the answer.
Be Intentional With Hires
This is a way to start aligning interests from the ground up. Whenever you make a new hire for either sales or marketing, keep in mind the ultimate goal: effortless relationships between the two departments. By keeping this in mind as you interview potential hires and read resumes, you are sure to hire someone who knows just how important this goal is to your business. Maybe you go for the interviewee who has both sales and marketing prior experience instead of the hiree who has more experience in the role for which they are interviewing. These types of hires can then help usher in a new era of teamwork.
Share All Information
It may not always come as second nature to share all sales information with the marketers and all marketing information with the salespeople. However, it should become second nature! Provide all of the data found in marketing information with the salespeople so that they can better conceptualize what customers respond to. Share all of the intangible wins from the sales team with the marketing team to better understand how sales people end up closing the deal with customers.
Incentivize Better Team Work
Having trouble getting the relationships to get to where they should be? Try offering incentives for teamwork between departments. You can do something simple like sending short, encouraging messages to the team threads when they voluntarily communicate information with each other. You can also offer team-wide pay bumps when goals are met due to obvious collaboration.
Have Both Teams Critique Each Other
This one can potentially be a minefield, so set clear boundaries and rules if you decide to do this. Offer a team meeting and set the rules and introduce the concept. Allow the marketers to advise the salespeople on their blind spots, and vice versa. These insights, when delivered politely, may lead to better customer acquisition and retention.
Don’t Let Potential Be Wasted
If you see a social media maverick and a salesperson who are hitting it off in their professional relationship, do not hesitate to grab that potential and utilize it for the customer’s benefit! Try putting the two together on a sales call and see if their charisma and beneficial personality traits can do some amazing work.
When sales and marketing end up working together to fulfill the goals and vision of the company, amazing things can happen. After reading this list of advice on how to foster better relationships between the two departments, it is more apparent that neither can truly work well without the other. If the sales team does not know what the marketing team is doing, there are bound to be issues down the line during sales. These kinds of snafus are completely avoidable with the proper intentional planning and focusing. Try utilizing one, any or all of these tips if you or your business has been suffering from a disconnect among these teams. Your business will start thriving in no time!