In many businesses, sales and marketing are thought of as two separate departments, and they’re organized in that manner.
The problem with that mindset is that marketing and sales are fundamentally dependent on each other. If your marketing team isn’t creating quality leads for your sales team, they’re not going to sign-up new clients and customers at the rate you’re looking for. And on the other hand, if your sales team can’t convert the leads you’re generating into clients, you’re wasting the time and money you’re putting into marketing.
Now, I’m not telling you that you have to put both teams into the same department. For most small businesses, organizational structure is loose and free flowing.
The point that I am making is that your marketing and sales teams need to be fundamentally aligned. They need to function as allies – not adversaries. Here are three ways to make that happen.
1. Create regular conversation. It’s easy for marketing and salespeople to stop talking to each other. Your sales team spends most of their time on the phone or following up with prospects face to face. Your marketing team is working on projects and often there’s not much physical proximity. Communication may not happen spontaneously, so you need to make sure it happens. Create a regular weekly or monthly meeting for both teams. The sales team can share information about the quality of leads they’ve been receiving, any specific challenges they’re struggling to overcome, etc. This is an opportunity for the marketing team to adjust their messaging and overall strategy to create better synergy with the sales team.
2. Set goals and objectives that create common ground. When you measure your sales team only by the amount of leads, they convert into clients, or the marketing team only by leads generated, they tend to focus on their individual goals and lose big-picture perspective. Consider measuring both teams – at least in part – by overall clients won or revenue driven. This forces each team to be mutually dependent on the other – which is the way it should be.
3. Create joint leadership – task someone in your organization with the overall objective of driving revenue. Similarly, to the second point, if you have a “marketing manager” who is just focused on creating leads and a “sales manager” who is focused on conversion, the big picture gets lost. Some businesses merge the departments into a single “revenue department” with the big-picture task of generating leads AND converting them into paying clients. Having a single person in charge of that department ensures that your marketing people and your salespeople will pull together towards the common goal.
Your marketing and sales teams need each other. They are mutually dependent on each other for success – and the overall health of your business depends on them having a healthy working relationship.
Make sure your marketing and sales teams are aligned!