The better your marketers understand the methods, goals and setbacks your salespeople face, the more they can help improve the bottom line. Here are our top tips for marketers trying to break down departmental silos.

Imagine, as a marketer, you had a direct line to customers, could listen to the language they use, understand their pain points and see how they use your products or services. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But your salespeople have this knowledge. And this makes them worth their weight in gold. It’s time to break down some silos and tap into that knowledge, here’s how.

1. Customer relationships

Salespeople’s have the strongest customer relationships – after all, their performance relies on them.

Marketers may not have the opportunity to work directly with customers. But they have access to their company’s salespeople.

If a customer talks to a sales rep about why they chose your services, make sure sales shares the feedback with marketing. This offers valuable details about why they chose your company over your competition, and can help with developing advertising and promotional materials.

How to cross-train:

  • Schedule regular catch-ups so the sales team can give the marketing team a rundown on customer responses, questions or suggestions.

  • Have your sales team keep track of noteworthy customer interactions to share developments in customer relationships with the marketing team.

  • Start a Chatter group dedicated to this information. Salespeople can share their knowledge on their way out of meetings, and marketers can check in regularly to make sure they’re across what real customers and potential customers are saying – and how they are saying it.

2. Speaking their language

Great salespeople have mastered customer-centricity for their own roles. They speak to customers in a way that makes them comfortable, as well as confident in their purchasing decisions. You can use this to inform marketing campaign language.

How to cross-train:

  • Sit in on sales meetings to learn new ways to write copy that speaks to your target audience. Industry-specific terms, customer preferences and more can be taken from conversations or email messages between salespeople and customers.

  • Keep as much communication as possible in your CRM for easy access for both departments.

3. Product knowledge

Marketers understand products and services – how would they ever market them otherwise? But, while a marketer understands how a product is designed to be used and the problems it is supposed to solve, salespeople know how customers use it in the real world.

Knowledge that comes from working with users allows salespeople to personalise a product pitch. It helps them understand what information is most important to various demographics.

This product knowledge is incredibly important in marketing. It is worth consulting with your sales team to figure out their ‘insider knowledge’ of the product. When marketers have this information it may change their strategy entirely, so it's important that these things are transparent and frequently discussed.

How to cross-train:

  • Ask both teams to discuss your brand and what it stands for – salespeople will be able to discuss what customers think.

  • Ask marketers to participate in observation days – tagging along with a salesperson – to meet clients and see how salespeople speak to them and communicate your brand.

To learn more about how marketing and sales can work better together, download our free eBook, ‘5 quick ways to clean up your sales and marketing pipeline’.