A marketer’s primary goal is to help the sales department maximise sales and profits. To achieve this goal, marketing has a thorough strategy, a deep understanding of the customer and a good knowledge of what it takes to launch the business forward.

They all sound like things a salesperson could use, don’t they? It’s time to break down some silos then, because a sales team that works closely with a marketing team is going to smash one that doesn’t out of the park, every time.

Deep knowledge of the target market

Marketers know they are not marketing to everyone. In fact, they have specific and detailed personas they are marketing to. A salesperson may have a great pitch, but if they target the wrong audience they won’t be as successful.

Marketers can teach salespeople more about the target market they are working with and, as a consequence, sales can stop wasting their time delivering pitches with a scattergun approach.

How to cross-train:

  • Rope the marketing team, with their specific demographic insights and knowledge of who is interested in your brand on a large scale, into helping to identify potential clients faster.
  • Make sure your marketing team alerts sales whenever they develop new demographic insights. Be sure to return the favour – report back and let marketers know why certain customers are attracted to a particular product or service.

Obstacles to a sale

Salespeople have a reputation for being persistent, but there’s a fine line between reaching out to your potential customers and being annoying. To ensure your salespeople are not bordering on harassing customers, encourage them to take a leaf out of the marketers’ playbook – they’re not there to sell, they’re there to help solve a problem.

One of the cornerstones of marketing strategy is that it’s more important to have a conversation with customers rather than make a sales pitch, and your marketing team can help your salespeople understand what the problems are, and how they can help solve them.

How to cross-train:

  • Organise discussions between the two teams about the differences between a conversation and a pitch. This can help shed light on new approaches for both marketers and salespeople.

  • Encourage salespeople to use marketing content to inform their discussions with potential clients. It’s likely the marketing team has articles, videos and other collateral that a salesperson can share with their potential clients, and which offers good advice or tips they will use.

Preparing for campaign launch

Last but certainly not least, marketers create campaigns that help drive potential clients to the sales team.

Play the long game – be sure you’re across what marketing campaigns are coming up and use their key messages to inform your conversations with potential clients. Not only will you help drive the success of those campaigns, you are more likely to realise the benefits of a great campaign created by your marketing team.

The good relationship you develop with your marketing team might just see you fed qualified leads as they come in as well.  

How to cross-train:

  • Reach out to the marketing team to find out when they’re planning email marketing, ads, social media campaigns and other marketing materials.

  • Ensure your customers and prospects are on the invite list for any relevant marketing events that are coming up. You can use these events as an opportunity to network with them and deepen relationships and you will also have a reason to follow up after the event to find out about their experience.

Start as you mean to go on

To make sure a sales team benefits from the skills and knowledge of the marketing team, begin cross-training from the moment each new employee is recruited. For existing staff, hold meetings and training sessions, explaining the benefits of working closely with the marketing team. Give each team an opportunity to lead sessions and share insights for success from their unique perspective. An added bonus: these sessions are sure to build relationships within your sales team, not just outside it.

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