As Director of Marketing at AG, there are multiple things I’m responsible for in both marketing and sales departments. One large component of a successful business that some companies seem to miss is bridging the communication gap between sales and marketing departments. Here are 4 tips on how to encourage sales and marketing departments to work together rather than independently.
Clearly, nobody is perfect, and everyone has bad days. However, when running any part of marketing, communication is a necessity, even on those days where you belong back in bed with the covers over your head.
Marketers always seem to be running in a million different directions at once, but throughout your daily actions you need to always remember to include other people in the who’s, why’s, and what’s of your decisions.If you publish new content, send an email out to the company letting everyone know what was published, where they can locate it, and, if applicable, whether they should share it. This way, you’re getting the word out to your company on what you’ve been working on as a department and what is available to them as a resource. Always be informative and encouraging in these interactions.
Sales meetings are great, but personal meetings are even better. Speak with your sales team members individually and sincerely ask them, “How is selling going? What challenges are you running into? Is there anything more that marketing can do to help you?”
Nothing is more valuable than feedback; both sales and marketing can help each other. Sales can provide marketing with insights regarding your prospects, such as what challenges they’re facing, whether marketing content is helpful or stagnant, how your sales team is using your content to sell, and whether they have enough meaningful pieces for each stage of the funnel. At the same time, marketing can provide sales with new selling strategies, tips for social selling, content tailored to what your sales team perceives as most helpful in the selling process, or even a different outlook on a prospect interaction.
Once in a while, it’s also nice to have a conversation with them regarding the marketing and sales process on lead hand-offs to ensure that process is clear, organized and working for everyone. When your sales team knows they can count on you, and when you show your buy-in to the sales process, you’ll be facilitating and creating a healthy and, most importantly, productive relationship between the two departments.
After you’ve met with a handful of sales team members, it’s time to really think about the feedback they’ve given you. How can you use their insights to help drive your marketing efforts? What kinds of questions are your prospects asking? How is your sales team using the content you provide, and where can you fill a gap or supplement existing content? Perhaps a new e-book that you recently published has been receiving great reviews?
Be sure that you’re using this feedback to your advantage and capitalize on your efforts. Use your marketing knowledge and forward thinking to help create marketing efforts that are relevant, but don’t forget to consider insights from sales, as they’re on the forefront speaking with your buyer personas on a daily basis.
It’s important to notify everyone throughout the company about marketing’s efforts and strategies, but don’t overlook communication with management. Managers also have very busy days and always seem to be tight on time, so it’s important that you make a conscious effort to interact with them about future marketing content and any changes in your strategy that may affect their processes. Even if they’re scrambling throughout the day, they will appreciate you popping in to give them an update every now and then.
This last tip seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes it needs to be said. As I’ve said before, I know marketers are busy, but they shouldn’t be so busy that people can’t stop in and have a conversation regarding a new sales idea, a new marketing effort, or whatever it may be.
Sometimes people forget how important it is to listen to other people’s ideas, especially people who are not immersed in the same daily activities as you are. They may see a better solution that you may be overlooking, or may have a different approach to something that you may have completely forgotten about.
It’s also very important to be approachable and available to your company as a resource, as a person who can help facilitate ideas, and as a welcoming person with whom other marketing and sales professionals can converse. You never know who or what will inspire an incredible marketing effort that yields quality MQLs for your sales team!
To learn more about the marketing and sales alignment, visit salesforce.com, or download the free e-book.