A level of competitiveness between sales and marketing departments is not uncommon and can help keep work fun. The benefits of working together far outweigh any detractions. In fact, the closer sales and marketing work together, the lower the chance that communication issues and gaps in internal processes will create setbacks.
Siloed departments are less effective than those that have integrated, or shared strategies. An Iranian study on the pharmaceutical industry specifically states that the “silo effect” can negatively influence productivity, sales, and communication. In order to break free from the silo effect, the study urges management to create a culture of collaborative communication through shared goals, including those discussed below. Act-on and Aberdeen found that "highly aligned organizations achieved an average of 32 per cent annual revenue growth—while less well-aligned companies reported an average seven per cent decline in revenue."
They may be at different points in the customer journey, but overall, the target audience doesn’t change whether an employee is a sales assistant or a copywriter. The only difference is where the customer is in the purchasing funnel.
The concept of targeting the same audience and consumer base should help sales and marketing create a cohesive strategy for meeting a shared goal they create together. This may be increasing sales for a specific product, or increasing repeat orders. Creating a shared goal can instill a sense of teamwork and collaboration.
Whether they come in from cold calls or they first hear of a company through social media, almost 100 per cent of prospective customers are going to interact with a company through multiple channels. Even if a lead is interested in a product after hearing about it from a salesperson at a networking event (which means they are coming in from the “sales side”), that lead will still likely check out the company’s website and their reviews on Yelp or Google (which is in the marketing department’s domain).
Customers are leveraging the internet to learn more about a company before making a purchase. This includes checking their online platforms, reviewing competitors, and interacting with the brand through several different mediums. For example, prospective customers may tweet your company a question, but then call their sales rep about something else within the same day. According to SurveyMonkey, these customer touch points occur throughout all the stages of the customer journey: inquiry, purchasing, and after the sale.
Sales and marketing have leads and customers that “cross-pollinate” with both departments. Figuring out common touchpoints and how to improve them in a monthly intradepartmental meeting can help both sides by observing patterns in customer interactions and how they relate to one another.
Here’s a scenario: If analytics show that customers who complete a lead generation form are also 50 per cent more likely to connect on Facebook, this can translate into actionable results. The copy used to successfully drive the completion of the lead generation form could help the marketing department create better search or paid social ads.
Another major benefit of sales and marketing working together and meeting monthly is to identify new content ideas for social media posts and your website. For instance, in a shared Google doc the sales team can keep track of common questions they receive from potential customers during the process of converting them. Marketing can take this list and turn it into a FAQs content page on the website, as well as blog posts or articles that answer these questions in depth.
What is running through your customers’ minds at 2 a.m.? Once your salespeople know these main pain points, marketing can translate them into helpful content.
This can make your sales team’s job easier, as they can refer leads to the FAQs page or blog posts that answer their questions. Salespeople can also use these resources in their initial interactions to head off common questions before they are asked. Your library of content, which should become part of your knowledge base, also has an additional internal benefit—new employees should read it during the onboarding process.
Obviously, the benefits for cross-collaboration between sales and marketing are plentiful. Capturing the same audience through different mediums and messaging is even more of a reason why these departments shouldn’t be siloed. A regular monthly meeting can increase productivity and improve content for your company’s target audience.