A discussion on why the relationship has broken down, and how to fix it by focusing on what's important: your customers.
Doing a search on sales / marketing roles in the same sentence brings up a massive number of auto-fill options on sales – and it’s disturbing that enough people have searched ‘why do marketing and sales hate each other’ that it appears in autofill options.
This is concerning because sales and marketing must be aligned in order to sell products and services – and need each other in order not only to survive, but to thrive and please the customer they both focus on selling to.
Gary Whitaker and Darren Leishman discussed this issue, and we’ve put together a motivation for growing understanding, teamwork, and communication between the two divisions, that will help both to focus on the customer as the main driving force.
Where do we stand in the sales / marketing loop?
Marketing and sales serve close-to the same purpose, and it is agreed that the split was due to changes in the history of marketing that are no longer relevant to us, and have never been relevant to our customers.
Sales and marketing are essential joined at the hip
Sales used to be a primary focus
"When marketing became prevalent, and mass media needed sexier taglines and sales pitches in order to generate more sales, sales and marketing split."
The corporate experience
How do we align ourselves to our customers' needs, when we are so busy denying that we've ever done the same kind of work, or share the same goals?
We can see the divide clearly, and identify where it came from. Now we discuss moving forward.
What solutions do we have to combat this sales / marketing problem, to solve the right problems for our customers?
- The best marketers have been on the sales side
Spending time understanding roles helps sales and marketing to get along better, and gives insight into what the customer expects from each side of the fence.
As Darren says: "Because the sales team speaks directly to the customer, they have first-hand knowledge of the customer pain point. Talking to the sales team allows marketing to take this first-hand information and maximise the impact of their integrated strategy."
- Working toward company objectives
"We’ve let go of customers before, who would contribute to our profits, but we couldn’t add value for them. At that stage, it was a difficult call, and we took a hit, but five years down the line, they came back to us for strategic consultation, and we now have a stronger and more productive relationship, and we can add value. It’s always a tough decision to make, but following the business objectives and needs helps to guide your choice".
KPIs should be set for both sales and marketingMeasurables need to be common to both, and the customer need must feature within these metrics. Delivering is a great thing - but delivering the right thing throughout the business trumps that on the customer experience scale.
Integration starts at the customer
If you notice that sales and marketing are not working as a team in your business, the most important thing to remember is that integration of teams, marketing efforts, and, ultimately, all campaigns, starts at the top: the top of the customer's list of requirements. Work through these, and set the goals accordingly.
Integrated marketing is only as strong as the teams who drive it – marketing, who set up the campaign and strategy, and sales, who close the deals. Make sure the tools that are required are readily available, and that the metrics are easily tracked, and your sales and marketing teams will be able to come together on common ground.
Integration of practices throughout the business allows you to have a free-flow of communication, and leads to greater understanding between your business divisions.
For more information on how you to align your sales and marketing efforts, contact us and let's help you build a customer focus strategy that sells.