If Marketing and Sales aren’t working together, you need to correct this immediately. If you are working with sales, are you getting the most out of your relationship?
For some strange reason, there is a silent war that exists in many organizations. Yes, this is counterproductive, but it is happening just the same. I don’t know how things fell apart between Sales and Marketing, but for some reason they did.
Some situations even got bad with accusations of “bad leads”, being countered with “allowed leads to get cold”. At many firms, it is just an air of mistrust and “silent un-cooperation.” It ranges to the far extreme where Sales is resented for putting so many demands upon marketing that stress levels elevate.
I have been touched by this phenomenon up close and personal-like. So, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have personally witnessed the results of fostering a team spirit between Sales & Marketing. So, I know that it works and just how rewarding it is to not have to fight someone for help in doing something that is in their best interest.
In the Beginning There is……
There is one single, underlying goal that Marketing and Sales share. Sales Revenue! This is the headwaters where our journey begins. It is the drive for Sales Revenue that will unite these two independently run departments. Here is a step by step plan of how to share the road to revenue together.
- Planning the Sale – Yes, it is a bit of a sale. Put together the advantages that a closer working relationship will benefit the Sales team. Also, be sure to make note of what you are seeking from Sales. Like access to their wealth of customer knowledge, or, their collective knowledge of the pain points and headaches suffered by those we are reaching out to. Any information that can help us better understand them as a group is worth sharing.
The new mantra in marketing today is personalization leads to success. Yeah, right! How do you personalize a group of people you’ve never met before, and never even spoke on the phone with? The sales guys talk with these people all the time. Let their knowledge fuel your “new” personalization campaign.
- Executing the Sale (Part One) This sale is a two parter. You first have to sell your own guys first in order to get everyone on board. Gather them for a “brainstorming session.” Go over the hurdles of why it is so difficult to personalize your content and what you can do about it. While everyone else is banging their heads against a tough task, you just sit back waiting for the right time. When it comes, you simply ask “what if I knew a high-quality source of information on our target market and their pain points? Would you give your full co-operation to make a joint venture work?
Ask your manager to speak to the Sales Manager about arranging a meeting between the two groups. You’ll get it. Managers always love meetings, it seems.
- Executing the Sale (Part Two) If the meeting is in person, have your team get to the meeting room early and intentionally sit in a scattered arrangement. This will make it easier to avoid the “herd” energy of two sides sitting en masse across from each other.
It all boils down to “what if I could make your number of annual sales increase significantly? Would you fully co-operate with a group who is equally committed to this undertaking as you are? If they are on the fence, when decision time comes, offer to do a mini-campaign for each rep’s vertical and territory to generate leads. It will leave them wondering what other types of campaigns you are capable of doing for them.
- Preparing to Launch – Events such as this joining of business powers are a lot like launching a ship. Launching and landing are the two hard parts. In the middle, it is usually smooth sailing. Start the new relationship off like you want it to end. Have all of your ducks in a row when things kick off. Have the meeting agenda planned and organized. Make it fun so the event is looked forward to. I used to dread going to meetings that I knew were going to suck the life out of my very soul.
Famous Last Words
If you do your job well on this one, you may wind up walking into your workspace at Christmas and find a bottle of Jack Daniels, with a bow tied around its neck, on your desk. Sales guys are great for rewarding those who aid in their prosperity.
The Hank Moody School of Creative Writing
Sir Francis Bacon first coined the phrase “knowledge is power.” Boy, he was right on the money. Possessing the knowledge and understanding of your topic is essential for creative writing. Details and situations that your reader has in common help draw in your audience.
The Big Kumbaya in CyberSpace
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Thank you for taking time out to read this piece. Your time is greatly appreciated. To hear the rantings of other voices on the same subject:
How to Create a Stronger Partnership Between Marketing and Sales by Karla Bryant