So, sales and marketing, marketing and sales. The two departments go hand in hand and will always work in complete unison and synergy. Is that always the case, or is it ever that simple?
It would suggest that the first point of call would be to identify exactly what the remit for each department is and then where this remit will end. There is little value in examining exactly how the two departments will liaise together before you really understand the key and long-term goals and objectives.
A crucial part of the departmental alignment is the strong communication and required transparency of this. Generally speaking; sales and marketing departments have differing functions, and as a result sometimes develop differing cultural views and commercial ideology. When looking at each department, sales offerings a much more direct approach, while marketing will look at processes in a more holistic way. Sales and Marketing are both working towards the same goal, but how they do this differs significantly.
What are the key examples of how the departments can liaise effectively? It’s a clear one firstly, but both departments should meet regularly in a structured way, as opposed to adopting an ad-hoc approach. It will become much clearer how the lines of communication will become enhanced and improved.
Marketing and Sales are both very important and crucial, which is something that cannot be disputed. Looking at the nature of the departments, the nature of sales enables the salespeople involved to gasp first-hand knowledge about a customer and the ‘sales objectives’, which may well not be able to be gained any other way. On the flipside, Marketing will have data which needs to be segmented and characterized to be used for communicational and engagement purposes.
So, what’s next then? You will need to explain what you want to achieve, why and the processes you are going to need to implement this collaboration. Three common topics discussed in this type of scenario are the ‘friction points in the sales funnel’, ‘the ideal lead’ ‘customer personas’. Below is an elaboration for each topic mentioned:
Your sales funnel
This is basically the process of which a customer passes through before and after a purchase has been made. The process will begin will awareness, through to interest, them decision and then finally action.
In this order, the sales process has a direct line of progression from marketing through to a sales activity. It could be wise to ask each department to construct a description of the sales funnel and if there are discrepancies then establish why. Then construct a correct and final version based on the feedback received from each department.
Qualify and define the ideal lead
From a sales perspective, incorrectly qualified leads often prove to be problematic and sometimes a bit of a headache. Better quality leads will theoretically mean a higher conversation rate. To ensure that leads are fully qualified, the marketing department should have access to all data collated during the sales cycle, that can provide invaluable in defining the lead, with the data essentially being a strong commercial asset.
Developing customer personas
Defining the ideal lead fully benefits the sales team but defining a customer persona and profiling them benefits the marketing team. So, it’s only fair right? The idea behind this is to fully understand and create various customer ‘profiles’ so you know exactly what properties and behaviors are involved with these profiles.
Both departments need to understand this aspect fully. Once established, this will form a significance within the overall sales and marketing strategy and success.
You know what they say; knowledge is power.