Do your marketing and selling teams seamlessly work together? In what ways do they collaborate, and how effective do you find them to be?
My client's marketing and selling teams being at odds made him miss an excellent opportunity for his company.
There was an element of a power struggle. Who is to blame if the sale fails, and who should get the bragging rights if the deal pushes through?
But that's it, IF! Needless to say, it was a failure. The focal point of this article is to define marketing and selling and how to mitigate the relationship between them.
Definition of terms
Sales and marketing can be called two of the most common business terms. They are both the direct cause of lead generation and revenue increase in any organization.
Sales represent the entire process of selling a product or service to clients, while marketing comprises the complete process of getting an audience and turning these prospects into customers.
Sales and marketing teams must be aware of their job descriptions and follow them to the letter. Instead of fighting, they must work together. Because it's not about them, it's about the company and its goals. Right?
Similarities between marketing and selling
The most remarkable similarity between these two concepts is their goal, which is to boost the company's revenue.
Also, marketing and selling strategies revolve around expending efforts to engage their audience and turn prospects into clients.
In addition, marketing and sales sometimes use the same tools, like CRM. This is possible because CRM helps all the departments assist in the clients' journey, irrespective of what phase it's at.
Another tool they have in common is social media. And that's where the similarities end.
Since marketing and sales are both aimed at increasing revenue, where is the fight?
Sales is what CLOSES customers who enter your sales funnel or pipeline. Salespeople build their funnel through outbound efforts such as cold-calling, cold emailing, door-to-door sales, networking, and much more.
Top 5 Differences Between Sales and Marketing
Key Difference 1: Time Horizon
The most significant difference between marketing and sales is the time it takes to see results. In sales, you can see results within three months. With marketing, it can take up to 1-year to start seeing indicative results.
Key Difference 2: Customer Preference
Most customers prefer to engage with marketing nowadays. Sales is still effective, but it has gotten a bad reputation over the years due to aggressive, ineffective sales professionals.
Key Difference 3: Attracting vs. Pursuing
Marketing has to generate attention to be successful. So marketing must generate opportunities. On the other hand, salespeople must pursue opportunities. Sales will get no’s, blocks, and missed opportunities. But sales persistence will result in success.
Key Difference 4: Storytelling vs. Asking
Good marketing tells a story. Without a good story, marketing will not succeed. Sales, on the other hand, is less about stories and more about conversations. Great salespeople sell by asking, not by telling.
Key Difference 5: Marketing sells product first; Salespeople sell people first
In sales, most people buy from people they like and trust. On the other hand, marketing does not necessarily need to have a person at the forefront to generate sales opportunities.
ALSO READ - Resolving the Difference Between Sales and Marketing
Sales vs Marketing
Marketing generates leads, sales will pursue and try to convert. Unfortunately, that’s often where the relationship between the two departments ends. This is where the friction often starts and the relationship sours.
And that’s a big shame. Another survey found that the six biggest obstacles to sales and marketing alignment were:
Proper alignment between sales and marketing could lead to a staggering 208% jump in marketing revenue, as well as 38% higher win rates and 36% better customer retention.
Sad to say, too many companies let Marketing and Sales operate as separate entities. This is neglect and missed opportunity because they can complement each other in a way that nothing else can. Together, they can be more than the sum of their parts.
Ways to Align the Sales and Marketing Department
Sales and Marketing alignment won’t just fall into place overnight. You have to work at it. Think about this:
”Companies with dynamic, adaptable sales and marketing processes report an average 10% more of their salespeople meet their quotas compared to other companies.” – CSO Insights
The Emotional Level:
Your Sales and Marketing team must support and motivate each other. No fighting or pointing fingers. Build a ‘best friends relationship but avoid drama. Instead, celebrate achievements together.
The Process Level:
Build a clear and repeatable process and make sure that everyone on both teams is going in the same direction. This means defining the sales funnel stages and deciding who owns each of them and what goals they should involve. Everyone should know and observe their respective responsibilities. Make them sign an SLA (service level agreement) to hold each other accountable.
The Feedback Loop Level:
Marketing doesn’t always produce a great lead. They can mess up. So can sales. So it’s important that a feedback loop exists between the two teams. To be effective, your system needs to be a closed-loop.
At AI-bees, Sales and Marketing alignment doesn’t just mean a seamless connection in the middle of the funnel. It also means that our Marketing team is aware of what happened to the leads at the end.
How we do it?
At ai-bees, we are proud to say our sales and marketing collaboration process is seamless. It includes:
1. Monthly and weekly head of department meetings.
2. Collaboration between sales and marketing in brainstorming sessions.
3. Input from sales throughout the content-creation process.
4. We use an internal collaboration tool that facilitates communication between teams anytime, anywhere.
5. Effective sharing of content and other resources between Sales, Marketing, and customers.
In short, we ensure that all involved understand what's happening, why, and the processes involved in facilitating this collaboration. We get everyone excited about what's happening and how it can benefit them.
What's the state of collaboration between the marketing and sales team in your company?
Sales and marketing alignment is a win-win for all. Let us show you how. Contact ai-bees today, and we would be happy to help you.