In many corporate environments, sales and marketing are often misaligned and at odds. Considering how interrelated and important they are to each other, this is highly counterproductive. Sales and marketing often act as silos to each other, even though they share common goals. Marketing generally captures leads through brand image, while sales make happy customers from those leads, selling a company’s products and/or services. So where’s the problem? When the two teams don’t communicate, it can lead to misunderstandings, wasted time and energy, and finger pointing. How can this be corrected?
Make One Team Out of Two
This begins with communication. Scheduled planning meetings should be held regularly and facilitated by C-level management. After plans are formed and agreed upon, set a follow-up schedule. Never change plans without involving everyone who was in the planning. Copy correspondence to all involved, and establish an open line of communication.
Ask For Direction
The marketing/sales team should seek direction and advice from the C-level staff. What are the corporate goals for sales and marketing? Who is the organization’s target prospect? What is the objective criteria? What are the expected numbers, deadlines, etc.?
Set Team Goals
Once direction has been given, establish shared team goals with activities, time limits, conditions, and consequences. Set a follow-up schedule, and “go public” by sharing the goals with the entire organization.
Hold the New Team Accountable
Hold everyone accountable to following the agreed upon activities. Any team member who “decides” not to follow the plan (hindering conditions that impeded the task withstanding) should be held accountable with consequences-either from the team-or C-level staff.
I’ve worked on teams where sales and marketing worked together and supported each other, and I’ve worked in sales and marketing where they were separate entities. Surprisingly, I’ve seen successes with both, but I’ve got to tell you, working as a team has a better chance of achieving the group’s potential, and it’s a hell of a lot more fun. Now go build that team.