Smart-keting is when sales and marketing work together forming one team with collective goals, based on mutually beneficial outcomes, and driven by shared activities. Does that sound like your sales and marketing teams? Do your sales and marketing teams work together or does it seem as if they live and work in separate worlds? Sales and marketing siloing, which is common, at best is a breakdown of communications, and at worst the departments work against each other. Are your sales and marketing teams on the same page or are they at odds with each other?
It’s counterproductive for two teams, which are as aligned as sales and marketing, to work against each other, but it happens more frequently than not. If marketing’s job is to fill the lead funnel and sales is to convert leads into customers, doesn’t it make sense that the more the teams are aligned the more successful they’ll both be? Yes, it does so, what’s the answer. It begins with communication.
Establish Lines of Communication
“One of the problems with modern communication is there are so many medias available. Phone, text, email, and face-to-face are just a few of the options. The problem is no one communication network works universally. If you’ve ever missed an urgent email because you were off the grid you know the frustration. You may have thought, why didn’t they call or text me, but the question is, did you give them your communication expectations?” — How to Set Communication Expectations that Work
Share interdepartmental meetings and action sessions. But it can’t end there, meetings need to be followed up, repeated, and supported by management. “The most effective meetings end with an action plan and a commitment to follow through. Actions and commitments should be at the top of list for how to conduct sales meetings.
- At the beginning of the meeting introduce the topic and announce the end goal of the meeting is for each to devise an action plan and commit to the plan.
- Share actionable ideas throughout the meeting
- Allow team members to devise an action plan of their own
- At the end of the meeting ask for each members action plan and their commitment to follow through
- Note the actions plans for follow-up” — How to Conduct a Sales Meeting that Works.
One of the best ways to learn to work together as a team is to understand each other’s jobs and how each team affects the other. This can be as simple as having marketing and sales people shadow each other, or it can be planned cross-training time. Regardless the method, any cross training will improve teamwork. It’s more difficult to ignore other departments when you understand what they do and know who they are. I’ve had more than one manager tell me cross-training sounded like a good idea, but there just wasn’t time for it. My answer is cross-training saves time, by reducing mistakes, and developing more efficient systems that help everyone.
The key to effective goal setting is to concentrate on activities, “Although degree of difficulty, time limits, measurability, conditions, objective criteria, etc., should be discussed—it will be difficult to achieve the goal without a clear plan of activities needed to reach the goal.” — You Cannot Do a Goal You Can Do Activities.
Setting community goals for sales and marketing doesn’t need to be an all-day process, “Last month I spent 15 minutes each with two production departments. The department managers and I had previously discussed improving teamwork by developing team goals. We wanted the team to be integral in creating the goals.” — How to Set Team Goals in 15 Minutes. For goals to work, they must be reviewed, adjusted as needed, and supported by all team members and management.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Can’t we just all get along? Can sales and marketing work together? Yes, they can. Especially two teams as interconnected as sales and marketing. It begins with communication, and ends with shared goals based on activities that benefit the whole. So, is your business smart-keting?