When the two teams unite, marketing can be the main provider of warm leads. They create content that the sales team has deemed appropriate and relevant and along with their careful consideration for the UX and journey, it will lead to a high quality, well-educated lead, one that’s interested in starting a conversation with your sales team.
The fact is marketing cannot work to their full potential without sales and vice versa. Yet a Smart Insights survey found that 56% of sales people and marketers said that their teams were siloed. If you want better results, this is the first step to unify the departments. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the main causes of the disconnect between marketing and sales and steps you can take to fix them.
It’s safe to say that a lot of sales people and marketers still don’t understand each other's roles. They may know what’s involved day to day, but really understanding how they impact each other is much less common and we see these same behaviours in businesses of all sizes across multiple sectors.
"Marketing is a broad role, we handle everything from monetising, onsite and offsite content, LinkedIn, collateral all whilst organising a way of linking them all together in order to report back. That’s a lot of stuff to get done before the lead even reaches the sales team… Recruiters underestimate these tasks, asking for something within a few hours when in reality it will take a few days."
- Rafael Walton, Marketing and Operations Director - Optimus Search
Sales request collateral, not understanding the research required or the time it takes to adapt content for multiple channels and equally marketing may not be aware of the deadlines sales are working towards. Not only is this an inefficient way of working, but it can cause friction between the two teams.
Both teams need to adjust their outlook and see each other as equals. Sales can’t always plan in advance for what they need, so marketing could set aside some time to handle reactive requests. Equally marketing teams need to be empathetic to the pressure sales are under and need to ask the important question of why they need that piece of content and what deadlines are they working to, to provide quick reactions when needed.
"Marketing is not just support… We do not accept the attitude that marketing is below sales. We have a rule here; as a recruiter, you don’t get a profile on the site unless you publish a piece of content."
Kris Holland, Head of Marketing - Charlton Morris
Marketing Managers need to involve the sales team in their planning, they have valuable insight into industry peaks and troughs and planning ahead means that marketing teams can manage their resources efficiently.
Although the marketing role can be technical and despite marketers not being cut out for the harsh reality of sales life, they have to align their goals and actions in order to succeed. This in turn will enable improved communication between departments, giving the marketing team clearer briefs and ensuring they work efficiently to hit the deadlines necessary.
Internal communication is something many teams struggle with, but is essential between the sales and marketing teams. To be seen as an industry thought leader and impress a potential lead, you must show that you understand the market and can provide a solution to a problem. Sharing ideas and knowledge internally is crucial if you are to make this process easier.
"I find it’s important to make them communicate and almost codependent on each other... this allows them to benefit from the knowledge they have of the consumer and their industry whilst creating a sense of ownership."
- Kris Holland, Head of Marketing - Charlton Morris
Taking insight from the sales team is essential for creating relevant content, after all they are the ones on the phone with clients and customers all day. By communicating this, marketers can create content that the consumer actually cares about, after all content for the sake of content has no benefit to either department.
"It’s true that the sales team understand the consumer better than anyone, they have the most contact with them after all, this is why communicating their pain points to the marketing team is so important, the content that is then created can in turn be used as a lead gen tool, once this has happened it’s important to take a ‘Sales approach."
- Sarah Toms, Head of Sales & Marketing - Venn
Convincing the sales team of the value of marketing requires tangible evidence. Reporting on the success of their marketing efforts can show the sales team tangible results. Communicating these results can show different departments the value that has been added by the marketing activities, giving a sense of unified achievement and respect for the hard work of the team. Similarly providing the team with a list of leads that have been gained from their latest content piece or email campaign is a great way to highlight the physical affects marketing can have.
"For us, we tried to work out a way of providing sales with a tangible asset from marketing. For example we did a series of emails with tailored industry content. This was a great way of getting them talking."
- Tom Floyd, Head of Marketing and BD- OH! Consult
Salespeople are usually driven, confident and well in their comfort zone talking with clients and customers throughout the day. Marketers are more technical, quiet and not always the first to speak up. Yet, these two opposites need to be best friends when it comes to work operations.
"The personality difference between the two teams has a huge impact on this disconnect. Sales teams are a lot louder, straight to the point. Marketing teams are quieter and they don’t always get involved in the company's activities… Marketing can learn to gain more confidence, get more used to having conversations. The sales team can do this in their sleep but they must communicate these skills with marketing."
- Tom Floyd, Head of Marketing and BD - OH! Consult
This fundamental difference between these two teams again highlights the importance of bringing them together to play off each other's strengths. Combining the technical knowledge and abilities of a marketing specialist with the confidence and talent of your top salesperson, is the key to your brand's success.
Involve your extroverted sales team with video content, they will be chatty, friendly and good at storytelling. They are more suited to this than introverted marketers, who can focus on researching and creating thought provoking blog content. Your sales team may also be better suited to reactive social content, being online and actively engaging with new and existing clients.
"The reason we do so well with sales focussed sectors is because we understand both. As a sales heavy focused marketing agency we know what the goals should be and how marketing can achieve them… Comparing conversion rates between our approach and a traditional sales approach says it all."
- Sarah Toms, Head of Sales & Marketing - Venn
Here at Venn, we take ownership of the technical side of marketing and embrace your sales goals to provide quality leads. We take a consultative approach and as a performance driven agency we know how to bridge the gap between your marketing and sales efforts. Get in touch to see how we can help your marketing drive more sales.