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December 19, 2017
By Nick Heddy, SVP of Sales and Marketing, Pax8
In a perfect world, sales and marketing would work together like the dynamic duo they’re meant to be. In practice, however, that isn’t always the case within organizations.
Instead of partnering to achieve mutual goals, sales and marketing often opt to become disconnected and siloed. Sales blames marketing for creating disjointed campaigns that don’t deliver enough (or high enough quality leads), and marketing blames sales for not following up on leads fast enough. It’s a vicious cycle that benefits no one.
Here are four ways sales and marketing can work together more effectively:
1. Marketing Should Drive Sales
It’s all too easy to let egos rule the day, but truth be told, every organization in a company has a job to do. Without each arm doing its part, things deteriorate. Though sales shouldn’t treat marketing like their personal lead-gen slaves, marketing’s primary job should be to drive sales.
Clearly communicating marketing’s role to everyone up front can help preclude ugly turf wars that ensue when upper-level leadership leaves each department to sort out its own roles and responsibilities.
Places to include this: job descriptions, onboarding materials, orientation, team meetings, bonus goals, and incentive structures and award verbiage.
2. Sales Should Use Marketing Content and Activities to Drive Revenue Growth
Quality takes time. That’s the reason marketing typically gives when sales complains content and leads aren’t flowing fast enough. Meanwhile, sales typically takes things into their own hands, slapping sales slicks together to meet an immediate need.
It’s a reactive rather than a proactive tactic, and altogether less strategic and thought through.
The thrown-together collateral often doesn’t reflect the company’s brand standards and approved messaging; therefore, it is not as impactful. Though created with the best intentions, cobbled-together marketing materials could include embarrassing typos and branding flubs that reflect poorly on your company.
It’s important to think ahead and be prepared. That’s why sales should work with marketing to create high-quality, branded content. And, because not everything truly can wait, marketing should create self-help portals and templates to give sales access to branded content and approved messaging that can be used to meet immediate needs.
3. Discourage Division, Incentivize Cross-Team Collaboration
Division frequently starts at the top. Hire sales and marketing executives who will drive collaboration and stop in-fighting in its tracks.
It’s important to remember that no one department can do it alone. Find the key stakeholders within the organization, cross-departmentally, and create working groups to ensure everyone’s success within the organization.
The leaders in your organization will really set the tone, so make sure they’re getting the buy-in from all the key stakeholders throughout the process.
4. Take and Act on Feedback
Collecting feedback is essential to maintaining a healthy sales and marketing marriage. Equal credence should be given to feedback from each team, and employees at every level of the organization should be invited to participate. Remember to review, communicate and act on this feedback.
Sales and marketing can build a positive relationship by partnering rather than working against each other. It’s ultimately all one team working together for the good of the company. By defining roles, incentivizing collaboration, and asking for and applying feedback, companies can start to mend the relationship between sales and marketing.
This strategy has proven to be a solid strategy for success at my company. Consider doing the same in your organization and latch onto industry best practices to ensure your brand is being represented well in the market.
Nick Heddy oversees the Pax8 sales and marketing teams, and processes. Before Pax8, he served as director of sales for Cbeyond, a national cloud and communications provider, where he played an integral role in the implementation of Cbeyond’s highly successful sales model.
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