In business, everything needs to operate like a well-oiled machine for optimal efficiency and productivity. That includes making sure that your sales and marketing teams can collaborate and work together to foster business growth. Historically, marketing and sales were kept separate, compartmentalizing the entire sales funnel. It looked something like this:
And throughout this entire process, how often do the sales and marketing teams communicate? Almost never.
Does that sound like an effective way to operate?
Of course, bringing these two teams together takes a bit of work. Not only do you have to find a way to get them to communicate, but you must change their entire mentality of having completely separate functions.
To assist you, here are seven tips that can help.
It’s always easier to make changes when you start from the beginning. This is a two-part tip because you need to make sure that you’re hiring the right people first and foremost. When you hire people who are team players and fit the culture of your organization, it will be much easier to get everyone on the same page.
The second part comes in training and development. You need to make sure that your leadership is fostering a culture of integrated collaboration across all departments, not just within them. When you train marketing reps, make sure they know how their work impacts sales, and vice versa. Creating an understanding of cause and effect can do wonders for collaboration between these two teams.
Speaking of collaboration, it’s got to be encouraged. If your sales and marketing teams have been working as mostly separate entities to this point, they’re not going to suddenly change that until or unless they’re encouraged or given an example. When you’re creating sales and marketing strategies, have both teams involved. Create communication channels where everyone can discuss projects and tasks.
Make sure that your managers and execs are leading the way by setting an example.
We mentioned this briefly in the first tip—a lot of the reason that there’s a disconnect between sales and marketing is that they know how their roles impact each other, but they might not know what they do for each other on a day-to-day basis. This can cause one to take the other for granted, or for one team to errantly think that they’re more valuable than the other.
Make sure that your marketing team understands how everything they do impacts sales. When you’re talking to your sales team, make sure that they also understand what marketing is doing for them and how they can work together toward shared business goals.
Another way that you can get these two teams working together is to have them collaborate when coming up with target audiences and buyer personas. After all, they know the two most critical parts of your business: marketing and sales. Therefore, they should have the combined ideas and knowledge to create more focused, dynamic targets for your outreach efforts.
It's helpful for your sales team to understand buyer personas. It’s also good for them to know exactly which target audiences are being reached with different marketing efforts. Not only does it make their job easier, but it provides a more cohesive, unified experience for the customer as they pass through the funnel from one team to the next.
There needs to be a process for everything, including how your marketing team hands off leads to sales. Instead of just letting things happen or taking the leads as they come, you need to be proactive. Have a strategy in place that is clearly defined and understood by everyone. That way, when leads come in, there’s no question as to what happens next. It also makes sure that your marketing and sales teams are communicating more effectively.
Sales teams have meetings all the time. So do marketing teams. Why aren’t they having more meetings together? They work so closely together and yet are often treated like static entities. Set up a routine that includes regular meetings with both departments, as well as routine check-ins. Encourage regular and ongoing feedback, too, so that you can make improvements along the way.
These check-ins and meetings can also help management stay on top of the ongoing efforts, check on where campaigns stand, and make more effective decisions on the next steps because they have everyone’s input.
The best way to get these two teams on the same page is to start setting shared goals amongst them and making it clear that these are everyone’s goals. Think about ways that you can create goals that encourage them to collaborate and continue the foundation that you’ve built. Common goals give people common ground and make it natural for them to want to work together toward achieving them.
While you’re busy getting everyone on the same team, you’re probably going to need some help with all the leads and inquiries coming your way. Fortunately, you can partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai and trust that everything is taken care of. In addition to providing a 24/7 answering service so you never miss a lead, we can also provide support for outreach campaigns, lead intake, and appointment scheduling. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.