Although sales and marketing differ significantly in their scope and methods applied, they both have the same goal; ensuring the growth and security of the business. With technology causing major advances to business and business operations, organizations must make the most of their sales and marketing processes to attract prospects and compete favorably in a harsh environment. One way to achieve this is fostering collaboration between the two departments. Since they are both critical points of interaction between the business and its customers, they will produce better results when supporting each other as opposed to working independently.
Sales involves the direct interaction where a salesperson talks to prospective customers to persuade them into making a purchase. This could be done face to face, over the phone or via digital media such as social media and email.
Marketing, on the other hand, involves the more indirect holistic process through which an organization creates awareness of its product and brand to its target consumers. This is rarely on a one-on-one basis.
Below are some of the ways you can foster collaboration between sales and marketing to push your organizations to greater heights:
Normalizing the holding of joint meetings between the sales and marketing people will work to the advantage of both teams. As they operate in different fields, they have different ideas on how to reach customers better. These could be exchanged in such forums. A smooth flow of information between the two departments will allow the sales team to inform the marketing team what is and what isn’t working, allowing them to adjust their strategies accordingly.
Joint meetings also present an opportunity for both teams to set goals and strategies. When these are formulated collaboratively, each department will have a definite picture of what is expected of them. There will also be a more precise way of measuring the success or failure of sales and marketing strategies. These goals can either be intra-team or inter-team. Inter-team goals promote healthy competition, resulting in positive outcomes for the company.
Knowing and understanding your target customer is especially important in establishing a long-lasting relationship between your brand and customers. By creating a customer persona, the sales team will be addressing the same characteristics targeted by the marketing team, leading to greater success. When there is discordance in the customer personas between the two departments, you will find that the feature advertised by the marketing team is different from the one addressed by the sales team. Such confusion will lead to the loss of important prospects.
To avoid such problems, ensure your sales and marketing department bring together their knowledge and experience with the customers to create an accurate customer profile. With such a profile, both teams will then have an easy time determining what to target when dealing with particular customers, increasing their success rates.
Getting a customer to purchase a new product is one of the most challenging tasks for salespeople. When working alone, the sales team will have to attract attention, create awareness, make their pitch, and make a sale all in one go. This makes their work difficult and will, in most cases, not bear a lot of fruits. It would be easier working with a customer who already knows about the product and only requires convincing. This is where marketing comes in.
You should ensure that your sales team visit areas where your marketing team have already touched to make their work easier. Customers that have heard about a product before will be easier to convince that those hearing about it for the first time. It is therefore important that you use your marketing team to pave the way, leaving the sales team to close the deal.
The sales team spend most of their time interacting with prospective clients. They are therefore in the best position to see into the needs and tastes of the customers. This deep insight into the customer can be used to make marketing more effective. Using such information, the marketing team will be able to address the needs of the customers better in their strategies. When the customers feel understood and spoken for, they will respond better to your marketing campaign, making it more effective in the long run.
Without feedback, there is no telling apart which aspects of your marketing strategy are working and which ones are a drain to your resources. If you wish to grow, it is therefore important that you get to know how your customers are responding to your marketing material. Since marketing is done on a broad scale, your marketing team can’t get an accurate picture of the consumers’ reactions. Your salespeople are in a better position to obtain such information as they interact with the customers at a more personal level.
They could interact with customers and get their opinion on the product, the brand and the effectiveness of the marketing strategies. When such information is relayed to those formulating the marketing strategies, they will be able to identify the areas that are working and those in need of improvement.
Both your sales and marketing departments must strive to improve their effectiveness for the growth of the brand. While they can both operate independently to achieve their goals, getting these two departments to work together will make them an unstoppable customer attraction force that will give your business a significant competitive advantage. In a nutshell, the two entities need each other to maximize their output.
Author Bio: This article was written by Ciaran Houricane of H-Training. Ciaran works with sales and marketing professionals to develop their skills and improve their results.