How to align your sales and marketing departments

Posted in Sales team management.

Long gone are the days when each department had its specific jobs and stuck to them religiously. The trend today is towards integration of all departments to allow them to work in harmony towards greater success.

Sales and marketing departments are known for sometimes not getting along too well. Instead of pushing against each other, they should be working towards common goals. Here is a quick guide to aligning sales and marketing to achieve success together.

Establish a common language

When two departments are working together, speaking the same language is essential. Decide on common definitions of terms such as marketing-qualified lead, sales-qualified lead, contact, opportunity, account and so forth.

Also, agree on what the stages of a sale are and when a potential lead is qualified enough to be passed on to the sales department from marketing. These shared definitions will help teams to communicate effectively.

Get a common view of the customer

Another important thing to agree on is who the customers are. The leads that sales get from marketing may end up being useless if the departments disagree on who they are looking to sell to. Sales and marketing need to combine their shared knowledge of clients gleaned from emails, campaigns, social media interactions and meetings, to discover who the ideal clients to focus efforts on are.

Define your shared client persona by asking questions like who are you selling to, what industries would be interested in the product/service, what size do companies need to be or what location do they need to be in, and who within a client company is qualified to buy.

Invest in quality CRM tools which will ensure that client information is put into a system that can be viewed and utilised by all.

Set a common goal

The marketing and sales departments often already have the same goal – even though they may not know it. They both want to increase the revenue of the company, and this is done by getting clients who are willing to spend their money on the products and services of the company on a regular basis.

Since the main goal is already known, you can set other complementary goals based on this that both departments can agree upon. Also, set up metrics to measure the progress on and success of these shared goals.

Meet for better communication

When the sales and marketing teams collaborate they need to have regular communication through meetings. The sales team needs to let marketing know which leads were most successful; this enables marketing to determine which qualities a lead needs to embody.

Marketers also need to share any up-and-coming products or projects which are useful for the sales teams to know when trying to close a deal. Share wins achieved by both departments during meetings to keep a high level of motivation and establish the idea of working together for the greater good.

Come to a mutual agreement

Working together means that both departments need to do their part. Come to an agreement that marketing will deliver a certain amount of leads based on the qualities specified by sales, and sales will aim to work on a certain number of the leads provided by marketing every month. This is just an example of an agreement, so work on something to suit your company.

Never view your sales and marketing departments as separate entities, because that means you are missing out on lead opportunities and the ability to reach an even bigger audience. Unite them and conquer!