As star-crossed lovers go, many think that sales and marketing are the most doomed of all. They are two completely different beasts; they think differently, hunt differently and, all in all, don't work too well together.
At least, that's what you've probably heard.
Many businesspeople have tried to align the two departments, but have given up amid arguments, disputes and fallouts. Recently, recruiters Ranstad found that although 80% of businesses recognise the benefits of greater alignment between sales and marketing, most (60%) aren't unifying their divisions.
These numbers are hardly surprising. What's clear is that people are aware, or have even tried to combine the two departments but have been unsuccessful.
One of the main reasons for wanting to combine them are rooted in the idea that they are key integral parts of a business' growth. To quote Thomas Brown, Director of Strategy and Marketing at the Chartered Institute of Marketing:
"marketing and sales are both key parts of an organisation's value chain and, much like any chain, remove one link (or have a weak link) and the chain will break"
The solution, then, is unity. How do you do this though? Here are a few tips on how to *gently* push them together and combine their minds.
Set similar (or the same) goals
The overarching goal, of course, is business growth. However, you need to be a little more particular. Often, the case is that both departments have different goals, objectives and targets to meet.
What this fosters is an already clear divide between the two. From the start, these departments think differently. If you set the same goals, you will stand a much greater chance of getting them to think more alike.
This goes for content creation, too. On the one hand, copywriters are using their skills to sell in an almost metaphorical sense. They are detached from the act of selling itself, instead doing it from their desk.
The salespeople? They are out there, speaking to prospects and doing their best to sell in person. When you think about it, there is little that separates them.
With this in mind, you should think about combining the two.
Look at similar (or the same) metrics
This goes for metrics, too. Yes, salespeople will look at slightly different metrics than a marketing team, but their idea of success must at least be along a similar track.
Here is a selection of metrics that work well for both sales and marketing, provided by HubSpot. Between your revenue pipeline and generated leads there are many more metrics you might not have thought about.
Quite literally, push them together
Well, this can be as literal as you like. What we mean, is do all you can to strengthen the channels of communication between the two departments. This can mean anything from taking both departments out for team building activities or having lunch together.
You need to build chemistry and reinforce the walls of communication around them. Consider weekly team meetings or strategy brainstorms where your goals and targets are discussed. Creative environments are great for improving communication!
Utilise a performance-driven CRM
In terms of workflow, adopting a strong and effective CRM is great for supporting both departments and promoting mutual appreciation. You should look for a CRM that makes it easier for both teams to collate information, share contacts and review goals together.
If you're still not convinced, here are some statistics that prove both departments can work together effectively (and, in some cases, need to).
- 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers.
So, social media being one of marketing's best-used assets is being used to great success by 78% of salespeople. It's clear by now that the face of sales has changed dramatically, and that it will no longer be the same. What better time for marketing to join in - working together, there is much more success to be had.
- 65% of sales reps say they can't find content to send to prospects, representing the most common complaint cited by sales teams.
This is a great statistic and one that just shows a relationship needs to be built. Both departments need to start a dialogue upon which marketing provides sales with valuable content they can use to sell to prospects. It's a win-win situation for all.
- 76% of content marketers are forgetting about sales enablement.
That's more than half of marketers who are forgetting about the role sales has in the overall lead generation process. If these marketers were better trained on the benefits sales can have, they would fully embrace the union.
- Only 1 in 2 companies say sales and marketing have a formal definition of a qualified lead.
A lack of awareness seems to be a running trend. Again, with more training and greater insight, both teams can get a solid relationship up and running.
- Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve 20% annual growth rate. Companies with poor sales and marketing alignment have 4% revenue decline.
It couldn't be clearer than this. With 20% annual growth rate, there are so many benefits to be gained from combining sales and marketing. All it takes is some training.
-56% of aligned organisations met their revenue goals, and 19% beat their goals. Among misaligned organisations, by comparison, just 37% met their revenue goals, and just 7% beat them.
Goals are being surpassed left, right and centre. Alignment is vital if you want to not only meet your revenue goals but clear them.
The above statistics are all in favour of uniting both departments, and the numbers don't lie. The influence that a happy, stable and performing sales and marketing relationship can have on the rest of your organisation is massive.
Without this kind of relationship, you risk disconnection in other departments. This is a call for unity, performance and results. Now is the time for happy sales and marketing!