The title of today’s post became one of the major sub themes of my upcoming book Duct Tape Selling. It didn’t start out that way, but in working with more and more sales departments it became clear that the move to inbound and social selling occurs much more effectively when there’s a culture of cooperation and integration within sales and marketing departments.
Sadly, this is rarely the case. In fact, I’ll be presenting my view of the sales and marketing divide – and what to do about it – in an upcoming MarketingProfs Pro Seminar.
My take is that for organizations to take full advantage of the dramatic shift in the way people and organizations buy today they must intentionally blend inbound marketing, outbound marketing and inbound selling a way that mirrors today’s customer journey.
And, it’s not enough to simply pass white papers to the sales team and say “go be social.”
Sales and marketing must come together at the point where awareness and messaging and the very definition of what an ideal client actually looks like initiates.
Below are five activities that I believe should be at the forefront of any attempt to more closely align sales and marketing.
Quite often marketing creates a plan and calls on others to deploy it. The challenge is that in most cases the marketing folks are isolated from the actual customer. Sales and marketing must come together to define the customer, create marketing strategy and map a customer journey that puts the customer first. Invite sales into the planning phase!
Marketing is now in full content production mode. But I wonder if more is really better? I believe that even if sales people aren’t asked to write blog posts they can both inform the editorial make up and personalize what content is produced in ways that will make it more useful to individual prospects and clients. Marketing must take the access they generally have to data and filter content to help sales professionals spend less time researching.
Here’s an idea that is causing loads of angst in marketing departments around the world – turns out that social media is more effective in the hands of some sales professionals than it is in the hands of some marketing professionals. While far too many marketing departments view social media as another broadcast channel, smart sales folks are finding better ways to connect, network, prospect and engage very small numbers of the right people via social media. This is a huge training opportunity.
To me the item that would really bring a sales and marketing group together would be the act of jointly engaging a client or prospect. This could start with working on a proposal together, making calls together, blending lead nurturing activities and, with the inclusion of a service or account manager, might just round out the perfect way to engage today’s buyer.
Here’s the real problem. Many marketing departments are measured by the number of leads they generate – no matter the relative quality. Sales is measured by the number of those leads they convert – no matter the relative quantity and quality. Suffice it to say neither is too happy.
If you want to get sales and marketing really working together set up a way to measure the true impact of effective inbound marketing and selling as a team and reward each for the vital role they play in actually creating a profitable customer.