The Love-Hate Relationship Between Sales and Marketing
Most people confuse between sales and marketing. It’s actually pretty straightforward: Marketers create demand, and the sales team execute accordingly to fulfill that demand. Similar to design and marketing, both teams share a symbiotic relationship – one cannot benefit without the other, yet they don’t speak the same language. Each have their own jargons and lingoes they throw around one other, and it’s not helping your company to grow. How can you put an end to the ceaseless sales and marketing dispute?
Let’s take a closer look at their dynamics.
We all know that poor communication discourages any form of relationship. A disconnect between your teammates discourages your business efforts to maximize value for both your company and your customers. Common conflicts include:
a. Losing focus
You may think that joint metrics in sales and marketing saves time, money, and energy. On the contrary, this culture is exactly what’s causing that blurry distinction between sales and marketing – when they’ve led a successful campaign, everyone shares the reward. When all else fails, team members blame one another.
b. Separatistic culture
Each team is too focused on individual tasks. Marketers work out the grand plan, sales wants to close the deal ASAP. Marketers work behind the desk, sales are out in the field. Marketers are strategic thinkers who are highly analytical and data-oriented, and they’re motivated by providing creative solutions for the long haul. Sales wants to generate maximum revenue as they’re usually compensated by commissions, quotas, bonuses, and so on.
What about the customers?
We’re living in the digital era, and as a business leader it’s your responsibility for everyone in your team to understand that consumers’ buying behaviors are changing.
For your product or service to successfully penetrate the new demand, you need to redesign your strategy through a coherent series of campaigns, promotions, advertising, and other efforts.
This is where your marketing and salesforce must learn to cooperate, because no matter how brilliant the plan is, your company will never profit when people simply don’t buy.
There are 4 essential steps a customer goes through before they decide to buy from you:
1. Awareness They know your existence. They look forward to seeing you again.
2. Consideration They go home and think about you – a sign that you’ve addressed their needs and you promise to deliver.
3. Preference They like you more than your competitors, thanks to your excellent presentations and proposals.
4. Conversion They’re ready to negotiate contracts and proceed to sales.
Converting leads to sales is tricky, and identifying qualified leads takes time. To foster strong customer relationships, it takes a collaborative effort from every department of your company.
Teamwork: Two heads are better than one
True, your marketing plan should be solid, but it must also be flexible enough to integrate its functions with the sales team. Similarly, salesforce must have a clear understanding of what is expected out of each campaign.
When both teams start speaking the same language, they’re more engaged in executing every step of the process from start to finish.
Align your sales and marketing operations to build on the following equities:
– Loyalty This is the foundation for word-of-the-mouth marketing. At this point, your focus is to educate and nurture first-time and regular customers. You’ve earned their trust, and you’ve got to maintain that by giving quality service and continuous support.
– Advocacy When customers are loyal to your brand, they help you build referrals for future prospects. Consider it a success when your users, fans, and customers supports your brand more than anything else.
In a nutshell, it’s your job as a leader to encourage effective communication among your teammates. Instead of blaming one another, shift their focus on customers instead: What are their wants and needs? Once demands are clearly outlined, it gets easier to guide your teams and define exactly you expect out of each team. Ultimately, your goal as a leader is to manage a stable brand and reputation. Everyone in your company must commit and connect to remain consistent with your vision and mission.
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