August 11, 2017
The departmental standoff between marketing and sales isn’t one professionals who manned the workforce before us have exaggerated. Throughout the evolution of modern business, marketers and salespeople have learned to coexist instead of collaborate. Due to this you’ll notice:
Teams producing work in silos;
Teams competing for adoration from upper management instead of focusing on the prospect, lead or customer;
MQL and SQL attributes being individually defined. Lead validation remains un-solidified and that ‘wrinkle in the rug’ has prefaced the rest of the relationship.
Now for the pressing question — how can marketing and sales work better together and drive a lasting impact?
Open concept isn’t a buzzword exclusive to real estate. A collaborative space allows marketers to see and hear firsthand how the B2B and B2C product or service is being sold by sales. Conversely, sales can experience how marketers create content to feed the sales funnel.This reorganization also helps each team understand what attributes are required for a sales or marketing qualified lead (stay tuned for a post on lead qualifying in the future…).
Have you ever heard the analogy of the tree versus forest? We can spend too much time focusing on a speciality (tree) that we forget how to perceive the business (forest) impact.
To keep a pulse on what’s happening, most sales meetings should have marketing representation and vice versa. From this, impact can be maximized while teams learn to anticipate ebbs, flows, and improvements.
During these meetings, challenge attendees to idea share and ask leading questions. It’s fair to bring these questions to the table:
Does this discussion constitute a meeting?
Who is our target audience? (ask this early, often, and always)
What is the goal of this project?
What are we measuring during this project?
How are we measuring project metrics?
What are we able to deduce from other campaign metrics, data, and client personas to help us move forward?
Individuals were hired to sales or marketing teams because of their niche skills, right? Trust that team members know their subject matter. After all, you wouldn’t hire a pilot to take you sailing, would you?
The concept of weight distribution is straightforward. After all, the term itself implies the action (d-i-str-i-but-i-on). The more you distribute weight, the more you can carry, and the more control you have.
Two teams can handle larger responsibilities better together. Give everyone a sense of ownership and metrics to report so that they can do their part. When the M.O. is that sales and marketing leadership run meetings there’s no sense of collaboration. Involve everyone at every level and embrace the team concept.
Remember to integrate parameters like agendas and timed reporting to maintain efficiency during your time together. A quick way to create division is to disrespect the time of others.
I’ve experienced as many cultures in my budding career as personalities depicted by Chris Farley. You may identify with a few — archaic, cosmetic*, cliquey, forced and “tech”.
What have I learned from those interactions? Take time to shape and nurture your desired culture by creating parameters, designating champions, and learning to trust.
*like makeup, these cultures make things look good at a first glance, but there’s no telling what things look like beneath the surface.
No matter the style, the best cultures are easy to feel but difficult to describe.