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To anyone with sales or marketing experience, it goes without saying that the two have a symbiotic relationship. Another way to look at this is, you cannot have one without the other. While this may not be absolute truth, there is a substantial amount of it worth paying attention to. Afterall, how will the public become aware of a product offering if the marketing team does not sufficiently publicize its availability? Similarly, how will the marketing team know if the methods they put into practice were effective if the sales team has no interaction with the public? Seeing as the two groups perform vastly different tasks, it makes sense that companies separate them into unique teams. However, corporate divisions should not come with a lack of teamwork, especially when considering the co-dependency of marketing and sales. Jill Rowley, the fund advisor for Stage 2 Capital, highlighted this, “The new reality is that sales and marketing are continuously and increasingly integrated. Marketing needs to know more about sales, sales needs to know more about marketing, and we all need to know more about our customers.”
All this begs the question of, what are concrete strategies for marketing and sales to collaborate? We connected with a handful of people who have experience doing just that.
Two sides of the same coin
Phillip Akhzar is the CEO of Arka, a brand offering eco-friendly, custom product packaging. He believes realizing that the two teams are dealing with unique characteristics of the same audience is necessary.
“Take a second and imagine for me that the customer you’re trying to reach and sell to is represented by a coin. On one side of the coin is the information which describes the person – race, age, gender, income, profession, and so on. The other side of the coin is who the person really is – their personality, emotions, thought processes. Marketing teams know the first side of the proverbial coin while the sales team knows the other. It doesn’t make any sense to me to have to separate entities working on differing aspects of the same people. It’s like trying to solve a problem with only half the puzzle pieces. Therefore, I advise bringing these two teams together to discuss your intended customer.”
AdQuick specializes in billboards and out-of-home (OOH) advertising and attribution. Their VP of Marketing, Lina Miranda, suggests dedicating time to a face-to-face meeting between the sales and marketing teams.
“The natural pace of the workday doesn’t leave much wiggle room for most anything. But scheduling a meeting to bring your marketing and sales departments together is something you should be intentional about. In a vacuum, having the two teams work on specific projects or ideas together is a wonderful idea. But, without that intentionality, it will never be anything more than a pipe dream. Your teams know what they’re doing, or they simply wouldn’t exist. Trust them to make something happen. But remember, it’s up to you to make that meeting happen.”
Bring in the numbers
Some might say that three is one too many. However, three may be just right when it comes to the number of collaborating teams. Pocketbook Agency is a business providing support and administrative roles for domestic and corporate clients. Their Co-Founder, Brittany Harrer-Dolin, considers it wise to bring together sales, marketing, and analytics.
“In my opinion, there are few better places to uncover new inroads for marketing and sales than to look at existing data and trends put together by your analytics department. Numbers tell a story which can influence and guide your sales and marketing teams towards success they could never have imagined. It may appear hairy to have three departments working together but think of it this way. Demographics are one thing. Knowing the purchasing and browsing tendencies down to percentage points is another beast entirely.”
How can sales help?
Ari Evans is the CEO of Maestro, a brand offering an all-in-one interactive video platform and live streaming solution. He advises others to do something a little outside of the box and include sales team members in the content creation process.
“To keep it simple, salespeople have a knack for understanding the customer and using this knowledge to their advantage. With the marketing team attempting to reach similar people, it seems logical to me that the knowledge the sales team holds could be put to even further use. If the question is, how can sales help marketing? The answer is, applying the knowledge of the sales team to what the marketing team is doing with content creation.”
CloudForecast specializes in AWS cost monitoring and management tools. Their CEO and Co-Founder, Tony Chan, believes sharing information related to customer interactions and responses is an excellent approach to promoting collaboration between marketing and sales.
“Because the sales team is so different from the marketing team, any outside party, and customers especially, will speak to each team differently. They will also share different types of information. Now it should be apparent what you need to have your two teams doing. It’s really as easy as having a conversation about the customer interactions each team has had since they last spoke. This allows for everyone involved to have a far more insight into what makes the customer tick. Which can prove favorable.”
Inform the other
There is no worse way to stifle productivity than by leaving those you are working with in the dark. TakeUs is a business providing collateral-free NFT rental and mortgage platform. Their CMO, Loic Claveau, proposes a far more engaged approach
“Let’s say your marketing division rolls out a new line of internet ads which reference specific lingo as well as potential discounts. Seems like a great idea, right? Well, the problem is the marketing division forgot to tell sales what they were doing and now customers are coming to the sales division for answers they don’t have. I realize how basic this is but you would be surprised at how often something like this happens. At the end of the day, just make sure each division is informing the other about their current plans.”
Everything these experts had to say points to a single idea – the end goal of both these teams is to reach the customer. If this is the true end goal, it stands to reason these two teams should be working together to reach said goal. The words of Reid Hoffman, an entrepreneur and Co-Founder of LinkedIn, offer support to this reasoning, “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”
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