Forbes: How To Make Your Sales And Marketing Teams See Eye-To-Eye

 

Getting your sales and marketing teams on the same page is a challenge for every business manager. Sales may not see the value in your marketing department’s strategies, and your marketing team may see a lackluster sales team not taking advantage of their hard work. Bringing the two departments together seems like a never-ending battle, but when they do join forces, they become more powerful, helping their companies grow faster, close more leads and retain more customers.

Below, 11 members of Forbes Agency Council offer useful advice and tips on how any business can unite the two fronts for increased efficiency and revenue.

1. Communicate In Both Directions

It's a simple fact that marketing needs information from sales in order to do a good job. Stories from the field, pain points, what resonates with prospects – this all comes from sales, and it's marketing's most valued input. Conversely, marketing needs to help sales understand how to use the resources they create. With communication, the two teams can both flourish. - Diana WolffLRG Marketing

2. Seek In-Depth Product/Service Knowledge

Make sure both teams have an in-depth understanding of your company's products and/or services. It is also very important for both teams to have a cohesive and uniform knowledge of your offerings. Strategize for the campaign launch by including both teams, and only after you feel comfortable about their knowledge of your products and services. - Kyle ManiOWDT

3. Align Their Goals

An organization can align sales and marketing KPIs to encourage the communication of information and unify efforts in achieving company goals. Internal communication documents can be developed by both teams to share relevant information such as: consumer intelligence, current and former customer advocacy, industry trends and sales data. - Jenna Vandenberg5ifty & 5ive

4. Walk In Each Other's Shoes

Empathy for the pressures, stresses and challenges your counterpart faces daily is the fastest way to bridge the divide between sales and marketing. Marketing needs to understand the key to their sales team members' success, and the inverse is true for sales too. Armed with this knowledge, both teams can implement an orchestrated set of revenue-generation activities. - Russell KernKERN Agency, An Omnicom Company

5. Make Time To Talk Regularly

In smaller companies, the sales and marketing teams should, ideally, be working together as a united front. If that’s not the case, in reality, a regular line of communication needs to be opened. Schedule a recurring weekly or bi-weekly meeting between the two teams. Even if there are no monumental items on the agenda, regular check-ins will help get and keep everyone on the same page. - Chapin HermanHerman-Scheer

6. Communicate And Integrate

Both departments' goals should be directly aligned. Marketing can help soften target accounts' perspectives of a company and sales must be armed and ready to bring that account over the finish line. Oftentimes it isn't known what is needed to close a deal. Ensuring sales teams are armed and ready can only be enabled through open discussions, identifying tools to empower the front line. - Ilissa MillerIMiller Public Relations

7. Define And Target Buyer Personas

When sales and marketing are working together for the same goal, you get teamwork. Define buyer personas that your organization wants to engage with. The process of defining and targeting these buyer personas will result in targeted leads, higher conversion rates, happier sales teams, and more successful marketing teams. - Andy EtemadiEYEMAGINE

8. Leverage Technology And Align Incentives

New sales software can provide sales and marketing with real-time reactions from customers, harness customer insights, and leverage data facilitating cross-departmental collaboration on critical business decisions. Bridging the divide between sales and marketing can be accomplished by implementing similar financial incentive structures and performance goals, aligning teams toward common goal(s). - Jody ResnickTrighton Interactive

9. Engage Marketing From The Start

Marketing is rarely included in top-level strategic business planning, so by the time the business plan gets down to marketing, sales goals and business strategies are already finalized. It’s marketing’s job to simply execute. As the Marketing2020: Organizing For Growth study says, “High-performing marketing leaders don't just align their department's activities with company strategy; they actively engage in creating it." - Sarah MannoneTrekk

10. Use A Combined Reporting Dashboard

Companies should consider creating a combined reporting dashboard for their marketing and sales departments to review together on a monthly basis. This allows the teams to identify areas of concern together before they spiral, and to develop joint solutions to address issues. These monthly review sessions can also fuel new ideas for growth. - Laura ColeVivial

11. Encourage Collaboration And Empathy

Consider aligning sales and marketing KPIs to encourage the integration of efforts leading to collaboration and empathy/understanding. It's cliche but it's true: "Teamwork makes the dream work." This should be enforced from day one (onboarding). If alignment of goals, collaboration and banishing silos is a large facet of company culture from the C-suite to entry level, this will bridge any gaps. - Jenelle CoyCoy +

 
Jen Coy