Fact: marketing and sales need each other, and the alignment between these two teams is crucial for any business organization. Learn more about why it’s important to align these two teams in this post.
RELATED: How To Align Sales And Marketing
In this article:
- The Usual Scenario in Most Companies — A Disconnect Between Marketing and Sales
- Harvard Business Review Study
- How Widespread Is the Disconnect?
- Tips on How to Align the Two Teams
Marketing and Sales | A Necessary Pairing
The Usual Scenario in Most Companies — A Disconnect Between Marketing and Sales
Despite many ideas to the contrary, marketing and sales go together like research and development.
You really can’t have one work effectively without the other. Yet each team tends to blame the other when things go wrong and sales slump.
The finger pointing and blame gaming only hurt the entire organization. Unfortunately, neither team understands the value or the symbiotic relationship they should have.
Harvard Business Review found the disconnect between the two organizational forces fascinating. Enough so that they devoted a study to try to identify “best practices” companies could employ to enhance the performance and contributions of both parties.
Harvard Business Review Study
The idea is that understanding what is similar and different between sales and marketing can help both perform their jobs more effectively, offering greater benefits to the entire organization.
Some of the findings the Harvard Business Review study discovered include:
- Points of contention between sales and marketing jobs and those who work within them fall into two primary categories—money and culture.
- Marketing means different things to different companies and can be found at different stages of the product life cycle.
- There are practical steps companies can make to improve the function of those in sales and marketing roles within the organization. These steps will develop a more productive relationship between the two.
Many businesses struggle to understand the primary difference between marketing and sales. This is necessary so the two groups can work together more effectively.
Unfortunately, most businesses attempt to keep the departments separate but equal, which doesn’t work. It becomes a case of the left hand not understanding what the right hand is doing, which works against the good of the company overall.
RELATED: Sales And Marketing Alignment Seen As Solution To Pipeline Problem, Shows Survey
How Widespread Is the Disconnect?
How widespread is the disconnect between the two groups? The 2018 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey Report indicates that 73% of marketers plan to focus on the quality of leads rather than the quantity of leads and 60% of organizations are seeking to develop better synergy and alignment between their sales and marketing branches.
In other words, it’s weighing heavily on organizations in all sectors and is a problem that needs to be solved. Here are some practical tips your business can employ to help bridge the gap between the two while getting better results from both.
What you need to do instead, according to Forbes, is have your sales and marketing professionals work together to develop an effective lead generation strategy for the good of the entire organization.
If you put it in terms of dollars and cents, you can explain that both sales and marketing salaries will rise when the groups work together. This includes working to develop tools and tactics for the greater good of the company.
The idea of more money provides motivation and incentive for the two to set aside their differences. This allows them to create more sales for the organization.
Tips on How to Align the Two Teams
- Define the roles of each within your organization. Be specific and create sales and marketing job descriptions that clearly outline what the role of each entails.
- Hire a sales and marketing manager to oversee both groups. This will help to limit the finger pointing and blaming games that often occur and provides a go-to person when either party has a complaint about the other.
- Set specific goals for each team that aligns with the role that group has within your organization. Hold your teams accountable for achieving their goals.
- Require weekly meetings between the two teams. This strengthens communication and facilitates teamwork between the two.
- Consider team building exercises that require the groups to work together to solve problems in a non-work environment.
- Create joint assignments that require the two teams to work together to accomplish specific goals.
- Rotate jobs. This means that people from each team migrate to the other for a view from the other side of the fence. It creates better empathy, builds relationships “across the aisle” so to speak, and fosters better relationships all around.
- Seek feedback from members of both teams. They are the best sources of ideas, information, and feedback about what is and is not working for your organization. Listen well and find actionable nuggets that can improve your organization.
Lead Generation Strategy Definition: A gameplan created for the goal of capturing the interest and attention of a lead.
Ultimately, the more effectively and efficiently these two teams work together, the stronger your organization will become. Getting both sales and marketing to understand that is the first step in closing the gap between the two teams.
Have you ever seen a disconnect between sales and marketing in a company? How has this affected the organization? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.