Like Good and Evil, Sales and Marketing are locked in an eternal struggle — both sides seeing themselves as good, of course. Marketers blast sales teams for not following the plan; sales teams blast marketers for saddling them with ridiculous plans. Any B2B facing this is in a no-win situation.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to marketing-sales tension: communication. So simple, in fact, it’s usually overlooked. Here, then, are a few suggestions for getting your sales and marketing teams singing in harmony instead of screaming at each other.
- Send marketers out into the field with sales reps. Let the see how the sales process works first hand. Let them get to know the customers first hand, and how sales reps use the collateral they are producing.
- Involve sales reps and/or sales managers in the marketing strategy. In addition to providing great input, sales reps and managers will own a piece of the strategy and thus be more inclined to support it.
- Make sure sales success stories are communicated to marketing. One of the reasons Sales thinks Marketing works in a vacuum is because Marketing works in a vacuum. But whose fault is that if Sales doesn’t take the initiative and let Marketing know what’s going on in the real world?
- Make sure sales failures are communicated to marketing. See above.
- Let sales know the why behind the what. Sales reps are highly focused on customer needs; as a result, they may overlook the internal priorities that drive marketing strategy. But, when marketers take the time to explain why a particular product is being promoted, or why a particular customer segment is being targeted, sales people are far more likely to get onboard.
Still not convinced communication is important for effective sales and marketing? See what happens when there is failure to communicate: