5 Innovative Ways to Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams Playing the Same Sheet of Music

Divisions between marketing and sales departments can result in reduced revenue, poor lead development and unsatisfied customers.  Many companies are embracing unique methods to align both teams. Here are five major trends:

1.       Combined Sales and Marketing Teams

Moving away from the standard division of labor, companies, like Comcast, are successfully blending marketing and sales teams so that both camps work jointly on product or service campaigns.  Some businesses are using this integration approach for specific campaigns while others have permanently created a single sales and marketing division to regularly share multiple tasks and projects. This includes analyzing the budget and returns on investment, tracking sales metrics, and jointly handling product rollouts.  The benefit is that both groups are invested in every phase of a campaign’s success.

Integration can not only save confusion and bickering, but also will reduce labor costs and save money.  Comcast’s combined division, known as Comcast Spotlight, experienced improved communication between teams as well as between the business and its customers after combining duties.

2.       Sales- Driven Marketing

Much like the chicken and the egg debate, many salespeople and marketers secretly argue about what should come first: marketing or sales. When it comes to demand, marketers traditionally believe they come first as they create market demand by telling customers what they should want. However, salespeople who directly advise and sell to customers, witness counter-demand and face a different and more realistic view of what customers want based on the products they are actually able to move.

This reality has led some companies, such as the California-based Dreyer Real Estate Auctions, to embrace sales-driven marketing where sales data and sales experience take precedent and are used to design highly customized advertising approaches.

3.       Training Sales Staff in the Marketing Process – and Vice Versa.

Sometimes more than a wall and few yards divide the marketing team from a company’s sales force. Often, the two camps are divided by mystery and misconceptions about what the other side is doing or should be doing.  This increases the finger pointing and animosity.

As part of its plan to ensure the success of its newly enlarged sales team, Intellicheck Mobilisa, a wireless security systems company, hired an expert to provide not just sales training but also marketing training to the sales staff as part of the team’s mandatory education.

4.       Joint Creation of Brand Message and Sales Information

Conflicts over message and content are a major schism driving apart marketing and sales teams. A majority of business-to-business companies are tackling that problem by having both teams create unified marketing messages and sales content to ensure both salespeople and marketers view the product and brand in the same way and convey that to prospects.

Research from the Aberdeen Group shows that nearly 75 percent of B2B companies surveyed now have sales and marketing employees join together to develop product narratives and messages.

5.       Combined Management of Customer Accounts

In many businesses, marketing maintains its cache of customer data while sales has its own software and database of customer information.  This can result in blind spots when it comes to details that can enable the business to better serve its prospects.

Avistar Communications Corporation is one of many companies using joint management of customer accounts to leverage more opportunities to sell and please the customer.

Research supports the above innovative strategies designed to keep sales and marketing on the same page when it comes to branding, positioning products, generating demand and other objectives. According to statistics from Demand Metric, companies who align marketing and sales efforts in some way are 25 percent more likely to meet their profit goals.


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