Marketing is more to sales than just pretty banners and graphics, sales is more to marketing than whiny complainers.
They are brothers or sisters and must exist in harmony to get things done. Historically, however, sales and marketing teams either: a) don’t talk, or b) hate each other, but don’t know why. The key is alignment and communication which in this case is the responsibility of marketing.
Why is it the responsibility or marketing? Because, let’s face it, sales isn’t likely going to say “hey, come take a look and learn about what we’re doing and what our processes are”. It’s not because they don’t want to share, it’s because they are focused on closing business (hopefully business you brought them).
The first step is to get buy in from sales leadership. You’ll need to ask for access to the sales pipeline, the sales process and any data not currently available to you. Why not just use your marketing automation tool? Because they can leave out details that can help you work better together in the future.
Next, take a look at actual sales data to understand how marketing qualified leads (MQL) are faring. Are the leads marketing sends getting past the sales qualified lead (SQL) phase? Are there good reasons for that?
Find out those answers by looking at the data first and then approaching your buddies in sales and present solutions to the problem.
Sometimes it’s an easy fix like arming the sales folks with a relevant piece of content. Sometimes it involves setting up lead scoring and only delivering leads when they’re ready. Whatever the case; find the problem, fix it and help sales close business.
What about sales helping marketing, why does marketing have to do all of the work?
We (marketers) have to do it because we know the buyer better than a sales rep (gasp!). That’s right. We understand the buyer as a whole and look at data to make our decisions and recommendations; not a single deal or single customer. We help them by delivering the right buyers; they help us by closing business we send – the perfect circle of life.
How are you aligning sales and marketing? Do you have your own story or thoughts? I’d love to hear them.
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