Regardless of the industry, sales and marketing perform incredibly unique – though equally essential – functions for any business. To keep up with long-term objectives and improve lead generation, it’s important for companies to strive for open communication, transparency, and collaboration between their sales and marketing teams across all stages of the business model.
In this article, we’ll discuss the link between sales and marketing teams and its importance to a company’s overarching business marketing strategy, as well as how these departments can work more effectively together to reach potential customers and achieve business goals.
Achieving balance between sales and marketing efforts
Perfect alignment between sales goals and marketing strategies isn’t always achievable. Often, small businesses with less established teams may experience a bit of head-butting between departments, which is to be expected. Employees from the sales team may feel that the marketing department doesn’t have the tools or knowledge necessary to generate meaningful, high-quality leads. On the other hand, members of the marketing team may feel the same way, blaming their sales colleagues for inadequately nurturing those leads.
A blame game ensues from there, and marketing departments may find themselves struggling to meet the demands of sales management, and vice versa. As a result, small businesses lose out on promising business opportunities.
For companies across industries, proper integration between sales and marketing forces is essential to preventing gridlock between teams. To begin this process, companies should consider how their current marketing plan coincides with their sales strategy. From there, leadership can identify areas of the business that may improve essential internal workflow elements like communication, reporting, or documentation.
Strengthening sales and marketing efforts through the customer experience
To be successful, companies must recognize that it’s the customer experience (as opposed to a closed sale) that will significantly impact company performance and long-term business goals in the future. When both departments consider the unique consumer needs of the targeted audience, this information can then be used to create a more impactful client journey capable of facilitating lead generation and, ultimately, successful sales.
Lead nurturing: the role of the sales department
It would be wrong to assume that a real-time interaction between a sales professional and potential customer would be less likely in the digital age. In fact, contacts between leads and sales reps are more prevalent in digital spaces – now more than ever.
As a result, sales reps gain valuable insight into customers’ needs and what they’re looking for, including a wealth of historical data related to past sales, competition, and consumer relationships. These insights then lead to the development of traditional sales pitches – conversations that sales departments can use as tools to convince potential customers of the value of their product or service.
Lead generation: the role of the marketing department
The magic happens when a marketing professional can understand the impact of sales pitches and techniques on the customer journey and then adapt it for use in a personalized, targeted marketing campaign.
Through the power of digital tools such as social media, surveys, paid advertising, and others, marketing departments can tap into the user profiles of a targeted audience with incredible depth and accuracy. User actions are tracked across the customer journey, and these insights reveal buying habits and patterns that coincide with touchpoints throughout the entire sales process.
When data between these two departments are effectively and efficiently shared, the result is two-fold: marketing becomes more personalized, and the sales plan becomes more strategically accurate.
Account-based marketing solutions for more cohesive internal business practices
For small businesses looking for a more effective means of identifying and converting the most valuable leads, an account-based marketing model may be the solution. Through ABM, sales and marketing teams collaborate to identify and engage high-value leads and customers – interactions that have the potential to result in more lucrative sales agreements and longer-term business contracts.
The highly-targeted ABM model allows businesses to increase conversion rates and develop more qualified leads through personalization. When sales and marketing materials are personalized, companies increase their chances of connecting with key decision-makers who will decide on a sale or partnership.