At best, sales and marketing teams are acquaintances. At worst, they’re enemies. At least, that’s the situation at most organizations. While a healthy bit of sibling rivalry typically doesn’t hurt, the sales and marketing relationship often suffers from miscommunication—or a complete lack of communication—as well as occasional animosity. This is remarkable, especially considering that the two teams typically have the same goal: increasing business revenue. There is a point in the history of sales and marketing in which it may have made sense for these teams to display more competition than camaraderie. John Wanamaker—a marketer active in the 1800s who is often called the pioneer of advertising—is quoted as saying: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” It is easy to understand why salespeople didn’t appreciate marketing efforts at that time. There was no accountability to business results, and salespeople could find themselves wondering whether the marketing team was contributing at all to their work, even while marketers took some of the credit for business success. Those days are over, though. With the rise of digital marketing and the advent of marketing technology, marketing accountability is at an all-time high. Furthermore, these advances have allowed marketers to take more responsibility in not just catching the attention of ideal clients, but also in nurturing them down the sales funnel to ensure a perfect handoff to sales.
What is Sales?The sales team is responsible for moving products or services to customers. They are also responsible for upselling current customers and clients. While sales teams may practice some form of outreach through cold calling, they typically deal with leads that are brought to them by the marketing team. Salespeople develop relationships with these individuals, determine what their needs are, and determine the proper products and services to fill those needs.
What is Marketing?The marketing team is responsible for everything from increasing brand awareness to delivering high quality leads to the sales team. From a higher level, the marketing team identifies and defines ideal customers, communicates with them on relevant online and offline platforms, and primes them for a relationship with a salesperson.
Strategic Sales and Marketing and International Sales and MarketingWhile these two teams often operate on their own, strategic sales and marketing is the ideal state. Strategic sales and marketing require two important elements:
- Working together in a separate but equal capacity that relies on great communication.
- Looking to the future by highlighting trends in consumer behavior and pipeline growth as well as keeping a foot in the present by addressing customer’s needs in the day-to-day.
7 Tips for Developing Sales and Marketing Strategies
- Create Personas in a Joint Sales & Marketing Effort
- Make an Effort to Document the Buyers’ Journey for Each Persona
- Audit Sales and Marketing Assets and Document Gaps Along the Buyer’s Journey
- Establish a Content Marketing Plan Across the Buyers’ Journey
- Develop a Joint Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Strategy
- Implement Regular Sales and Marketing Communication Efforts
- Repeat Steps 1-6 on a Quarterly or Annual Basis
Guest post by Matt Goldman, Content Marketer for Tenfold.