Bridging the Marketing-Sales Rift, Part I


Here’s a quiz.  Read the following questions and see if you can identify which department in your company has probably asked themselves the same things.

What are we selling?

Do people care about what we’re selling?

If they do care, then why?

Will people buy our product once they hear our message?

So…did your marketing department ask these questions? Or did your sales department?

Answer: Both. Believe it or not, the marketing and sales departments want to know the same things, for the same reasons.

It’s no secret that there is a chasm between marketing and sales. Marketing departments put in years of research to find out what audiences want, how much they will pay, and what they think. They pass this information along to the sales department which, in turn, spends their days pounding the pavement, talking with leads and clients, and gathering first-hand feedback.

Technically, it should be a harmonious relationship: solid, qualified information is handed over to those who will put the information to practical use.

So why is it that sales and marketing departments tend to butt heads?

More often than not, it’s a blame game. The marketing department’s job is to queue up leads for the sales department, who in turn meets with the prospect and closes the sale. But when the leads don’t close, sales blames marketing for not giving them quality prospects and marketing blames sales for not doing a good enough job with the information they have been given. The cycle goes around and around.

It’s a rift that’s as old as time but changing up a few parts of your day-to-day operations could help to bridge that gap and bring the two departments together as an unstoppable revenue-making machine.

Get Together
What’s the first thing you should do with your sworn enemy? Hang out with them, of course!

It doesn’t sound like fun at first but have members of the marketing department take the time to attend meetings with salespeople. Marketing can get a feel for the kinds of questions and concerns prospects have about the product while salespeople can see how marketing comes to their conclusions. At the end of the day, communication and collaboration can heal a lot of wounds.

Build Together
Marketing does the research and produces the material, and sales disseminates it. That’s how it’s done.

But what if the two departments came together to collaborate on sales tool creation? Input from both sides – research and real-life experience – could help to build strong materials that speak to prospects on a variety of levels.

Align Your Messages
Are your sales and marketing teams saying the same things? The answer is undoubtedly, “Yes! Of course they are!”

Are you sure? Marketing messages are broader and have to do with overall brand awareness. Sales messages are specific to a product.

While it’s not uncommon to have two messages, the two messages much align to complement one another. Do your sales messages compliment your marketing messages? And vice versa? Are they essentially saying the same thing, but with a different focus? Check your messages against one another frequently and make sure that the same, overall information is being disseminated by both.

Part II: Smarketing. Look for Part II of the Marketing-Sales Rift blog post on Monday, February 24, 2020