They’re two of the most important departments within a modern organisation, especially one that is striving for growth. And some savvy business owners instantly recognise the benefits that can be achieved when the professions work closely together in pursuit of the same objectives. Many businesses are acknowledging this and recruiting individuals into the role of ‘Sales and Marketing Directors’ to enhance this synergy.
So why are so many sales and marketing departments, throughout the country, constantly at loggerheads? Is it simply an unfortunate but unavoidable quandary that companies will just have to learn to deal with? Or can there be such thing as a happy marriage between the seemingly battling functions?
Of course, every business operates differently and the relationship between sales and marketing is often greatly influenced by the culture of the organisation. Some brands are already nailing it, realising that marketing can attract good quality leads for the sales team to convert. But in other firms, there seems to be nothing but frustration between the two teams.
In one tech company for instance, we saw senior management pushing for as many leads as possible. Their priority was clearly volume. But this desire to quite literally sell anything, just to hit growth targets, was in stark contrast to the goals elsewhere in the business.
Only a couple of desks away the marketing team was focusing on the quality and relevance of leads. Their argument was that they wanted to attract the right kind of prospect, where there was a clear product fit. That way, they were sure of a higher quality project delivery, which would result in greater customer satisfaction, plus referrals and strong brand advocacy thereafter.
To a certain degree, the field sales team supported this approach. With busy diaries they didn’t want to spend their precious hours attending meetings they couldn’t close. Nor did it feel ethical to make false promises as to what the tech could or couldn’t deliver, just to convert the lead.
However, there was a distinct lack of strategic alignment between how the departments were working, which meant, quite simply, relationships were far from positive.
What’s the secret to a stronger relationship?
What a growing number of businesses are realising, is that marketing automation can act as the ‘referee’ on this often turbulent battleground. In fact, it can provide the secret to a stronger relationship between sales and marketing. But there are a number of key steps to follow to achieve that ‘perfect marriage’:
By Nick Washbourne