In business circles, it has been said that sales and marketing are complete separate entities with completely separate objectives.
Sales people are focused on the revenue and ROI, whilst marketing is focused on creating a conversation around the company.
Two objectives that are seemingly opposite – one focused on bringing in the money, the other focused on creating a “cool” factor around a brand.
However, in my travels I have found that working with the two departments together can be quite lucrative.
Tracking conversions and discussing new strategies can be super productive when you have different thinkers in the room.
There is some danger in this though. When working with the sales team, you must be careful that your marketing plan does not turn into a robotic, emotionless journey where it’s all about the bottom line.
And on the other side, the marketing team can be solely focused on creating a brand energy, without actually being conscious of making sales.
It’s important to set your boundaries, have clear objectives and work together.
Here are three ways you can integrate your sales team and your marketing team, and help them work together.
1) Ask the right questions
When talking to sales or marketing professionals, one thing that becomes abundantly clear is that they like to be heard.
The sales team is usually made up of a series of fiery, head-strong individuals who know how to talk the talk.
A marketing team is usually made up of intelligent creatives who love when others praise their ideas.
Asking the right questions of each other allows each member of the team to be heard and perhaps inspire a new way of looking at a situation.
For example, asking a sales person what kind of questions they are getting asked on a daily basis or the kind of messaging that helps them when they are on the phone or in front of a client can be extremely helpful in assessing the kind of messaging a brand needs to carry forward.
Asking a marketing person what is working on social media and what is getting engagement can potentially help the sales team find a new angle they haven’t thought of before.
Ask the right questions and you’ll get the right answers.
2) Be on the phone all the time
The best marketing plans work best when the marketing team understands conversions.
Even the most interesting, unique and amazing marketing campaign has the potential to flop triumphantly flat.
The marketing team should regularly be checking in on the sales team to see what kind of feedback they are getting.
It is important to look at where different sales are coming in from.
When it is an online sale, you can track where sales come from directly and research where most of your traffic is coming from using Google Analytics.
When you’re dealing with stockists, you can ask them to ask the end customer how they heard about the brand, or look at the merchandising of your stock.
There are always ways to track how your business is being perceived, and then what made the customer purchase from you instead of your competitor.
Both the sales and marketing team should be looking at, and analysing, this information.
3) Audit each other’s work
As a marketer, there is no better research for me than hearing a sales executive give their spiel. It helps me learn their language and their tonality.
In many big organisations, different departments are seated in different areas.
I remember an experience when I was a journalist in the early days. Unlike all of the other editorial staff, I was placed near the sales team.
Whilst I was working, I heard their sales calls, heard how they were talking about the product they were selling (advertising space on an online oil and gas news outlet) and I understand what kind of questions the potential advertisers were asking.
It helped me come up with some ideas for editorial to speak to the people who were already reading our product, but also people who we wanted to attract for the purpose of signing on advertisers.
Never ever allow departments in your organisations to work separately. Involve your marketing team with sales and vice versa. Change up the office. Get people out of their comfort zones, and you will see the difference in makes to your sales.