Marketing and Sales could be the two sides of a coin, where the coin (money) is earned only when both these functions collaborate and unify their efforts in bringing more customers to an organization and making sales happen. People often confuse marketing and selling as synonymous terms. However, the fact remains that these two functions are distinct, yet incomplete without each other.
An organization’s growth hinders when these two departments work as separate entities. This doesn’t mean that the sales and marketing departments be merged into one. But it definitely means that the sales team and the marketing teams should bury their egos, communicate frequently, bring unison of purpose, and avoid ambiguity and inconsistencies in lead generation and closure. Few of the most common areas where sales and marketing collaboration is must are listed below.
1. Unification of Message:
Whatever it is, there could be nothing bad than different teams in an organization sending out different messages to customers. Unity of communication and unity of direction is must, without which, the efforts of both the sales team and the marketing team may go in vain.
2. Sharing Resources:
Marketing and sales teams must share resources with each other so as to understand the nature of customers, their concerns and their purchase readiness to buy or avail the products or services offered by your organization. Failing to do so will leave a business with half baked cakes that do not taste good.
3. Creating a Cohesive Customer Experience:
Misalignment between the sales and the marketing teams often leave the customers dissatisfied and they may abandon the buying process in the middle. Also, a lot of customers never come back for a purchase once they have a bad experience. Therefore, at all levels, it is to be ensured that the customers are delivered what is promised and they have an excellent experience dealing with your organization.
4. Plan of Action:
The sales and the marketing team should together chalk out a functional strategy to achieve results that align with the organizational goals. When you are looking to bring collaboration among different teams such as marketing, sales, IT or any other, it is important to know that each of these teams have different ways of handling certain things. This sometimes leads to misalignment of processes which further results in duplication of work, wastage of time, money and resources. Therefore, it is important for each team to know their responsibilities, have simple and well defined processes, and most importantly have a plan.
5. Execution of Plans:
Most of the times, the marketing and sales related jobs are associated with monitory incentives. Due to which, people engage themselves in the rat race of earning money and deviate from the real thread of the organization. They make vague promises to clients that sometimes go out of the ambit of their core business. Being competitive is acceptable to an extent, but excess of it may negatively hit an organization’s culture and goodwill in the long run. Therefore, once the plans are made, responsibilities are assigned, and both these teams are aware of their roles, powers and limitations, the plans must be meticulously implemented and followed.
A well crafted strategy and communication framework for sales and marketing collaboration will leave little room for ambiguity. Any challenges encountered along the way can be easily resolved with the standards of communication set by both the teams. Hence, considering the competitive challenges in the market, it is imperative for sales and marketing teams to come together and take the challenges head on.