Working with a knowledgable third party, through the use of analytical tools, it is possible to determine what sort of relationship exists between different functions within any business. When a company understands what type of relationship their Sales and Marketing departments have, management may decide to create a stronger alignment between the two. It is not always necessary to work towards this goal and there are many factors dictating whether or not it is right for you, but should the change be deemed beneficial there are various ways to go about making it.
From Undefined To Integrated, Through Defined & Aligned
In a smaller company members of Sales and Marketing may already have a good, informal relationship (undefined) that need not be interfered with, especially if Marketing exists to support Sales. If conflicts arise regularly though, senior management should intervene to create clear rules of engagement and handoff points for important tasks, making the link between functions more defined. A defined relationship can be comfortable for both sides, but a sales force can become too expensive or need to upgrade it’s skills or knowledge, meaning the heads of the two functions may look to further align their relationship. Disciplined communication, collaborative joint assignments and improved feedback are all ways of becoming more aligned.
“As functions become better aligned, create opportunities for marketers and salespeople to work together. This will make them more familiar with each other’s ways of thinking and acting”
Most companies will work better with Sales and Marketing aligned, especially if the sales cycle is short and straightforward. When things are more complicated or prone to quick changes, moving to an integrated relationship is usually best. The starting point is making simple additions such as planning, setting targets and value-proposition development. It is more complicated to integrate systems and processes so these must be replaced with common systems and shared databases. The goal is to move towards shared responsibility and disciplined planning in an environment that ties rewards to results.
Before You Move, You Need To Know Where You Are
Having functions that under perform, or that do not work together, is both frustrating and avoidable. However, it is important to remember that change for the sake of change is a pointless exercise. Before you decide whether or not your company needs to evolve the relationship between Sales and Marketing, you must understand the current relationship within the type and size of the company. Not every company will want to – or should – upgrade the relationship between functions, but every company should improve the relationship between Sales and Marketing.
Do you need to change the relationship between your sales and marketing departments? Why not get in touch with us? It costs nothing to talk and our insights could prove priceless.