Many companies senior management would describe the relationship between Sales and Marketing as unsatisfactory, with a lack of communication, poor performance and a tendency to complain cited as the main problems. The traditional view is that the two departments are separate entities, each responsible for their own areas. Marketing concentrates on customer and brand awareness and brand consideration and preference, while Sales focuses on changing an intention to purchase into a sale, customer loyalty and customer advocacy. Essentially, Marketing builds the brand and generates leads before handing over to Sales for the purchase itself, but when things don’t go to this plan the two departments will blame each other.

marketing ROI - sales and marketing working together-01You Have To Integrate To Accumulate

The division between the two is necessary to keep Marketing thinking strategically and to stop any intrusion into potential sales opportunities. However, If the system isn’t working you can find yourself in a scenario in which Sales points the finger at Marketing for failing to properly plan the brand, while Marketing accuses Sales of not working hard enough. Of course, the truth is not so simple and both teams must work together towards success. Sales will usually develop it’s own strategies independently, through prospecting, defining needs, contract negotiation and implementing the sale. Apart from lead generation early on, Marketing is often simply not involved in these tasks, something that can be detrimental to the brand.

“A lack of alignment can hurt performance. Both groups will stumble if they’re out of sync, causing the business to suffer”

There are ways to integrate Sales and Marketing that will create a much improved working relationship. Companies can and should work to improve the understanding between the departments, bringing the sales peoples intimate, first hand knowledge of the customer to the very core of the company. Planning stages should jointly involve Sales and Marketing in decisions from setting targets and assessing customer needs, to signing off on advertising campaigns. Databases should be shared and updated regularly to ensure everyone has the same information, department heads should attend each others budget reviews and success should be rewarded in line with results. A culture of shared responsibility should be created, and the organisational structure heavily integrated.

marketing ROI - sales and marketing working together-03Shared Skills And Knowledge Will Boost Your Revenue

Making these improvements will allow you to better serve your customers immediately and will help you develop better products in the future. Your company will be able to combine the relationship building skills of Sales with the harder, analytical mind of Marketing. By considering how you apply reward systems across different functions, a fairer, more productive approach can be taken. Most importantly, such improvements will boost profits and promote growth.

Do you want to improve the relationship between your sales and marketing department? Why not speak to one of our experts? It costs nothing to talk and our insights could prove priceless.