Two peas in a pod, or two ships passing in the night? Both Marketing and Sales are working towards the same goal, yet in many companies, they are two completely separate departments. Traditionally, these roles are delineated by marketing generates prospects, and sales closing deals. Instead of working in tandem, these groups barely communicate with each other, and when they do, they often don’t get along.
Marketing and Sales may have the same goal, but their approaches could not be more different.
Marketers rely on technology, data and strategy to drive awareness, engagement, conversion, and retention. Marketers do not interact directly with prospects, and create a customer experience based on best practices and data. On the other hand, sales teams interact directly with prospects, and are highly focused on the individual customer experience.
Because marketers base their decisions from data, not individual customer interactions, sales often views marketing as out of touch with customers. And as sales viewpoints are influenced by individual customer interactions instead of data, marketing often view sales as myopic, or shortsighted. Individually, both assumptions are both detrimental to any sales and marketing strategy. Friction caused by these opposing viewpoints undermines revenue, client relationships, and organizational productivity.
Both marketing and sales are absolutely essential to converting leads into customers. While friction between marketing and sales doesn’t necessarily prevent converting leads to customers, it does impact a company’s overall bottom line, brand image, and undermines morale and productivity. And it certainly doesn’t set an organization up for growth.
Building a collaborative environment between marketing and sales teams isn’t as simple as disproving assumptions. These notions of marketers being out of touch and sales being shortsighted may be negative and unproductive, but the observations themselves are not incorrect. Marketers must be focused on data to drive results. Strategy based solely off individual interactions is no strategy at all. In turn, sales teams base their observations from individual interactions. Imagine if a salesperson answered the customer’s questions according to big picture data, instead of tailoring it to an individual.
When marketing and sales operate without collaboration, the lack of understanding and cooperation leads to sales viewing marketing as out of touch, and marketing viewing sales as shortsighted. Both teams believe the other is undermining their efforts when, in reality, they are working towards the same goals.
Creating Synergy with Smarketing
Education and awareness of common goals is essential, and translates to an understanding of common tasks and essential overlaps. For example, Marketers often use buyer personas in a contextual marketing strategy, but do not also use the ICP. Both buyer personas and ICPs must be taken into account when viewing the entire customer journey.
The increasing prevalence and utility of internet searches has created a demand for a more streamlined sales and marketing process. Deemed "Smarketing" this term is used to represent an integrated sales and marketing approach. Now that prospective customers can go from lead to paying customer using a completely digital process, it's essential that marketing and sales be aligned in order to move prospects through the flywheel. Creating a smarketing strategy requires that teams and departments meeting frequently, define key terms and establish a common vocabulary to asses the effectiveness of each team in contributing to their overall success. Once these key components are in place, sales and marketing can both drive results to vastly increase velocity and revenue.