How to Close the Divide Between Sales and Marketing

January 20, 2017
scott_deming

As a sales and marketing consultant, I spend a lot of time explaining the similarities and differences between these distinct, but closely related, fields. I’m also frequently asked which department has the most positive impact on the bottom line?

Businessman working at desk

The truth is, an effective sales and marketing team should work together as a single department, fulfilling a sole purpose—increasing company revenues by improving the customer experience. Encourage your teams to collaborate in these key areas to develop plans and techniques that bring in profits.

Do Away With the Dual-Process Approach

Modern consumers expect a personal experience when they do business with a company, and it’s not something one department can accomplish without the other. Not long ago, a sales and marketing consultant may have advised businesses to solely let their marketers determine the demographics and habits of their target buyers and to create campaigns and strategies. Then let the sales department take over, closing the deals and increasing profits.

This dual-process approach is no longer effective. Sales personnel have real, hands-on experience with the company’s typical consumers, and they know the challenges and buyer objections they encounter firsthand. It’s invaluable insight that adds a human layer to marketing’s data-driven perspective—the real-life details marketers need to craft compelling, personal campaigns.

Create a Marketing Strategy That Supports the Sales Staff

While a company may have a brilliant promotional campaign, it isn’t effective if it only generates leads but rarely results in conversions. Sales and marketing consultants would recommend shifting the marketing strategy’s focus, as increasing profits should be the priority. When brainstorming campaigns, your marketers need to listen to your sales professionals, and vice versa. This creates materials that not only equip the sales team with the right tools to deliver satisfying experiences, but also guide potential buyers to the point of purchase.

Take Advantage of Available Technology

Businesses are dedicating more and more of their resources to online marketing campaigns and new technology, but it’s important to see if these investments are helping close more deals. Encourage sales and marketing executives to work together to gather useful information about the specific needs of each lead. Then utilize the available technology, like mobile apps and CRMs, which assist sellers and marketers before, during, and after the initial client encounter.

During my years as a sales and marketing consultant, I’ve seen companies flourish when they close the divide between these intertwined departments and create a symbiotic relationship.