Salespeople view marketers as wishy-washy creatives, more interested in vanity metrics and crafting glossy content than generating real sales, while marketers think salespeople spend more time taking long lunches and gabbing on the phone than doing actual work. As fun as it is to make light of this office divide, the tensions between the two departments do far more harm than good, especially when it comes to closing deals. So what can be done to resolve this divide?
Lack of communication and squabbles over who’s responsible for what is at the root of the sales vs marketing war
You’ve probably witnessed it at least once during your career: a salesperson complaining that marketing’s lead generation services aren’t up to scratch. And the marketing team getting frustrated when sales don’t follow up on the myriad leads they give them. Because the two teams operate as separate entities, and strong communication between them isn’t regarded as a priority, there’s a disconnect – and this disconnect is at the root of all the squabbles and tantrums that ensue. Arguments over who gets credit for generating sales, fights about how to grade leads and who does so, and bickering about who manages the lead nurturing process are just some of the things that exemplify this war. This causes leads to be lost, which means that fewer sales are made and the businesses are less profitable – not to mention the negative effect on morale. Implement a structure which both teams agree on for defining your leads, MQL's and SQL's, as well as any processes in place.
An absence of understanding about the functions of the opposite team also leads to disconnect
Many sales and marketing departments also have skewed ideas about what the other’s role is: sales thinks marketing is there to serve them leads, while marketing expects every lead to become a sale. These are both oversimplified pictures of what each team really does – for the rivalry to be healed, each side needs a proper understanding of what the other one does.
Alignment begins when each team acknowledges the value the other one brings
Failing to acknowledge the indispensable role marketing plays in generating those vital leads is a bit like forgetting to invite the friend who introduced you to your fiance to your wedding. They might not have done the proposing, but there’s a chance you might never have found each other without that initial introduction. Sales might close the deals, but the marketing team is the one who put you in touch with the lead. And it goes the other way too – without sales’ insights into customers, marketing would have a much harder time creating content and shaping marketing messages that resonate with their audience.
Get your sales and marketing teams to see the bigger picture
Sales and marketing have more shared goals than you’d think. Granted, their day-to-day goals might differ, but both seek to maximise ROI and grow revenue for the business. So why not play on the same team? To be able to do this, both sides need to see the bigger picture of how their individual roles fit together within the profit-generating entity that is the business.
Aligned ‘smarketing’ teams generate more leads and close more deals than those that aren’t
Not only will aligned sales and marketing (‘smarketing’) teams make for a more harmonious working environment, but they’ll generate more leads and close (up to 38%) more deals. Sales can define what makes a qualified lead based on their prior experience closing deals, and marketing can use this information to guide everything from content creation to lead nurturing. Doesn’t that sound like a far better paradigm than being at loggerheads?
If you’d like an in-depth look at how to align your sales team with the marketing department, and the positive effect it can have on your profit margin, download the guide: