The sales and marketing functions of your small business may have different responsibilities, but both operate with the goal of landing more customers and creating revenue. Often, these divisions operate separately, but allowing both teams to share data may help both of them perform more effectively. Marketers can use data obtained directly from customers to help refine the message and communication channels, and the sales team can take advantage of brand awareness and other customer insights. If your sales and marketing teams are operating separately, with minimal communication, here is why you may want to consider a change.
More effective communication
One benefit to aligning marketing and sales is that each team can more effectively sell your company’s products. With more companies and customers being able to research products online, many of them may have preconceived notions about your company before meeting with sales people. According to a Forbes magazine article titled, “Sales and Marketing Alignment Begins With the Customer,” “Today 80 percent of B2B purchase cycles are completed before the buyer considers contacting the vendor, and even then, they are loath to do so. Sales may feel their role is to sell the product, but… research consistently shows that buyers prioritize relationships and trust over product and price.” Since your sales team is directly involved in client relationships, they can provide invaluable data on how your company’s marketing is being perceived.
Build on shared goals
Although an increased customer base and increased revenues are the goal of both sales and marketing, the differences in job functions can lead to misunderstandings or animosity if not managed effectively. Sales people may not be aware of the benefits that brand awareness and consistency bring to the sales process, and marketers may not understand the nuances of effectively closing a sale. An Entrepreneur.com article titled, “Play Nice: 3 Ways to Get Sales and Marketing to Team Up” recommends, “Making sure everyone in your company, including your sales and marketing teams, is on the same page should be a priority. Who is your target customer? What does the buyer journey look like? What makes a prospect sales-ready? Your sales and marketing teams should agree on the answers to these questions. If they disagree, your sales funnel will likely be littered with low-quality contacts or contacts who entered the funnel too early.”
Ensuring that your sales and marketing teams are communicating regularly is a key component of sales success. Allowing these teams to learn key information from each other makes for higher quality leads and more effective marketing strategies.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.