Are your sales and marketing on the same page? Are you certain? When sales and marketing work together, forming one team with collective goals based on mutually beneficial outcomes and driven by shared activities, they reach their goals and more. Does that sound like your sales and marketing teams? Do your sales and marketing teams work together, or does it seem like they live and work in separate worlds? Are sales and marketing siloed? Is it a breakdown of communications, or do the departments work against each other? Are your sales and marketing teams on the same page, or are they at odds with each other?
It’s counterproductive for two teams, as dependent on each other, as sales and marketing are, to work against each other, but it happens more frequently than you may think. If marketing’s job is to fill the lead funnel and sales is to convert leads into customers, doesn’t it make sense that the more aligned the teams, the more successful they’ll be? Yes, it does so. What’s the answer? It begins with communication.
How to Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams
Establish Lines of Communication
“One of the problems with modern communication is there are so many medias available. Phone, text, email, and face-to-face are just a few of the options. The problem is no one communication network works universally. If you’ve ever missed an urgent email because you were off the grid, you know the frustration. You may have thought, why didn’t they call or text me, but the question is, did you give them your communication expectations?” — How to Set Communication Expectations that Work.
Share interdepartmental meetings and action sessions. But it can’t end there. Meetings need to be followed up, repeated, and supported by management. The most effective meetings end with an action plan and a commitment to follow through. Actions and commitments should be at the top of the list for conducting sales and marketing meetings.
- At the beginning of the meeting, introduce the topic and announce the end goal of the meeting is to devise an action plan and commit to the plan.
- Share actionable ideas throughout the meeting.
- Allow team members to devise an action plan of their own
- At the end of the meeting, ask for each member’s action plan and their commitment to follow through.
- Note the actions plans for follow-up
One of the best ways to learn to work together as a team is to understand each other’s jobs and how each team affects the other. This can be as simple as having marketing and salespeople shadow each other, or it can be planned cross-training time. Regardless of the method, any cross-training will improve teamwork. It’s more difficult to ignore other departments when you understand what they do and know who they are. I’ve had more than one manager tell me cross-training sounded like a good idea, but there just wasn’t time for it. My answer is cross-training saves time by reducing mistakes and developing more efficient systems that help everyone.
Set Mutual Goals
The key to effective goal setting is to concentrate on activities, “Although the degree of difficulty, time limits, measurability, conditions, objective criteria, etc., should be discussed—it will be difficult to achieve the goal without a clear plan of activities needed to reach the goal.” — You Cannot Do a Goal You Can Do Activities.
Setting community goals for sales and marketing doesn’t need to be an all-day process. Last month I spent 15 minutes each with two production departments. The department managers and I had previously discussed improving teamwork by developing team goals. We wanted the teams to be integral in creating the goals. For goals to work, they must be reviewed, adjusted as needed, and supported by all team members and management.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Can’t we just all get along? Can sales and marketing work together? Yes, they can, especially two teams as interconnected as sales and marketing. It begins with communication and ends with shared goals based on activities that benefit the whole. So, are your teams working together?
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.