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Marketing & Sales – Friends or Foes?

Marketing and Sales should work together to increase awareness, connect with target audiences and ultimately put revenue on the books.

Too often, Marketing and Sales are at odds with each other. That’s actually the better scenario because it means they are actually communicating, while too many times there is no interaction at all.

The worst that can happen in an organization is when there are silos, and departments work in parallel universes rather than together. This scenario is dangerous regardless of the business unit, but when it comes to Sales and Marketing it can be devastating.

Pointing Fingers

When Sales doesn’t meet quota, Marketing gets blamed.

When Marketing doesn’t produce leads, the Sales department points fingers.

When both departments work together to reach target audiences to engage in meaningful discussions magic happens. And just like with any other relationships, there shouldn’t be unreasonable expectations but realistic goals that should be defined and executed in tandem.

Both departments are responsible for lead generation

In my humble opinion as a salesperson with a strong marketing affiliation, the purpose of Marketing is to raise awareness, build a strong brand and develop leads. And before some salespeople reading this article jump up to run to their bosses to share this article, it doesn’t mean that Marketing is solely responsible for lead generation. Salespeople are also responsible to develop leads, just in different ways.

Shared responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Sales department to provide Marketing with feedback on the conversations with their their target audiences, as they are the ones having the ear on the pulse every day (hopefully).

Ideally, both departments should have internal meetings on a regular basis to discuss, explore and plan. In order to develop a successful Sales and Marketing Strategy, there are challenges to be tackled, and the only way to overcome those challenges is a vision with a shared goal and assigned responsibilities.

Content marketing

When it comes to content marketing, this is an area that should be owned by the Marketing department. They should choose a vehicle that will help them to stay actively engaged with their target audiences, using tools like Pardot or Infusionsoft.

CRM management

When it comes to CRM management, both departments need to be involved. Salespeople need to document their conversations and interactions in an accurate and timely manner, so Marketing can tag the people properly in order to communicate with prospects and clients in a meaningful way. There is nothing more embarrassing than marketing emails going to existing clients.

Managing expectations

The key to every successful relationship is communication and managing expectations. In order to meet objectives, those have to be set and they should be set by both departments.

It doesn’t make sense for Marketing to lead the charge and develop messaging that might not resonate with the marketplace.

It also doesn’t make sense to rely on Marketing to generate leads by avoiding phone conversations and pro-active outreach.

Both departments are responsible for success, and it is only when both departments have a shared vision and a plan that expectations can be managed and goals can be met.

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