In any company, sales and marketing are two functions – that are aimed at increasing revenue. They both are closely intertwined such that, many don’t realize the difference between them. To make it clear, marketing does a broader range of activities to sell product/ service, client relationship, etc. to determine major future needs; promote products/ services and implementing the strategy in place to meet the needs for a long term relationship with the customers by performing customer research, product development and advertising. Whereas, sales is an activity that matches customer demand to the products/ services, the company offers. It is a process of converting prospects to actually paying customers.
In order to sell a product/ service and make revenue out of it, any company should get its sales and marketing, collaborating with each other. The marketing team should work more closely with sales team in order to execute marketing strategies along with sales goals. Here are some ways to achieve the same.
Have common objectives/ definitions – the traditional responsibility of marketing and sales are to create leads and to sell respectively. Sales should make use of the leads generated by marketing. In order to do that, they both must first agree on a set of common, well-defined objectives and outcomes. This will manifest them in a common dashboard to measure, review and improve results
Upfront planning – every year, the marketing plan should be reviewed and accepted by the sales leadership, as the primary customer for marketing is the sales team. This will help the sales team achieve their growth objectives. The way by which the marketing team achieves collective goals agreed to by marketing and sales together, should ultimately continue to be up to the marketing team. But before finalizing the plan, it must be reviewed and approved by the sales team
Lead distribution and management process – things might go, not as expected, even with best laid plans. It is significant to have regular, metrics-based reviews of what is working; and what is not working; which ideas should be implemented; and which should not be. This management process encourages new ideas, to be addressed and to determine where the focus should be moving ahead
Offline relationship building – build a strong offline relationship and interaction, which facilitates the common objectives discussed earlier. Sales and marketing leaders could be involved in activities which fit organizational culture, by which they get to know about other outside their professional focus areas. This makes it easier to overcome professional obstacles
Measure before & after team satisfaction – in many organizations a blame-game exists, frustrating members of both teams and often prohibiting them for raising right issues and ideas. If this is taken care of, it will bring effective collaboration between sales and marketing, which in turn brings satisfaction about their contribution to revenue and enhances their performance in future
The collaboration thus brought about between sales and marketing, benefits the organization through improved performance and revenue generation; and the employees through satisfaction.