Arsenal and Tottenham. Blur and Oasis. Schwarzenegger and Stallone. History is full of bitter rivalries but has there ever been a more competitive dynamic than the relationship between sales and marketing teams?

OK, that may be a slight exaggeration but traditionally sales and marketing have never really seen eye to eye. When revenues are down, the sales team are quick to point the finger, lamenting the lack of qualified leads generated by the marketing team.

Marketing then shoot back: it’s not the quality, or quantity, of leads that’s the issue – it’s the sales team’s inability to close!

In this blog we discuss how sales and marketing teams can put their differences aside, get a better understanding of how each other work and better support each other to smash next quarter’s targets.


Sales vs marketing

Admittedly, sales and marketing teams in a lot of organisations are better aligned than they were perhaps a decade ago. However, there is still more work to be done. In a recent survey carried out by SBR, 42% of respondents said there was a lack of cohesion around their sales and marketing functions – so there is obviously more work to be done in this area.
But what should the first step be in creating a more productive relationship between the two?


Map out the customer journey and the marketing and sales touchpoints

When it comes down to it, your sales and marketing teams are there for a sole purpose – to generate more business for your organisation. However, there is a specific difference in the way the functions operate.

Traditionally, marketing takes place at a brand, top of the funnel, level. It is, in effect communication from one to thousands if not millions.

Sales, on the other hand is a more personalised approach – communication on a one to one or group basis – depending on how many people are in that decision-making unit. So, the first step is to define the customer journey and identify where marketing loses its impact and a personalised sales approach needs to take over.

By plotting this process you can establish:

• What the marketing team can achieve that the sales team can’t (raising awareness by pushing out a message to an audience of thousands, for example)

• What the sales team can achieve that marketing can’t (build personal relationships with key decision makers)

• What areas can be tackled together (such as gathering data on decision makers’ pain points, to develop mass communication marketing messages and one-on-one sales scripts).


Shadow each other to get a better understanding of what each team does

It’s not uncommon for us to hold a training session with a client’s sales team and be asked if the marketing team can also attend. And it’s quite an eye opener.

The phrase “we had no idea that this is what you actually do” is one we often hear from marketers about their sales colleagues.

So we would recommend that marketers and sales people take any opportunity to shadow their counterparts, to get a full understanding of what each other’s role involves on a day-to-day basis.

This exercise often highlights areas where teams are, at best, duplicating their efforts or, at worse, contradicting each other and what can be done to improve communication and future strategy.


Sales can learn to leverage marketing automation

AI and automation have revolutionised a number of sectors but none more so than marketing. From automated, personalised email sequences, to messenger bots, marketers have massively increased their productivity by leveraging digital platforms.

According to a study by Alexander Proudfoot on Sales Effectiveness, 49% of a sales person’s working life is spent on administrative tasks and just 11% actually spent selling. By utilising automation tools, such as appointment booking software Calendly and Pipeline management tools such as Salesforce, your sales team could easily reduce time spent on admin and increase time spent on revenue generating activities.


In summary

By improving communication between sales and marketing teams, and learning from each other, both departments can improve their efficiency and productivity.

This is topic that we will be covering in more depth in a future webinar. Sign up to our email list to make sure you don’t miss out.


To talk to us more on how you can improve your sales and marketing bridges, please get in touch by emailing or call us on +44 (0) 207 653 3740.

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