4 Tips to Accelerate Sales with Sales/Marketing Integration
For years, most companies have siloed their sales teams and marketing teams into two separate departments. In fact, at many businesses, a turf war has all but broken out between sales and marketing, with the resulting conflict and distrust damaging the business’s bottom line. Sales needs marketing and marketing needs sales, and both need to work together on an equal basis. It’s easy to blame long-held stereotypes for some of these problems: marketing is analytical, sales is relationship-driven. These stereotypes, however, obscure the truth that both sales and marketing need a strong, healthy relationship with one another in order for your business to achieve true sales acceleration.
Successful marketing and sales integration is possible. Here’s what to do:
1. Focus on the buyer/customer experience
Both marketing and sales will benefit when they are organized around the buyer/customer experience, rather than a specific sales or marketing function. For example, what steps are necessary for a potential client to be exposed to your business’s product or service? How will the buyer/client form an opinion about this product or service in regards to industry competition? Outline each of these steps and assign appropriate marketing and sales responsibilities at each stage in order to enhance the buyer/client experience. The goal is to work together at each step in the process, which limits finger pointing and reduces turf wars.
2. Integrate customer information
With the average sales cycle lasting three months or longer, a deal won’t close magically overnight. In fact, eight out of 10 leads are qualified prospects but require additional cultivation in order to convert. If marketing is in the business of churning out leads, sales needs to be ready to cultivate these leads — or else your business is essentially throwing away 80 percent of its potential sales right from the beginning. If both sales and marketing have information on a potential client, but don’t share this information in full, then both sides are weakened when it comes to closing the sale. Don’t rely on organic means for customer information integration; purposeful CRM integration is essential to ensuring that no lead is lost.