Sales vs. Marketing: It’s Time to End the Battle

Category: Business Growth and Sales Culture

Written by: Lacey Wilcox

Posted on: November 19, 2019

Historically, marketing and sales departments have a tradition of being at odds with one another. Part of the problem is these teams have often been kept separate in their work, rather than being joined as two parts of one whole. It’s easy to see why this is not at all helpful for creating a strong, positive company culture.

It’s time to end this battle and create an environment where both teams work together and succeed in growing your business. 

Sales and Marketing Alignment

It is true that marketing and sales have very distinct roles within your company, and each team’s role can be considered very high stakes. Marketing is responsible for bringing in new leads to your business, and sales is responsible for closing deals. But, it’s also true that these teams cannot operate without one another. 

Your company needs both sales and marketing to generate revenue for your business. Because both are critical, it’s necessary that your company practices proper sales and marketing alignment. In our company, we have practiced this sales and marketing alignment by referring to these two teams as our growth team.

Creating and maintaining this alignment starts with your company leadership: set proper expectations for communication with one another, as well as regular meetings and a plan for shared leadership and resources.

What Does This Look Like in Real Life?

It’s great to talk about sales and marketing alignment, but that discussion is only beneficial if it leads to action. So let’s look at the nuts and bolts of implementing this alignment for your team

Aligning two teams that have once been separate and distinct can be quite a process, but we have found it helpful to break the process down into more manageable pieces. Here are some of the boxes you will want to tick off in order to begin creating your sales and marketing alignment.

  1. Decide when these teams will meet and what will be discussed.These teams need to meet on a regular basis to discuss qualifying leads and the handing off of prospects, progress on goals and benchmarks, and any specific information that might need to be shared between teams to care for prospects well. 
  2. Determine shared leadership. Who will lead these teams (and these meetings)? If these two teams share one leader in charge of growth, they are more likely to see themselves as working together and not separately.
  3. Make content creation a team effort. When we think about content, we almost think exclusively about marketing, but your sales team has much to offer in this process. Your salespeople have a unique opportunity to work with prospects right as they’re deciding whether or not to trust your company. This is a goldmine of information for content offers, specifically offers that help prospects make a decision. 
  4. Plan for joint “celebrations.” This might sound a bit cheesy, but it’s important to celebrate when your growth team hits a goal. These wins are also a great opportunity to solidify how both teams played a part in the achievement of this goal. 
  5. Get feedback. These meetings also allow everyone to determine how things are going and whether or not you are missing the mark as you’re trying to align these two teams. 

Make Revenue a Company-Wide Goal

One of the best ways to end the battle between sales and marketing and strengthen your entire company culture is by making revenue a company-wide goal. While your growth team (formerly known as your sales and marketing departments) is the team at your company specifically responsible for revenue generation, it’s actually something that involves your entire company.

For example, account managers play a huge role in revenue because satisfied customers are more likely to stay with your company and to share about your business with their personal networks. Your company’s human resources team also deserves credit because they work hard to care for your team, who in turn cares for your customers (who make it possible for your company to grow). When you adopt this team-wide mentality for revenue, you not only keep everyone “on board,” you also maintain a strong, healthy company culture. 

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